Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fearless Females--Prompt #3--Name Game

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree. Thank you to Lisa over at The Accidental Genealogist for supplying a month's worth of prompts celebrating Women's History Month.

I was not named for anyone in my family tree. The Linda came from a popular song in 1947 and the Lee, probably because it went nicely with Linda. Although my paternal grandmother used to say, with a big smile on her face, the Lee is because you have ancestors from West "By God" Virginia. I guess that was a reference to Robert E. What I never understood was her reference...although he was a southerner, West Virginia did not consider itself a southern sympathizer.

I am choosing an unusual female name from my ancestry. BATHSHEBA Griffith Ferguson, my paternal gggggg (yes, 6th great) grandmother. Occasionally I see her name as Barsheba. She was born in 1739 to Samuel Griffith, Jr. and Anne Skinner in Calvert County, Maryland.

About 1755 she married John Ferguson in Prince Georges County, Maryland. The Fergusons had seven children and all but one removed to Monongalia County, (West) Virginia with their spouses.

Bathsheba died in 1800 in Monongalia County, (West) Virginia. I do have a copy of her will and also the disposition of her wordly goods following her death. The documents show that the Fergusons were plantation and slave owners, even in Monongalia County. They had a sizable piece of property and pages and pages of items to be disposed of following her death. My guess is that Bathsheba lived a pretty prosperous life and had plenty of servants to do her bidding.

I imagine that Bathsheba and her husband, John were buried in the old cemetery in Morgantown, West Virginia. Due to the expansion of the town and West Virginia University, many of those buried in that cemetery were removed to East Oak Grove. There are numerous old tombstones on the hill and less than half are readable. The Fergusons are probably among them.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

1 comment:

  1. My name came from Loretta Young, the actress and that is all I am going to say about that.
    I have Peronelle, Guillemette, Mathurine in my tree. Pretty unusual for us but probably not in France or early Quebec.