Sunday, August 14, 2011

What's in a Name?


My recent posts have been a little depressing with tales of hardship and tragic death.   This week, I would like to take on a lighter subject – the interesting names of some of the people in my family tree.  Now, I realize that some of these names weren’t too unusual in the era in which they were bestowed upon my family members, but they sound a little strange now.
·         ELIHU EMBREE                                  Elihu Embree was the grandson of my fifth great-grandfather Moses Embree and nephew of my fourth great-grandmother Rebekah Embree Hockett (Rebekah – Prudence Hockett Lamb – Nathan Lamb – Mary Lamb Donaldson – Eddie Earl Donaldson – my mom – me).  Elihu was born into the Quaker Embree family on November 8, 1782, the son of Thomas and Esther Coulson Embree.  If you wish to research Elihu, you will have little trouble finding information, since he holds the distinction of publishing the first abolitionist newspaper in the United States, the Manumission Intelligencer.  Elihu died at the age of 38 on December 4, 1820.

·         PLEASANT LEROY HIMES               Roy Himes was my grandmother Mary Jane Dudley Donaldson’s cousin, born to Marietta Dudley and Jeremiah Himes on December 1, 1888 in Lynchburg, Ohio.  Roy initially worked as a blacksmith in his father’s shop.  After his parents died, Jeremiah in 1911 and Marietta in 1912, Roy married Jessie Coffman and moved to Springfield Township, Hamilton County, Ohio.  There, he made his living as a machinist.  He lived with my grandparents for a while, probably after he and his first wife Jessie were divorced and before he married his second wife Mary.  From what my mom has told me, the name “Pleasant” fit him well – she really liked him. 

Pleasant Leroy Himes and his first wife, Jessie.  We believe Roy is the man
on the left.  We aren't sure who the other man is.
·         EXPERIENCE DAVIS REYNOLDS   This isn’t the only Experience in my family tree, but the first I discovered in the course of my research.  Experience was born April 9, 1751 to William and Elizabeth Gifford Davis in West Greenwich, Rhode Island.  She married Joseph Reynolds on October 31, 1771.  Experience is my sixth great-grandmother (Experience – Johanna Reynolds Shaw – Sylvester Shaw – Elmina Shaw Dunn – Lulu Dunn Wardlow – Elma Wardlow Ballein – Esther Ballein Davis – Russell Lee Davis – me).  At some point after their marriage, Experience and Joseph moved to New York.  Experience and Joseph had 15 children.  By 1799, they had moved to Limestone (now Maysville) in Mason County, Kentucky.  Shortly thereafter, they crossed the Ohio River and settled in what later became Jackson Township, Brown County, Ohio.  Their community became known as the Yankee Settlement.  Experience died November 11, 1832, surviving her husband Joseph by almost nine years.  

·         THE PURCELL FAMILY                     My great grand-aunt Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ballein and her second husband Simon Purcell hold the distinction in my family tree for having the children with the most unusual names.  Their children were my grandmother Jennie Esther Ballein’s cousins.  Ready?  Laura Ina (OK, that name’s all right), Ethel U. (Ethel isn’t unusual, but what could the U stand for?), Cleta Q., Rhemi Olen, Philo Uscana, Euchus Orien, and Seanthus.  Unfortunately, I don’t know much about this family but I would love to hear about them.

·         NIMROD PRICE                                 I remember when I announced to my parents that there was a Nimrod in our family tree on my dad’s side of the family.  My mom commented “Now it’s all starting to make sense!”  However, this Nimrod wasn’t anyone’s fool (and neither was my dad or I, Mom).  Nimrod was the brother of my fourth great-grandfather Jeremiah Price (Jeremiah Price – Catherine Price Steward – Sarah Steward Ogden – Rosa Ogden Davis – James Quincy Davis – Russell Lee Davis – me).  In the early 1800s, he settled with his parents Daniel and Catherine Preisch in a settlement known as Germany in Hamilton County Ohio.  By the time of the Civil War, Nimrod was a fairly successful farmer.   However, during the war his land became valuable for another purpose.  The Union Army established Camp Dennison, a military recruitment and training camp and hospital in Germany.  He leased his land to the government for an estimated $12 to $20 per acre per month.  After the camp was deactivated, the name Camp Dennison stuck and the town continues to be known by that name. 
Nimrod Price died in 1874 and is buried in the Waldschmidt Cemetery
in Camp Dennison, Ohio

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