03 March 2011

Sallie, Myra and Cinderella

Women's History Month challenge for 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.

Mack Johnson with his sister Harriet Johnson Hardcastle in Whitewright, Texas, standing in for his sister Sallie, of whom I do not seem to have a photo. Ca. 1985.

That's several questions, there.

I am a Sally, which is supposed to be a diminutive of Sarah but in my case is not. Just Sally. I am almost but not quite named the same as my mother: she is Shirley Yvonne, I am Sally Yvonne. Both my mother and her brother received lovely romantic names, possibly inspired by my great-aunt Coy, a lover of novels. My uncle was Guinn Selwyn, which was undoubtedly a bit much when he was growing up. We knew him as Uncle Johnny. We know her as Shirley.

Shirley was supposed to have been called Yvonne, but that faded out by her third year. There is a Double Wedding Ring quilt made for her as a baby which has the name Yvonne and the date embroidered on it. If she sends a photo of the quilt, I'll post it. There are no other Shirleys or Yvonnes in the family that I can find, and Yvonne may have been a bit much for Oklahoma and West Texas. She and I carry the name in the family.

There is another Sally, actually a Sallie, and she was one of my grandfather Mack's four older sisters: Nancy, Samantha, Harriet and Sallie, not necessarily in that order. Sallie Johnson Plemmons was a lovely lady. As did so many other people, she and her husband moved to California during the Depression and settled in San Diego. I re-met her when I moved there in 1994. She passed away just shy of her 99th birthday, and her family held a reunion on what would have been her 100th birthday. Sallie seemed to know who I was after all those years, and gave me a ceramic rose a few days later. I still have it. Her brother, my grandfather, had been gone for several years at that point.

Sallie and her siblings were the children of Elmyra "Myra" Elizabeth Wacaster Johnson, Dr. John Johnson's second wife and from all accounts a merry and devout little soul. Sallie was the same, and her family adored her. They still do.

As for unique female names in the family tree: when I was researching the quilt I have (the subject of a later post), I discovered my connections to the Honnoll family. My great-great-grandmother was Nancy Ellinor Honnoll Walker (the Ellinor spelling comes from the family Bible, so no trying to correct it). Her father, Peter, the beekeeper, had a sister named Cinderella Lucinda Honnoll. I respectfully submit that as our entry in the Unique Female Name Sweepstakes. She was born in Tennessee in 1815 and died before she was 30. I have found no images of her anywhere. They may not exist.

To Sallie, Myra and Cinderella Lucinda.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Great names in your family!! Thanks for sharing.