52 Ancestors Week 6 - Favourite Name

+13 votes

AJC - Week 6: Favorite Name
Favorite name could be a name of an ancestor that makes you smile. Perhaps it's an unusual name. Mine would have to be my 3rd-great-grandmother Matilda (Debolt) Skinner Crossen Brown McFillen. I might have to re-learn how to say her name, though, as I recently discovered what might be another marriage between Crossen and Brown.

asked in The Tree House by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (430k points)
edited by Robynne Lozier

If anyone starts making changes to any of the profiles being used for the 52 Ancestors challenge, without checking with the profile manager first, please let me (Robynne) know.

I have had someone change the preferred names for some of my profiles back to their legal names without asking or telling me. This person never knew my ancestors and does not know what the preferred name was. I have had to re-edit those preferred names.

Other profiles have had text moved around, formatting broken, source links broken and single lines of unnecessary text added,

I have advised this "Editor" to stop what they are doing for profiles that are NOT under their management. If this unnecessary editing continues during and after week 6, I will be taking this further. And no, this person is not a newbie.
I am also sorry that I am several hours late. My monitor died today and my wonderful spouse spent 3 hours performing emergency surgery to clean the dust out from the back of the PC, replace the monitor and then rehook everything back up and retest everything.

Fortunately we had a spare monitor lying around. He is such a wonderful handy man to be married to!! LOL
Glad your back up and running
I had some changes made to some of my profiles in the first couple of weeks. Mainly England Stickers being moved to above the Biography and one case of the place of death being changed. The person doing this was not new either. I left a message on their profile asking the editor not to move the stickers and referring them to the style guide. I have not had a problem since.
Just had someone today change the spelling from "favourite" (as you have) to "favorite".  Should I leave it or revert back to the spelling you give for this week's theme?
I love my Uncle Harold Charboneaus nickname. He was called Hal

37 Answers

+7 votes

An easy one to pick!  Cissero Cassedo aka Edward Cassidy https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cassidy-436.  A life shrouded in mystery!

Transported from Ireland to Australia in 1830 for throwing the landlords horse of the cliff only to escape in 1833.  He is said to have gone to America, possibly married to a woman named White.  

Turns up masquerading as 'Cissero Cassedo' in Ireland and arrested in 1849.  What became of him!

A Young Irelander - the well known Irish folk song Edward on Lough Erne's Shore is said to have been written about him.

See my BBC appearance on that cliff last year!  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1608063979225484&id=197313523633877&pnref=story

answered by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (106k points)
+6 votes
I'm finally getting to this, since it's been quite a week.

I have several names I love, but this one, and similar ones, crack me up. Anyone who takes their surname and makes it also a given name has some confidence. You know, like naming a kid "Robert Roberts" or "William Williams" or "James James." My great uncle was [[Ray-4248|Raymond Ray]]. He didn't like to be called Ray Ray, but he was and apparently the school kids did so. My grandmother's family was not close, so I only met him once or twice and he was, to me, "Uncle Raymond." If you look at his profile, you will see that he looks kind of like Lyle Lovett (and when I found out who Lyle Lovett was, I immediately though of Uncle Raymond!)
answered by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (359k points)
+5 votes

My favourite name in my family tree belongs to my second cousin twice-removed, Franklin Gearying Carr.  He worked with... you guessed it... cars.  :-)  He was a mechanic and a race car driver, and later worked as a chauffeur for Philadelphia Mayor W. Freeland Kendrick.

answered by Vicky Majewski G2G6 Mach 6 (66.8k points)
+4 votes

Posting mine at the last minute -- again!

Here's the blog post.

Here's the profile

answered by Janis Tomko G2G6 Mach 1 (16.7k points)
+4 votes

William Moses Pettyjohn

My maternal grandfather was William Moses Pettyjohn. He was referred to by his middle name Moses and most times “Mose.” Mose was born 29 June 1882 in Marysville, Iowa. He was the first born of ten children to James and Elizabeth Pettyjohn. I know nothing of his life growing up in Iowa other than he had eight brothers and one sister. He would tell people there were nine boys in the family and each one had a sister.

