Saturday, May 07, 2011

What's In A Name? May 7, 2011

I remember my mother's prayers
and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life.

~Abraham Lincoln

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this day before Mother's Day. Happy Birthday this coming Wednesday to Jacinta Saunders Shepard of Newcastle, Oklahoma. This "Cindy Shepard" is the mother of Nathan and Kaylan Shepard and the wife of Dane Shepard. A special Mother's Day wish to Cindy and all mothers in our families! Below is an updated Mother's Day photoshow celebrating our moms.

What's In A Name? With our daughter-in-law Chenda soon to become a mother once again, we have been thinking a lot about names. As a result I have been pondering outstanding names in our family tree.

What makes an outstanding name, you ask? Admittedly it is a very subjective matter. For me an outstanding name is one that rolls off the tongue easily (is phonetically pleasing), or one that has some depth of meaning to it (is rich with history), or one that strikes me as strong, intelligent, handsomely masculine or beautifully feminine. (See what I mean about subjective?) Of the 1,393 people presently in our family tree, the following are my choices for the Top 10 outstanding names.

10 - Mary Questionable Gillespie (1756-1789) - her grandmother was from Questionable, Ireland. Both "Q" names may be questionable, however.

9 - James Brooks Davis (1870-1928) - my grandmother Davis always spoke her father's name with great respect.

8 - Rebecca Floride Calhoun (1745-1814) - among our Gower/Shannon/Pickens ancestors; hopefully her middle name is pronounced "floor-a-day" or "floor-a-dee," not "floor-ride".

7 - Nathan William Shepard (b. 1977) - I confess: I am prejudiced here. What can I say? It's Biblical and it includes William Shepard.

6 - Thomas Laurens Van Buskirk (1668-1748) - my 9G Grandpa; son of a Danish immigrant; The Donald can only WISH he had such a rich, distinguished name. 

5 - Julius Theophilus Vessels (1871-1942) - See Acts 1:1; his mother was Narcissus; father was Julius Ceasar. He was from Limestone, Alabama.

4 - Preslea Maida Shepard (b. 2010) - I admit it: I am shamelessly prejudiced with this choice. But every part has real meaning.

3 - Robert Columbus Shannon (1893-1923) - Grandma Gower's brother. With a name like this, it would be criminal to call him "Bob."

2 - Benjamin Harrison Davis (1888-1963) - his namesake, a popular hoosier politician, was elected our 23rd President just 3 months after BHD's birth. Great choice by his parents Charles and Melinda! I never knew our Davis people were so political. (See picture of our Benjamin Harrison, alongside President Harrison.)

1 - Kyle Christian Sauvage (b. 2004) - a superb combination of sounds and strength; handsomely masculine; even a wonderfully bit oxymoronic.

What do you think? I am sure each of you has your own favorite outstanding family name. Who would you include? I'd like to hear from you and share your choices in a future post. 

Kids Say the Darn- dest Things. My niece Kelly Sauvage of Weather- ford, Texas, (mother of Kyle Sauvage, mentioned above) told the following story on Facebook. I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.

"I was at 'Yogurt Story' with my boys tonight when two girls walked in wearing prom dresses. One of them was showing a whole lot of cleavage. My 8 year old son Nate, who will say anything to anyone, says, "Excuse me, you may want to pull that up!"

The second picture shows Kelly and Nate in the summer of 2008 at our last Shepard Family Reunion in Anacortes, Washington.

Our next family reunion will be in Anacortes once again, on Saturday, August 13. If you plan to attend, please notify me or one of the Shepards in Anacortes. The meal preparers are making plans, and we want to make sure everyone will be well fed! Select this link for all the reunion details.
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