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:


SALLY J.
wife of 
WRIGHT SPENCER
died
Mar. 9, 1895
Aged
75 Yrs 5 Ms & 24 Ds
---
WRIGHT SPENCER
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


5 comments:

  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.

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

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  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?

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    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.

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

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