52 Ancestors – Week 3 – Unusual Name

Last year for 52 ancestors there was a post about unusual or Favorite names and I wrote about Bezaleel Wood.

When looking at my family and the names none of them seem particularly unusual. Maybe that is because my first name is Chiara. It is a family name, as I am named after my grandmother, who in turn as per family stories was named after a princess.

As I look at my family tree the thing that draws me is the use of maiden names or surnames as middle names. My great uncle was named Leslie Winchester Witherwax. Winchester was his grandfather’s (Leslie Winchester Beardsley) middle name and it  was his mother’s, (Minerva Winchester),  maiden name from what I have found. I have not been able to garner much information about Minerva but am hopeful.

Dorcas Winchell Coolidge, my 2X Great Grandmother was the daughter of Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge who was the son of Obadiah Coolidge and Sarah Knowlton and grandson of Benjamin Knowlton. I do not know where Winchell came from but it will be fun to unravel that one eventually.

My dad’s family has a couple of fun stories about his Mom and her siblings. I just told you, I am named after my grandma and she was named after a princess, supposedly there was a European Princess named Chiara Doralda. Haven’t researched that yet but it will probably be fun to go down that rabbit hole. Her siblings were also supposed to be named after various European leaders. I haven’t proved or disproved that story but I have to shake my head a bit with that one. Maybe I will send away for all the birth certificates of those born in NY in the early 20th century. I feel a project coming on.

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