Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life–Names

October 2, 2011

After taking a quick glance of about 200 photos from yesterday, I am almost confused.

It’s all about names, right?

This project started when I watched the PBS series Gettysburg. I heard the name Ridgely Howard. In my research in my own family both of these names are surnames. As I started the research Ridgely was his middle name.

No problem, been there, done that. I go by my middle name. Simple reason, I am a “III” (3rd), and there were three generations living on a small family farm. My grandfather went by his middle name, the Surname of a Grandfather, my Dad by his first name, and I was called the same way my grandfather was. This worked and still works, although my Dad has passed away. To clear the confusion about who you were talking to. Grandfather, Father, on me.

So, we now have David Ridgely Howard. (there’s a twist, a common first name for a Surname). “My” Howards were in Virginia, soon there after into Maryland. So, Howard, to me, as a Surname is OK. Got that.

Looking at Census Records, for the Howards, McHenry as a Middle name was appearing, and a First Name. Good thing I didn’t jump to any conclusions here. Could that Census Record have recorded McHenry, like Ridgely as the first name?

The biggest problem at this point is the names of member of the Households. For example, McHenry Howard and James McHenry Howard households had similar members of the household, living in close proximity of each other. At this point, it’s pretty clear that they are not the same family (yet).

The cemetery visits may have also separated the families (house holds) as well. Two different cemeteries, different parts of town. BUT, it may be a common Church. Working on that.

So, I looked at my pictures from the 3rd cemetery and I run into the same issue. My brain had told me that I had taken pictures of Howard headstones and McHenry headstones. Both of which were true and I clearly remembers one of the Howard children as Julianna Howard. So I took a bunch of pictures of the plot (10 – 15 stones).

Her stone was Julianna Howard McHenry, whose father was James Howard McHenry. The dates for Julianna were not right.

I have been putting off looking at the history of Fort McHenry, also in Baltimore.

A couple of years ago, while visiting my brother-in-law in a Veterans Hospital in Baltimore, we went to a historic cemetery that was next to where I had parked the car. In my search for the 1st cemetery, where “Betty Lou” was giving me a fit, you know “recalculating”, I saw an old cemetery, then realized it was the same one we had visited a couple of years earlier.

My car has a bumper sticker “I stop at cemeteries”, so I did. Went in where Edgar Allen Poe is buried, but so is James McHenry, of Fort McHenry fame.

So how does James McHenry Howard, James Howard McHenry, McHenry Howard related to David Ridgely Howard?

What did I learn from this: Where did THAT Name come from? Naming patterns ….


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