Its all in the Name!

-        The Use of Surnames as Middle Names; Their Significance as Evidence in Genealogical Research     

-        The importance of recognizing middle names that have the look of surnames, or have evidence of presenting a pattern of being passed down through generations.                 

Surnames.  Middle Names.  Surnames as Middle Names?  

A very common occurance, especially when researching older generations of families.  Take for instance the names "Vinton" and "Knowlton".

Both Vinton and Knowlton have long histories as a prominent surname, here in the United States and in Canada, as well as in England and Continental Europe, dating back hundreds of years!  Yet, in my husband's family both names have been passed down for generations as a middle name.  And, as far as "Vinton" goes, this "passing down" tradition has been going on for so long that no-one really knows who started it, or whom it was named after (or from?).  Knowlton has been quite a bit easier to trace.  Vinton, however, is elusive.  Yet, we continue the tradition, to honour those most recent generations.  Our middle daughter recently had a son, who was christened with the middle name of Vinton....as was her father (my husband)...and his father before him....AND his grandfather....AND his great-grandfather...and so on.  

This surname, Vinton, then becomes quite valuable when tasking oneself with family genealogical research, by providing very obvious clues which very often go un-noticed and overlooked.  The researcher, if inexperienced, might overlook connections such as these, which can prove invaluable at proving connections, sometimes generations back.

...more discussion on this very interesting topic forthcoming.

Welcome to Writers Block!

For centuries past, found in the center of villages, towns, and cities, was a "block".  It may have been made of stone or of wood.  It may have even had steps to climb upward.  No matter what its material contruction, its purpose was to serve the citizen, educated or not, rich or poor, in many centres it was open to all for use.  That use being to voice their opinion, shout out their greivance, cry out verbal alerts, rant, read, inspire, share a vision, and, yes, even to educate the populace.  Agreed, not all civilizations tolerated such a thing, at least not always.  But, the blocks were always around, some high up, some at ground level.  Some out in the open, some hidden except to those in the know.   Herein then lies our quest.  To provide a block from which perspectives and prospectus of history and genealogical studies might be shared.  Not on a wood step.  Not from the top of a hewn out block of stone, or a boulder in the highlands.  Not from the marble steps of the Partheneon.  But from an e-block!  Ponder how far we have come and how our blocks have mutated and morphed from wood and stone, to binary and electrical pulses!  Who would have, who could have thought this, back then

Appleton's Pulpit

Appleton's Pulpit, herein seen,

is an historic landmark in Saugus, Massachusetts,

where, in 1687, Samuel Appleton is said to have made a speech

denouncing the tyrannical rule of then Governor Sir Edmond Andros.  

The plaque thereon reads:

APPLETON'S PULPIT

IN SEPTEMBER 1687 FROM

THIS ROCK TRADITION

ASSERTS THAT RESISTING

THE TYRANNY OF SIR EDMUND

ANDROS MAJOR SAMUEL

APPLETON OF IPSWICH SPOKE

TO THE PEOPLE IN BEHALF OF

THOSE PRINCIPALS WHICH

LATER WERE EMBODIED IN

THE DECLARATION OF

INDEPENDENCE.