Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What's in a name?

So yesterday was All Saint's Day and that made me remember the time in fourth grade when we had an assignment to look up our patron saints and write a short report about them. As there is no Saint Amanda (there should be!), I had to get a bit creative and ended up with St. Amandus... Well, he may have done great things, but I didn't really like the idea that I was named after a BOY saint!! That ruined the project for me right there.

Truly, I wasn't named after St. Amandus. I was named after my Great-great Grandmother, Amanda, who married my great-grandfather Peter in 1893 (that's who my dad was named after). Peter and Amanda lived in Iowa and had a whole slew of children (and please believe me when I say that I mean that in the most respectful way), one of whom was my Great-grandfather. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly before I was born, so I have never met him or my namesake, who died in 1946. I wish I knew more about her. My grandmother (the baby in the photo at the bottom), was the historian of the family. She died in 1996, and since then I have done my best to pick up where she left off (let me tell you, she left some BIG shoes to fill, I'll be lucky if I even come close). I've done some family genealogy and I hope that one day when I'm rooting though boxes in the attic, I'll find a little something about the life of the Amanda I was named after. Until then, I will content myself with looking through old pictures and imagining what life must have been like in those days... raising 9 children before electricity and public plumbing, before advances in health care, transportation, and communication... she must have been a strong woman... and I'm proud say I was named after her. Peter and Amanda (center and right of center) and their children.

A four-generation photo of my namesake, Amanda, her mother, my great-grandfather Nick and my grandmother Carmella as a bitty baby.

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