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Family Portrait by Frederic Bazille, 1867

This past weekend my parents came for an overnight stay. It was an excuse for me to clean the cottage and spend time with them away from a television. My father, particularly, is not fond of visiting me overnight because I do not own a television. My mother, on the other hand, finds it relaxing and domestic. In lieu, of watching TV shows, my parents and I read, chatted, and spontaneously started digging into our genealogy online. We have picked at our family tree before without much success and did not expect to exhume anything monumental.

Much to our delight! We found new names! Using FamilySearch database through the library, we were able to discover the names of my mother’s father’s grandparents on the maternal side. Did you catch that? My mother’s side of the family has always been a road block due its roots in Mexico, and if the family tales are true, the hacienda with all the immediate family records were burned to the grown by Pancho Villa and the rebels during the revolution.  Any morsel from Mexico is much cherished, knowing how difficult it is to come by without physically visiting the country. For simplicity’s sake:

My mother’s father’s name was Edmundo (Edmund, in English). This is my grandfather.

Edmundo’s mother was named Mariana (or Marian in English). She would be my great-grandmother.

Mariana’s parents are Cruz Salcido and Francisca Silva Salcido. NEW NAMES ON THE TREE! We do not know much beyond this point. There is a possibility Mariana had a sister named Manuela, but we cannot verify it at this time.

Of course, my immense curiosity with names was stirred. I went back to look at name meanings beginning with Edmundo/Edmund. The Anglicized version means “Rich Protector.” Aside from my grandfather, the first Edmund that comes to mind is Edmund Dantes, the protagonist of Alexandre Dumas’ famous literary jail-break, Count of Monte Cristo. There are other Edmunds, of course; such as Mr. Hilary.

My mother brought it to my attention that Mariana is NOT the equivalent to Mary Ann, as I would have expected. She informed me the traditional Spanish translation of Mary Ann is Ana de (la) Maria. Of course it is. As a derivative of the name Mary, Marian means “Bitter” although some resources claim it means “From the sea/ocean.” The first Marian I think of is Maid Marian from Robin Hood.

The new names, Cruz, is a decidedly Spanish name. It translate to mean “Cross (of the Christ)”. There are many names like this in Spanish, from elements of the Bible, but not Biblical names, per se. Francisca, is Francesca, Francesca, or Frances. It means “Free” or “From France” with roots in the Latin language.

Our more startling revelations came from four new names on my father’s side of the family tree, which only furthers my annoyance with Anglos devising their own “creative” names. Seriously, it makes me annoyed with 19th century America. The names come from my father’s father’s paternal side.

My father’s dad was christened Manley. No joke. Manley Charles, who went by Dave. Seriously. I could not make this up if I tried. He was referred to as my Grandpa Manley.

Manley’s father was Guy Sr. *sigh* Yes, I realize Guy is a “real” name and it is still common in France. Its original meaning is ‘warrior’. However, given its American vernacular definition, it is the same as naming a male child ‘Bloke, Man, Dude, Male, Boy, etc.’ or a female child ‘Girl, Woman, Gal, Chick, etc.” It is this, for which I do not approve. Guy was also the name of the eldest son/Manley’s brother. Guy Jr. was Manley’s favorite brother and he used the name as my own father’s middle name.

NEW NAME ALERT! My great-grandfather Guy Sr., apparently was the youngest of three boys. Roscoe and Hubert, being the elder two. Roscoe! A nice hipster name. I approve. Roscoe means “From the Deer Forest.” Hubert, is a bit older sounding. It means a “bright mind or intelligence”, supposedly.

Here is where it gets . . .  different. Guy Sr.’s father was named Lyman. Lyman! We all hooted when we discovered this. My dad said it sounds a bit like a “Hillbilly name.” I told him it sounds like a (American) football name! As in Lyman the Lineman. This perked his interested, saying LymanLymanLyman. It is a fun sounding name meaning “From the Valley.” Lyman married . . . .  *cringes* Rosaltha. ROSALTHA! Did her parents despise her?! Why on earth would they do this to her, she is the only one in her family with such an odd name. She has a sister named Cora, brother John and Walter, her mother was Minerva (a popular for the time.) There is no excuse to name your daughter Rosaltha. It sounds like an herbal medicine. At least Rosaltha had the good sense to go by Rose for most of her life.

There are many names in my father’s family tree that were not carried down and with good reason! I would sooner mine my mother’s family tree or my soon to be husband’s family tree than to name than name my children Loca, Alma (common Spanish name, but this was named for someone who was as Anglo as could be, born in Oregon in the 1800s), Green, Perserved, Manley, Guy, or Rosaltha *shudders*. Can you tell, I have strong feelings about this?