This weekend I’ve been copying down manuscripts, finding graves, and adding a bunch of new relatives. It really is amazing how much research you can conduct with the most basic of information. Of course there have been many stumbling blocks. As I stated before, on my mother’s side, my 5th and 4th great grandfathers were both named Hiram McDevitt, but I hadn’t yet realized that they both married women named Elizabeth. One was named Elizabeth Gosnell, the other named Elizabeth Stewart. Elizabeth Gosnell’s mother was also named Elizabeth, and married into the Gosnell family. Simple problems really, usually nothing that a few more hours of research won’t solve.
I’ve also come across some interesting names in my ancestry. More recently, one of my 3rd great grandmothers was named Amarada Chandley, I still know very little about her, other than that Chandley (her maiden name) is derived from the old French word “Chandler” meaning candle-maker and Amarada is most-likely derived from the French word “amor” meaning love. In the distant past, one of my ancestors that traces my line back to Hugh Capet, the first King of the Franks, was a woman named Honor Clayton, from Chinchester in Sussex, England. I consider names like that (or Prudence, another of my ancestors) as very distinctive and noteworthy, and I think it’s a shame that most parents don’t consider names like that for their children; instilling (or at least teaching) them the importance of family values.