Strange Names

Mostly just opinions - nothing that will tax our brains. :>)
Andrewpardoe1
Joined: 24 Jun 2012, 19:15

12 Jul 2012, 20:05 #1

Hello Everyone,
I thought I would like to share this with you. One of my female ancestors was supposedly named Sobieski Shaw, She was baptized 23rd November 1746 at Kingswinford Staffordshire. England.
Jan Sobieski was a 17th Century Catholic King of Poland best known for beating the Turks at Vienna in 1683. This name puzzled me for ages as it seamed so extroadinary I felt it must have been given for a reason yet what possible connection could there be between mid 18th Century Staffordshire and 17th Century Poland.
Eventuially I discovered that Jan Sobieski was supposed to have connections to James Stuart the young pretender. The name was used by Jacobites to signal their secret allegience.
If this is true then Sobieskis parent must have been determined supporters of the Stuart line as Jacobite revolt of 1745 was already defeated at the battle of Colluden when she was born.
Andrew Pardoe
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Totie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008, 13:54

17 Jul 2012, 02:14 #2

Reading you post, makes me realize how little I know of England's history. Sometimes we do have unusual names. I have a person, although her name is not unusual, but more of a why. Her name is America Terry born in 1835 in Virginia. Why America? I have no idea. Her family had been in America before the Revolution.
"These puzzles are from life, with all the ambiguity of life's complications. They are never so easy as to insult us." - Ruth L. Douthit
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Andrewpardoe1
Joined: 24 Jun 2012, 19:15

22 Jul 2012, 11:59 #3

Hello Tottie,
Did your family have any connection to Texas? The naming of your ancestor America could have had something todo with the Texan Revolution that started 2 Oct 1835. Texas seceded from Mexico and declared itself an independent Republic. There was a lot of sympathy for the Texans from the rest of the United States and many people wanted the United States to provide military assistance. The Texan Revolution was snuffed out after the battle of the Alamo in Feb 1836. Tensions remained though and the final status of Texan was only resolved after the Mexican American War of the 1840s.
It would be logical to assume that the name America was given as a patriotic gesture at this time.
Andrew
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Totie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008, 13:54

22 Jul 2012, 18:19 #4

One branch of the TERRY family did go to Texas, but I have not investiagated too much. This branch stayed in Virginia for several generations. The family did leave Virginia after the Civil War. There were more employment opportunities in Indiana. I believe that several other families moved with them to the same area in Indiana.



Since TERRY is not my direct line, I have not researched it in depth.



Please fill free to add any subject you feel we are lacking.



I know for myself, we do not have much on Austrialia. Which in it's self has a interesting history along with anything on England. I know that my family goes back to Germany, England, and perhaps Holland. I am stuck on many lines that stop at the late 1790's to early 1800's here in the US. So, tracing them to the mainland has been difficult, do to the lack of records or I just can not find them. Some of my lines were poor people, so they didn't file wills and such items. It makes it tricky to find them.
"These puzzles are from life, with all the ambiguity of life's complications. They are never so easy as to insult us." - Ruth L. Douthit
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Andrewpardoe1
Joined: 24 Jun 2012, 19:15

23 Jul 2012, 16:05 #5

Hello Tottie,
Sometimes to have very poor relations in England may not be a obsticle to research. Often their lives were meticulously logged in the poor law administration. from 1603 the parish was made responsible for poor relief. People had a right to claim relief from the place were born or the place they had residence. Sometimes it was necessary to establish which parish was responsible so people could be examined by the parish officers. Often accounts of these examinations survive and give considerable autobiographical details almost a potted personal history.
It would be interesting to know to what extent English law was applied in America before the revolution. There may be similar documentation.
Andrew
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hoosierbeth
Joined: 27 Oct 2008, 00:02

24 Jul 2012, 00:17 #6

I don't remember when studying history in school, too much of keeping track of the poor in America before the revolution. I think the churches took care of poor people, along with the other villagers. I will look that up and report back here with my findings.



Another idea...Most everyone was kept track in church records and court records. When I look for early records to apply for lineage socities, I find I am looking at baptismal/marriage/death records, along with tithing and reports on participation in the church. I also find myself looking into the court papers to see if land was transfered, guardianships, indentured service, or if anyone got into trouble.
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Totie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008, 13:54

24 Jul 2012, 20:56 #7

After reading Charles Woodmason's diary~Carolina Backcountry in the Eve of the American Revolution, I gained a better understanding HOW people did not make it into records.



Andrew, I don't know if this is true for Austrialia, but this is very possible for US researchers. If you made it over, not all ship manifest where recorded and saved, nor were all passengers listed.



If you were good at a hunting fishing and foraging off the land, it is very easy for you to disappear in the US prior to 1800 or any other time. You could survive, have a common law wife and unbaptised children. The problem during this time period is the lack of cash. You didn't necessary need assistance, but you did not generate an income. You may trade your skins, labor or any other skill for food, clothing, or other item.



In Woodmason's book, he encountered many people who were just "backcountry" folks. No money, but were able to live off the land and reproduce. Maybe their children or grandchildren started to make it in to the records, but for the first immigrant, maybe not.
"These puzzles are from life, with all the ambiguity of life's complications. They are never so easy as to insult us." - Ruth L. Douthit
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Totie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008, 13:54

24 Jul 2012, 21:00 #8

Plus, as we all know we have the notorious courthouse fires!!! Which can be tricky to work around. Such as the case can be made for my Poythress line.



They were in Petersburg, VA during the Civil War, Petersburg was under seize, so court records are lost...very hard to get pass this event for my branch.
"These puzzles are from life, with all the ambiguity of life's complications. They are never so easy as to insult us." - Ruth L. Douthit
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hoosierbeth
Joined: 27 Oct 2008, 00:02

25 Jul 2012, 03:29 #9

I agree with you Totie....most of our ancestors jumped off the boat when it came to shore and headed for the hills. They lived off the land and when civilization started to come out to their area, they moved further inland/highland.
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Andrewpardoe1
Joined: 24 Jun 2012, 19:15

25 Jul 2012, 19:39 #10

Hello Tottie,
It is very interesting to contrast British with American conditions prior to the 1770s. The UK even in the 1770s was very densely populated with very little spare land. Also I suspect with a single national church and strong local adminstration and amount of social control was much greater here in the U.K. I think it far more likely that ancestors would appear somewhere in the administrative record.
It may also be that the original American colonists were less conformist and more inclined to adventure. After all it takes a certain sort of person to up roots and sail 3000 miles across the Atlantic in a leaky wooden sailing ship!
I think the idea that many people just slipped through the net makes a lot of sense.
Incidently, I found some of the studies of the orriginal Jamestown colony very enlightening. Because there are conparatively few indiduals this community has been very extensively studied.It is possible to get a real feel for fabric of the community and how people interacted. i learned a real lesson about the importance of understanding the wider community if we wish to understand our own family history. I think in some ways communities were far more interconnected in past than they are now.
Andrew
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