Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Names

Some years back, I was attending a church youth class that discussed geneology.  During the class, the teacher asked if any of us could tell an unusual name of one of our ancestors.  I raised my hand and gave the name of an ancestor that is 6 names long.  When people hear that name, they often are surprised.  One person in the room wasn't surprised at all.

After class, a woman came up to me and asked me where my family was from.  When I told her, she said that her family was from that same little southern Utah town! She had recognized the name that I shared.   I took her name, and called my mother to see if we were related.  My mother is an incredible geneologist, and knows just about everything about everyone in our family line.  She told me that this woman and I weren't related directly, although a great...something...aunt of mine married in to that family.  What she told me next really surprised me.  She said that when she was a little girl, she was best friends with this woman's mother!  Talk about synchronicity!

A year or so later, I went to meet with one of the church authorities in my "Stake" to renew my temple recommend.  As we were talking, he asked me about my husband's surname.  As it turns out, my husband's father, by American standards, should have used a different surname.  He is from Puerto Rico, and in their culture, the mother's maiden name is always tacked on to the end of the father's surname of each child.  So by Puerto Rican custom, my children should have my maiden name tacked on to the end of their surname.  In my husband's case, his father found his surname too common while serving in the military.  His name was Jose Lopez, as was the name of many other guys in the service.  So he changed his name legally so that he could go by his mother's maiden name.  This made mail call much easier.

As I explained this to our church authority, he said, "Oh, then my name would be..." and proceeded to say what his name would be if his mother's maiden name were included on the end.  The minute he said that name, I knew the origin of his family.  I said, "Where does your family come from?"  He said, "Oh, you wouldn't know, it's a little town in southern Utah."  I asked him which town, and he told me the name of my mother's home town!  I explained my tie to the town, and asked his mother's name.  After he told me, I went directly home and called my mom.

After talking to my mother, I learned that this man's mother, and the mother of the other woman I wrote about above, were actually cousins!  They didn't even know it!  Their mothers are first cousins.  Here these two people lived in the same area, and attended the same "Stake" of the church, but never knew they were related. I was privileged to stop by while they were having a small family reunion at the woman's house.

Add to this whole coincidence the fact that my mother told me that this man's mother was her best friend during her high school years!  And here I was, miles away in California, and stumbled across the two relatives all because of a name.

The names of our other consortium members may or may not tell you much about their personalities.  Check out their blogs and see for yourself!  :)
RummuserAnuAshkokGaelikkaGrannymarPadmumMagpie11, andAkanksha,Will KnotMaria the Silver FoxAnkiNema Noor Paul Plain Joe, and RohitBlack watertownThe Old Fossil, our newest member MAXI! and last, but not least SHACKMAN! :)


Grannymar said...

I love coincidences like that. I have a lovely story about my very first teacher.

Rummuser said...

Synchronicity strikes again!

I like that bit of about your husband changing his name. In our family too two of my father's siblings had to change their names in school because there were other children with exactly the same names. They and their offspring
are oddities in my family with that uncle's sons known by a completely different surname.

Maxi said...

This is a fascinating story, D. Thanks to your mother you are learning of family connections.
blessings ~ maxi

The Old Fossil said...

I think I just had a comment eaten up! Anywho, I think the LDS genealogy system is probably the best in the world and I sit in amazement at your mother's ability and knowledge.