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cheryl104Most of us have either sent or received a group text. Usually the reason is to get information to several people at once. The problem with a group text is that they usually start a series of group texts that, at some point will annoy at least one of the participants to the point that they ask that the group text move to another group that excludes them. Often this is because that participant is at work, or otherwise engaged, and the constant back and forth of a group text is interfering with whatever they are doing. While I understand the problems that group texts can cause, I have to say that such is not always the case.

In recent months, my sisters and I have carried on a series of group texts, that we all agree have been very fun. The texts might start as a way of passing information to the whole group, but before long, someone says something funny…usually teasing or picking on one of the other sisters, and the game is on. It’s all in good natured fun, and nobody gets upset, because we all know it’s just good natured fun, but then, that is the kind of relationship my sisters and I have. It is a blessing to be sure.

The texting often turns to teasing, as I said, and it is logical progression in our conversation, because after all, we have known each other all of our lives, and we have a lot of ammunition on each other. Good and bad ammunition. Nevertheless, our text play is never about seriously bad ammunition. We would rather tease about the goofy things we did as kids…with a little bit of “how did you manage to stay out of trouble, when I couldn’t” mixed in. Allyn Hadlock was the baby, and somehow never got into trouble…but then we all agree that she imagenever did anything to get into trouble either…hence the Polly Purebred comment. Alena Stevens was the curiously mischievous one, and always seemed to be mixing up some concoction designed to make a mess. The rest of us, Cheryl Masterson, Caryl Reed, and I fell somewhere in the middle, but I was probably more mischievous than the others…or at the very least, more sassy!!

I know that many people get upset with group texts, and I understand that, but my sisters and I always look forward to them. We have laughed and reminisced through all these, and it has been not only healing, but I think if it is possible, we are even closer to each other than we were before, and for sisters who have always been close, that’s really saying something. I know that many people would still say that group texts are annoying, and to them I would just have to say that maybe they are texting the wrong crowd. Group texting with my sisters is a new adventure every single time we do it.

Just MeCorrieAs I was working on my family history this week, I find myself, once again, running into brick walls. These walls were not created by the normal lack of information in Ancestry or any other source that I use, but rather too much information. How could that be, you might ask. Well the problem is that in my family as in many families, there are certain names that were well liked and used often. I realize that handing down a name is usually a show of love and respect for the person from whom the name originated, but in the Spencer family they went a little overboard. There are so many people with the same names, that it becomes totally confusing.

In one family whose dad is named Thomas, and the family had ten children, there would usually be a Thomas among the children. Now that makes sense to me, but when those ten children had children, invariably there would be one Thomas from each child. So now, you have a total of twelve Thomases is the family. If each of those ten grandsons names Thomas had ten children and had a Thomas among them, you would now have one hundred and two Thomases. If the next generation continues the tradition…well, you get the picture. It is a family that is overrun by Thomases. Now, add to that the fact that names like John, Robert, William, Allen, Thomas, Michael, and Christopher, were also names that were prevalent, and remembering this family’s love for passing down names, and you can see how hard it would be to find the right one, when you are looking for a specific connection.

No wonder my parents chose to give their children names like Cheryl (the least unusual name among us), Caryn, Caryl, Alena, and Allyn. While I have come across other Karen Spencers and other Caryns in general, I have yet to find another Caryn Spencer or Caryn Schulenberg. Now, I don’t say that it is impossible, and I realize that down the road a ways, there could be another, but it is rather unlikely. When I had children, I followed the tradition of my parents on my oldest, child, Corrie, but not on my youngest child, Amy. Still, with their last name being Schulenberg, I never found another one. They have both long since married, and their last names are a bit more common, so it is possible for them to find another Corrie Petersen (although probably not spelled the same) or Amy Royce (which I have found).

Corrie broke from tradition, and named her sons common names, Christopher and Joshua, but the last name spelling could still make it easier from an genealogy perspective, but Amy stayed with the tradition by naming her children Shai and Caalab. While Shai has found another person with a similar name, the last name was spelled Royes. She has found other Shais in general, because it is a more common name in Hebrew, but in her realm of the genealogy world, I doubt she will find another one, unless she passes the name down. Caalab will be hard pressed to find another one too, unless he passes down his name as well…simply because of the unique spelling of his name. There may be other Caleb Royces in this world, but probably not another Caalab Royce, unless he is a son or grandson of this Caalab.

I think that most of us, who have unusual names, really like that fact, because it makes us unique. And from a Shai's senior pictureCaalab and truckgenealogy standpoint, the future searchers for their family history will likely be grateful for those unusual names, because it is much harder to end up with the wrong one in your family tree. People don’t have to figure out which Thomas, Robert, or Christopher this one is. Periodically, I have wondered what it would be like to have a more common name like Karen Smith or something, but I have always decided that I really like my unusual name…both of them in fact. They are what makes me quite unique, and in the family tree, people know they have found me, because I am the only me that exists.

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