This is part of a series of daily blogging prompts entitled Fearless Females created by Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog in honor of Women’s History Month which starts today, 1 March 2010.
Here are the prompts – consider honoring your female ancestors by posting at your genealogy or family history blog!
* March 3
Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors?
Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.
We pause for the discussion on Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, to be able to answer the question of the day. However, it does “honor’ a female ancestor. This time, my Great-Grandmother
As with many Quaker families, naming patterns exist down through the generations. I am one of them.
For those that know me, may know that I go by my middle name, not my first name. AND I have “III” or 3rd at the end of my name. Because my family lived on the same property as my paternal grandparents, I guess, I was to be called by my middle name, like my grandfather. My dad, was called by his first name.
Looking back, my Grandfather’s Grandfather was named Henry Wilson Worthington. So, we know where my grandfather, my father, and I got our first name from. BUT, where did our middle name come from? Oh, this will take a minute, but will get at the question of the day.
My grandfather’s parents died in Kansas in the 1890′s and he, and his next younger brother and sister were put on a train from Kansas to Philadelphia, where they were met (but there is a long story here) and were taken to New Jersey, to live with their Grandmother, Elizabeth Willits Worthington.
In doing some research in the 1900 Census, I knew where I should have found my Grandfather. I knew that he graduated from the Moorestown Friends School in 1907. So, he should have been in NJ 1900 Census. Didn’t find him. (At the time I did the search, not all names were indexed).
A little frustrated in not being able to find him nor his grandmother, I checked my notes on her to find that she had been married a second time. Searching for Elizabeth with a different surname, I found her.
Elizabeth Willits was married to Henry Wilson Worthington. They had Samuel, Sarah, Jeremiah Willits, Henry Wilson, Jr., Elizabeth Farnum, and Nathan B. Leads as children. Still no hint about where Russell fit in. The other names or parts of names can be explained looking at the family structure.
Looking at these families, Grandfather Samuel’s second sister married a Henry C. Russell, whose father was Henry Russell, of Ireland.
Most of the Russell’s are buried in the Friends South-Western Burial Ground in Philadelphia.
So, to answer the question, my name was handed down from the marriage of Elizabeth Farnum Worthington.
So, the mystery of how we (three) got our names was answered in a family letter, not in my possession, after a “dear friend”.