February 19, 1902, Mose married Sarah Melissa Donaldson, and they started their family together.  I do not have any land records at this time, but he did place a for rent ad in the Chariton Herald for a small house and six lots in the East Chariton district. While living in Iowa, Mose and Sarah had four children: Mary Violetta, Vienna Mae, James Preston, and Joseph Lee. Mose and his family are in the 1910 US Federal Census living in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa. In 1911 they showed up in the Canadian Census in the Regina district in the Province of Saskatchewan. They lived in Riceton before taking up the Canadian government’s offer of cheap land in Southwestern Saskatchewan wheere they settled in the community of Merryflat. Mose farmed there for many years raising cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens and turkeys. Another five children were born into the family, William Ernest, Austin Barnett, Glenn Chester, Eva Irene, and Lorne Hayes. Around the year 1925 he rented out his land to his oldest sons and moved into Maple Creek. I do not know what Mose did those years, but four or five years later he moved back to the farm. He did work at the Bible school in Robsart purchasing food and doing maintenance while Sarah cooked.

Eventually, he retired and moved into Maple Creek. Mose died December 6, 1958, two years after I was born so I do not remember him, even though my mother told me that I would ride on his wheel chair. I was taught at a young age the story of Moses in the Bible so I was always impressed that my grandfather had the same name. It was not until I was older that I would know his full name as William Moses Pettyjohn.


answered by D D G2G2 (2.9k points)
+4 votes

My favorite name would be my 3rd Great Grandmother Adelaide Elizabeth (Campbell) Killips which I find to be a beautiful name.

Adelaide was born in New York in 1852 to a native New Yorker, James Madison Campbell, and a English born mother, Elizabeth Hazelwood. I can only guess that she got her middle name of Elizabeth from her mother's first name. Adelaide was actually a brick wall of mine until just a year ago when I found out that Killips was actually that and not McKillips as I was told. As soon I changed that I was able to move forward more.

answered by Amanda Frank G2G6 Mach 4 (40.7k points)
edited by Amanda Frank
+3 votes

I'm a bit late on this one, and although he isn't a direct ancestor, I just love his name Gylet Agabus Thompson Thompson-40249the  Biblical meaning of the name Agabus is: A locust, the father's joy or feast!

And his parents were inventive with his siblings as well:

Naman, Gehazi, Druscilla, Abigail, Jehoshabeath (Hebrew in origin and it's meaning is one whose oath is Jehovah), Bakbakiah (biblical name) Amos, and Priscilla

brother Gehazi married my ancestor's aunt Frances Nunn  in 1869 and Gylet Agabus married my ancestor's sister Lavinia Nunn in 1873 

answered by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (104k points)
edited by Michelle Wilkes
Better late then never, Michelle.

Those names certainly are interesting!! I hope that the kids at the schools that this family attended, did not tease these kids for having such "interesting" Names!!
Whenever I see his name - I just automatically think "Gilette shaving products". Judging by the later census, I think most of the kids took on less formal and more mainstream versions of  their names for every day use!
+2 votes

Thomasine.  Or is it Tamsyn? or Tamesin? or Thamosyn? or Thomasine? or... I'm sure you get the idea.  It's the feminine form of Thomas, meaning twin, and existed among the Brythonic Celts - who became the Cornish.  All except one of my Thomasines came from Cornwall, England.

My  favourite Thomasine is my great great great grandmother.  When a woman taunted Thomasine that her husband was having an affair and had given her money, she turned the woman upside down so that all the money fell out of her pockets.  The court only fined Thomasine one shilling because of her good character up until then. Thomasine was a pub landlady well into her late seventies/early eighties.

answered by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (450k points)
edited by Ros Haywood
+4 votes

My favorite name was Thankful Davis daughter of Dollor and Hannah Linnell Davis, until I found her sister posted here at wikitree.  Remember Mercy Davis.

