Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fearless Females: Sally, Meet Sally

Today's "Fearless Female" blog prompt at The Accidental Genealogist asks if there is a particular ancestor you were named for, or if you have interesting and unique female names in your tree.

My given name is Sally. It wasn't short for a name like Sarah or Sylvia. It's just plain Sally. As a kid, I didn't like it very well because it was just too unique and pretty old-fashioned. As an adult, I love it because it is unique! Thanks Mom and Dad.

If I was named after someone, it wasn't knowingly. I worked on my mom's Spencer line in Michigan when I was fortunate to live there for a few years. One afternoon, I had enough time to visit the famous (to me) Rowley Cemetery in Locke Township outside Lansing. As I drove into the u-shaped drive of the rural cemetery, it felt like a homecoming. In about three seconds, I spotted several Spencer stones. I knew my great-grandfather and his parents were buried here. I also found the next generation: my great-great-great grandparents. I sensed that he was probably the Wright Spencer I had found on some family papers, but I knew nothing of his wife. There on the white tower gravestone I saw:

wife of 
Mar. 9, 1895
75 Yrs 5 Ms & 24 Ds
1811 - 1899

That hit me like a ton of bricks and I probably did my first cemetery happy dance! Hello Sally, it is nice to meet you. From that point on, I knew my family's genealogy was my calling.

© 2013 Sally Knudsen


  1. So you were named for your 3 x great grandmother! That's a wonderful discovery to make, and I'm glad the name stayed in the family.

    I like the name. To me it suggests someone bold, carefree, and ready to voice her own opinion.

    1. I wasn't! No one knew there was a Sally until I was in that cemetery :) More genealogy serendipity!

  2. That's an awesome story....some people consider themselves "Old Souls" because the are fond of things past and actually believe they lived before, in another era. What are your thoughts and feelings?

    1. Thanks! I certainly feel a connection to my past family. Learning about them and putting family in a historical context is something I love to do.

  3. It is fortunate that her stone is still in such great shape. A great story!