Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name ...

Some new discussions have recently arisen regarding names. I recently read an article by Ken Thomas in the Cobb County Genealogical Journal, Family Tree Quarterly, on the topic. In addition, Christine Rose has recently come out with the 5th edition of her work on nicknames and popular names. These works, along with others, raise some interesting questions.
In my own family, the children's names have created some interesting comments. My parents managed to find two unusual and three very mundane names for their children. My deceased sister is named Trula. Contrast that to Michael, and you have to wonder what my parents were thinking! After some investigation, and it took some significant digging, I found that Trula is of Germanic origin for the word truth. Other sources suggest the name is a variation on Gertrude, with Hebrew origins. My dad was always proud of his family heritage. He had an aunt Gertrude. So, in a sense my parents' naming patterns make some sense. I am omitting the names of my other siblings out of a sense of privacy. You will have to trust me when I say they tend towards family naming patterns.
The point of all of this is that as we develop family histories and genealogies, we need to consider name origins. They may provide some significant clues to the mindset of our ancestors and open up new avenues of consideration.

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