I wonder if these young ladies remembered to be Thankful and Merciful.
 I wish I knew more about these young ladies, sometime perhaps I willl be able to do some research on them.

Thankful Davis is my 6th great grandmother and thus Remember was my 6th great aunt.  

Thankful Davis married David Rugg of Framington Mass on 1 Jan 1729 in Bromfield's, Worcester, Massachusetts.

See Thankful Davis Rugg https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Davis-24877

See also Remembered Mercy Davis Lombard https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Davis-25680


answered by Julia Hogston G2G6 (7.4k points)
+4 votes

Hard to choose. I'm particularly fond of the names of some of my Belgian ancestors, they are real mouthfuls: especially Van Weirelyckhuysen and Van Niewenhuysen (those two were a married couple).

I'm choosing Catherine Van Nereaux, a 4xg grandmother, as her name puzzled me for a while. Where could such an odd mixture of Dutch (Van XXX) and French (the second part is sometimes spelled "Néreaux") come from?

Catherine was born in Antwerp in 1798. Her father was a chemist, or apothecary, or perfume maker - those professions were almost interchangeable at the time, and her mother the daughter of a butcher. Catherine had two younger brothers, who apparently died young, and her father also died, when she was just 5 years old. However her mother managed to marry a noble - the groom's parents refused their consent ! I'm not sure how Catherine was raised. I'm afraid she was not a happy woman.

When she was 20 she married Lucas Dronkers-Martens (another interesting name) who was a sort of employee or civil servant. They had 13 children, including one she apparently abandoned at birth, and who was raised as "child of the Nation". Her consent was asked when her estranged son wished to get married, and she refused to acknowledge him even them. Only 4 of the remaining 12 children made it to adulthood.

And her name? Well, after thinking I'd never find, the baptism record of one of Catherine's uncles was found. Turns out her grandfather was really Etienne Vannereau, born in the early 1720s in Burgundy. Somehow the name was "Dutchified" by separating the Van from the rest, but they kept a decidedly French spelling. I guess they were probably still aware of their French origins after several generations. Etienne is still a brick wall - his parish of origin has no surviving records from the time he was born - and why he moved from the heart of France to Antwerp remains a mystery.

(This is not complete yet - at least her grandfather and her mother should be added).

answered by Isabelle Rassinot G2G6 Pilot (210k points)
Very interesting Isabelle, thanks.
+3 votes

"Battiscombe" is both a favourite and un-favourite family name.

My grandfather was Battiscombe George Gunn, but know as Jack.  My father was John Battiscombe Gunn, but known as Iain.  They both hated the name, as they were teased as "Batty" and "Bats in the belfry".  There are also a couple of cousins with Battiscombe as a given name.


The name comes from my 2nd great grandmother, Mary Dally (Battiscombe) Gunn (1819 - 1881), known as "Dolly" ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Battiscombe-60 ), from Bridport, Dorset.  She brought quite a lot of money into the family in the late 19th century, and that is presumably why her grandson and great grandson were named after her.  Her father was part owner of the Bridport Brewery (now Palmers), and Alderman, and the Mayor of Bridport.

The Battiscombe family can be reliably traced back to  Peter Battiscombe (abt. 1336)  (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Battiscombe-4 ).  Wikitree goes back another 6 generations to John Battiscombe (1165) (  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Battiscombe-10 ), but that is more speculative.

There are 63 Battiscombes on Wikitree, and all but two of them are connected to my tree (the other two are also probably connected too, but I have not yet traced the connection).

answered by Janet Gunn G2G6 Mach 5 (57.6k points)
So I'm guessing its a favourite because it goes back for so many centuries - and its not a favourite name because of all the teasing and horrible nick names. I can certainly understand that!!
Yes, favourite as a surname, not as a given name.

