52 Ancestors, 52 Weeks – week 6

what's in a name jpg

THEME of the week: What’s in a NAME?

At least once, you’ve probably thought a lot about your name – looked up it’s meaning, where it’s from, and so on.  (Rachel is Hebrew/biblical, meaning “ewe.”  My mother is not around to ask why they chose this name for me, but my guess is that since I was the first grandchild on both sides – and being a Catholic family – Rachel fit the pattern.  My dad’s side had all the Catholic names: James, Joseph, Mary, Richard, Charles, Cecilia, Martha, Margaret, and John (yes aunts and uncles – I did not put them in order on purpose….).

If you have children, more than likely you have considered many of names for your family’s next generation from too many options:  family name, best friend, name you have saved for years (I have a friend who mentioned once to me what her daughter’s name was going to be when she had one – and we were in 7th grade)!  There are even those whom have taken names from favorite singers, actors (or their character from the movie), and of course, books!  There’s no end to ideas. (I’d love to hear if someone has heard of random way that someone they knew where they got a unique name from – I love these stories!)

So, back on task.  I actually have two favorite names – one I found by accident –  and the other I have had as a favorite for years.

I came across this one in my family tree:  Jasper.

Jasper Crane had both a son and grandson named Azariah (another great name you don’t hear very often).  From my records, Jasper was born 8 July 1599 in Middlesex, England.  I don’t have any info regarding his marriage, but at the time of his death, he had settled in New Haven, Connecticut.  He apparently helped to establish Newark, New Jersey (without saying for sure if the existing New Jersey boundary was the current one or Newark was included in a different state).  Was he a kind man, what was his education, and the reasons why he came to the United States?  

One of the interesting things about Jasper: there are so many variations in multiple languages:  (taken from http://www.behindthename.com).

VARIANTS: CasperKasper (Dutch)CasparGaspar (Judeo-Christian Legend)
DIMINUTIVE: Cas (Dutch)
OTHER LANGUAGES/CULTURES: CasperJesperKasper (Danish)Gaspard (French)Kaspar 
(German)GáspárGazsi (Hungarian)GaspareGasparo (Italian)Kaspars (Latvian)
Kasparas (Lithuanian)CasperKasper (Norwegian)Kacper (Polish)
Gaspar (Portuguese)Gašper (Slovene)Gaspar (Spanish)CasperKasper (Swedish)
My other favorite name:  Saul
I have loved this name ever since I heard it – it is also my maternal Great-grandfather’s name: Saul Begnaud.  (there is no shortage of great names – there’s a Sarazin Trahan, too!)  What I would wish for though, is to hear it spoken in my ancestors’ native tongue – Acadian French.  We can anglicize it because we don’t know how it’s pronounced – but to hear someone’s name as it was intended to be spoken, now that would be fabulous!  (My Cajun cousins have the neatest accents, I could listen to them all day!)  
I know that he was born in 1891 and lived most of his life between Scott, Louisiana and Port Arthur, Texas, but I would love to know more about the man behind the name.  
So, I’m going to leave it at that, and continue researching more…. about Newark, about Louisiana, about Jasper and Saul, trying to find more info about the people behind the names I love.
Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

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