About a week ago I asked Chris if he minded a slight deviation from the potential baby names we came up with on our honeymoon. Less than a week after we got married, we compiled a list of six full baby names for our future children, and after almost three years we still like them very much. It's hard to go wrong with names like William, David, Molly, and Cate. However, who can resist Mehitable Drucilla and Ithamer Humphrey?
I figured it would be a hard sell to get him to agree, but if we changed Ithamer's middle name to Argyle, Chris said he would be happy. "Oh, and don't you think Drucilla is a better first name?" he asked. "Drucilla Mehitable. That sounds better."
"It sounds like an advertisement for vampiric child abuse," I said. "Drucilla looks too much like Dracula, and Mehitable sounds like me-hit-able. Just hit me now, please, Dracula."
And of course, no one on either side of our family would take issue with those names. I'm sure our parents and grandparents would love sweet little Drucilla and Ithamer just as much as baby Molly and William. They are, after all, good ancestral names.
A few days before my revelation to Chris, I signed up for a free trial subscription to http://www.ancestry.com. I've been told that tracing my grandmother's family is a complicated ordeal, and I can't let a puzzle go unsolved. So with a free trial and an itch for a good mystery, I found myself engrossed in centuries of ancestors long lost to the annals of time. The people I discovered may not have been thought of in decades or even centuries, but with the help of internet records and databases, I have found where Drucilla, Mehitable, Ithamer, and Humphrey belong in my family's past. Granted, we probably won't be naming our future children after any of them, but I know they existed, and that substantiates that I exist because of them.
So far, my research on Ancestry.com has proved true and accurate so far as we can gather. My grandfather has spent years delving into his family tree, and when he looked over my printouts on Sunday, he said they seem precisely like his. Isn't it amazing how a week of computer searches can gather almost as many facts as decades pouring over files by hand? So much work compiled right at our fingertips, but the names are flat without their stories. Perhaps I can piece a bit of their lives, my family's past, back together and find not just who they were but WHO they were.
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