And a favourite because a family that was basically "landed gentry" (not aristocracy or royalty) can be traced back so far.
+4 votes
Yes I am behind on my 52 weeks.   One of my favorite names is actually her nickname Nuddy.   For years I tried to figure out what that might mean.  I work in the food industry now as i  co-own a spice company.  Hanging out with chefs you can learn some interesting things... like a Nuddy is a special German dumpling!  Well now my Great Aunt Nuddy's nickname made sense!  Her real name was Otillia Woerner and she was named for her aunt who was the sister of her mother.  She was one of 12 children.  She was born in 1890 and died in 1964.  She was my closest friend when I was a little toddler.  For her full story see her profile.  She was more like my early mother than my bio mother as I spent far more time with Nuddy in the first 6 years of my life.  

answered by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (448k points)
Interesting name, Laura.
+4 votes
My third great grandmother Penina Donham. In many many genealogies she named Permina, but I am absolutely sure of her name as Penina as I have had access to her father's will, her death certificate, and other historical records.  She also happens to be my connection to Barack Obama through his mom Ann Dunham.
answered by Susan Fitzmaurice G2G6 Mach 3 (38.7k points)
+3 votes
As I commented on another answer, Zerelda. That's the second time I've heard the name used. I also like Amariah (Potter) Rigney.

Funny story -- my grandmother is from mid south Missouri and had a bit of an accent. I asked her stories about the family when I was little and she would talk about her sister, my great aunt Arfa. I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles it was ARFA. One day I asked how you spelled it - Was is A-R-F-A? My grandmother gave me a funny look and said "Arfa from the Bible O-R-P-H-A. Arfa"
answered by Katrina Whitaker G2G6 Mach 3 (32.5k points)
+3 votes

Sarah Malissa Horning was born June 17, 1827 in Medina, Orleans, New York to  John Winchell and Sarah Cornwall. She passed June 2, 1905 in Ostego, Allegan, Michigan. Ever since the first time I saw her name, I felt a connection to her. I do not know if it is because she is a source of a part of me. It could be because I have not had much help on this side of the family so I had to dig and search for her. There is a chance it is because her middle name is Malissa. My first name/birth name is Melissa. No one knew this so it was just a lucky happening when I was named.


I know the information for her that is listed above, I know in several censuses she is living in Watson, Allegan, Michigan and that 8 children came from her union with Christopher. I do not know however why just thinking of her name makes me smile, hearing her name makes me happy.


I do know her name will always be a favorite.

answered by Lisa Murphy G2G6 Mach 2 (27.8k points)
+2 votes
My great-great-grandmother, Julia Toothman, was the daughter of a lady named Zillah Forrest.  I always smile because she named her three eldest children Fern, Forrest, and Fawn.  (Of course, my great-grandfather was named Ernest, so the pattern broke).
answered by K. Anonymous G2G6 Mach 2 (22.1k points)
0 votes
I know that I am late, but I am playing catch-up. 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Week 6 Favorite Name - I looked at the family that I have on WikiTree and couldn't find one that was interesting, so I had to go to my tree on Ancestry.

I decided to pick one of my third cousin's entire family names, just because I think they wanted to get all of the names that were ever created in their family line.

The Father was David Brownfield and the mother was Hannah Brownfield (I haven't been able to find her surname yet).

They had four or five children, but the one I chose was:

Comodore Jasper Peter Perry Jensen Brownfield (1841-1907)  he married:

Sarah Ellen Josephine Oma Angeline Hendricks (1850-1931)

their children were:

John William Henry Newton August Brownfield (1870-1931)

Samuel David Dexton Roy Monroe Brownfield (1875-1951)

Sarah Ellen Josephine Neomi Angeline Brownfield (1879-1961)

Hannah Minnie Effie May Blanch Brownfield (1882-1945)

I know that I didn't go into as much detail as the other people in their answers, but I did want to share the Brownfield's long names with you as my favorite. Thank you for reading.

God Bless.
answered by Cheryl Hess G2G6 Pilot (127k points)

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