Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fearless Females: My first name

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.

Although I go by Joan, my first name is Barbara.  The only ancestor with the name of Barbara in my tree so far is Barbara Shantz, born Waterloo County, Ontario, about 1812.  She and her husband, Abraham Moyer, were my third great-grandparents.  Barbara was also my second cousin five times removed on the Bechtel side because these families were all part of the Mennonite community who emigrated from Pennsylvania to Waterloo County in the early 1800s.  Being a small settlement of large families, most marriages were from a small gene pool.

The Shantz family were on my mother's side and Mom would have had no knowledge of her ancestry that far back when I was born.  I do not know why they named me Barbara or why I was always called Joan.  To my knowledge I have no ancestors named Joan.

Vinetta, my maternal grandmother, came from the Moyer line and I think it is a beautiful and unique name.  My grandmother is one of five women named Vinetta on my Mom's side of the family, three of them are from Mennonite families.

Granny's full name was Vinetta Tremaine Butchart and she hated the name so much that she named my mother just Ruth.

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