Friday, August 8, 2008

Rootbound in the Hills #218:
26 Nov 1991

by Rocky Macy

One of the more interesting aspects of genealogy is the discovery of all of those unique first names that our forefathers (and foremothers!) gave to their children. And when an unusual name surfaces, the subsequent reaction is usually to ponder its origin. Why, for instance, did a set of this writer's g-g-g-g-grandparents name their baby girl Comfort? And what were the circumstances that led another pair of my ancestors to give their daughter the name Mourning? And some are just humorous, such as the ROARK twin boys, Nip and Tuck! There is, one can almost be certain, stories behind the unusual names of our ancestors.

Sometimes the story behind unusual names is more obvious. Many babies were named after major figures in history such as United States Presidents, military heroes, sports figures, outlaws, and other notables. Rare is the family tree that doesn't have a George Washington somebody-or-other clinging to one of its branches. But what about those lesser notables? It shouldn't be surprising to learn that even the likes of Commodore PERRY had babies named after him. And one of his namesakes has an Ozarks connection. Please read on...

Audrey E. HANSEN (2158 Bower Court, SE, Salem OR 97301) is searching for anyone with a WISDOM family connection. She is especially interested in learning more about John Louis WISDOM (born around 1853), a son of Commodore Perry WISDOM. The family migrated from Kentucky and Tennessee to Missouri, Texas, and finally Arkansas. They were in Arkansas in the early 1870s. Mrs. HANSEN has asked if there are WISDOMs in any of our area telephone directories. She would appreciate any help that she could get.

Loretha TABLER BRADLEY (1201 Leisure Lane #4, Walnut Creek, CA 94595) has a letter that was sent from Neosho, Newotn County, MO, on 6 Dec 1892 to "Dear Aunt" from Louisa and S.A. SEAGROVE and family. She wishes to know if Louisa was a BRADLEY, DAVIS, HAINES, HANES, or HAYNES. Our correspondent would like to contact any SEAGROVEs living in our area today. Are you out there?

Voris O. CALLAWAY (4816 Del Crest, Del City,, OK 73115) is the grandson of Sarah Lydia (MACY) SPEARS on Newton County, MO. While going through his grandmother's old photo album, he recently discovered three unlabeled tin-types that appear to have been taken in the late 1800s. Voris has made copies of these tin-types and forwarded them to Rootbound for help with identification of the people in the portraits. We will leave these copies in the Genealogy Room of the Neosho City-County Library for the next few weeks in the hope that someone will be able to identify the subjects.

Sarah Lydia (MACY) SPEARS (above) was a daughter of Charles and Mary Jane (MEADOWS/MEADOR) MACY of Newton County, MO. (Charles and Mary Jane were also this writer's g-g-grandparents.) Sarah Lydia was born 16 Oct 1855 and married Nathan SPEARS on 1 Nov 1874. Mary Jane's father, Charles, was reportedly dragged from the family home by bushwhackers in 1879 and never heard from again. Does anyone know more to that story? (A few years before his disappearance, Charles MACY served on the Iron Switch (Belfast) School Board in rural Newton County.)

Is there a VAN WINKLE or LARNER in your family tree? Marilyn LARNER HICKS (3621 Duchess Trail, Dallas, TX 75229) has done extensive research on both of those surnames and published books that detail her research. For those working a VAN WINKLE or LARNER line, contact with Mrs. HICKS might prove useful.

Queries to Rootbound do work! Ruthalea SUMMERS (1017 Pompano, Port Isabel, TX 78578) ran a query on her LOCKHART family over a year ago and was surprised recently by a letter from a lady in Diamond, MO, who had just made a connection! So, if your query hasn't brought results, hang in there. It may yet!

And if you haven't written to Rootbound, unwritten query will never get answered! Send those comments, questions, and bits of family history to Rootbound in the Hills in care of this newspaper. Somebody just may answer - even a year from now!

Happy hunting!

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