Today’s post comes from Jacque.
Recently I scrolled through the Social Security Administration list of popular names. I found a lot of Liams, Michaels, Benjamins, Emmas, Avas, and Fridas. Brittany and Tiffany are now parenting Liam and Ava. It is so interesting how names run from generation to generation. I found this in my own family tree during 3 generations of naming that stretched from 1718-1750’s.
During the early part of the pandemic, when we were socially distanced at home without end, sorted and scanned family history information which I have inherited from my mother and my grandfather’s cousin, Muriel, who gathered together some Civil War letters from her grandfather who fought in Sherman’s March to the Sea. She, at age 92 years, is his only living grandchild.
In her things I found a letter and application to join the DAR under the Patriot Christian Hamaker. A polite response from the DAR points out that there was no documentation for a Christian Hamaker. This must have been disappointing for Muriel, who wanted badly to join the DAR. Only a John was documented. HMMM, I thought, logging on to Ancestry.com to clarify. Yes, indeed, Christian fought, but with a name complication. Here is what I found. Johannes Adamus Hammacher emigrated to America in 1740, marrying Eva Marie Licht upon arriving. They produced 12 living children from 1743-1764. They were as follows:
Johannes Adam Hamaker
Anna Maria Hamaker
Maria Salome Hamaker
Maria Eve Hamaker
Johannes Henry Hamaker
Johannes David Hamaker
Johannes Abraham Hamaker
***Johannes Christian Hamaker –my direct ancestor
Johannes Isaac Hamaker
Johannes Samuel Hamaker
Johannes Phillip Hamaker
Do you see patterns here? Poor Elizabeth with no “Maria” listed must have felt left out. All eight sons fought, all were recorded as “Johannes” or “John” from in the same Pennsylvania Regiment from 1776-1783. It appears from the records that after one of them married and started farming or running a sawmill, the next brother would report for duty when the call was issued because the practice was that they travelled back and forth from home to the front as needed. I suspect that the oldest, Adam, fought the most since there were four daughters between him and the next son. Poor Muriel did not know this. I called her several years ago to discuss it, but she could no longer follow the conversation, which was sad. She did the family such a service by preserving a great deal of important family history.
In subsequent generations the last name is recorded as Hamaker, Hammaker, Haymaker, Hammacher, Hamacher. My three greats grandmother is listed as Nancy Ann Hammacher in an Iowa census. She then married Martin Klein. Kline. Cline. Only George Foreman who named all his children, George Forman, including the daughters, created more confusion.
Got some interesting family names? What names would you like to see come back into fashion? What names are you tired of?