December 8, 2011

My Parents Did Name Me Carolyn



     The Daily Post at provides daily prompts. Their November 17, 2011(Topic #310) was: If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

Further questions were:

  • If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
  • Do you feel like your name matches your personality?
  • If you don’t feel your name matches your personality, what first name would better match who you are?


     I like the moniker my parents gave me. Carolyn. It is unique to my paternal and maternal families. Being thus, it allows me to break with the dysfunctional traditions passed down through the generations.

     On the other hand…since doing family genealogy I’ve discovered it be nice to have a family name, a connectedness.

     Thus, there are advantages to both a unique and a family name—a chance to make a new start or a family connectedness.

     Thus, if I had to choose my first name I would choose Isabelle Victoria. My maternal grandmother was Mae Isabelle, while my paternal grandmother (a Swedish immigrant) was Ida Victoria.

     However, when I needed to use a pen name, I chose Rebecca Victoria. I like the rhythmic sound of that name.


     Since tomorrow is my birthday this was the perfect time to post this prompt.

     When I questioned my mother about the source of my first name, she could only remember it was the name of a character in a book. I’ve tried to discover a book with a character of that name that was around in the early 1940s, but have been unsuccessful. If any of my readers can identify such a book, let me know in the comment box below.


     Throughout my school years I never had a classmate with the first name Carolyn.

     However….I may be wrong. In reviewing the 1961 alumni list of Portsmouth (N. H.) graduates there was a Carolyn. Had I remained in that city instead of moving to Buffalo, New York, I would have had a classmate with the same first name.

     Did this alumnus attend grades kindergarden to sixth grade at Whipple Elementary School in Portsmouth? If so, we were classmates. If not, my statement remains true. Personally, I do not recall this student. 


     I have no idea where my middle name, Virginia, originated. Nothing like it appears in any of the family genealogies.

     I was a college student when I wed, and the administration advised me to keep my maiden name as a middle name, which I did. The name Virginia, therefore, went by the wayside to be replaced by Cornell.

     The Cornell name goes back to about 1625. I carried it all those generations.

     When possible, I purchase clothing items from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York (founded by Ezra Cornell). I avoid items with the word university on it.

     I’m occasionally asked if I attended Cornell University, since I wear their outfits.

     “Kind of,” I respond—I’ve only been on the campus once. “I graduated from the Cornell University of Hard Knocks—my maiden name was Cornell.”


     On October 26 I created a post that told a story using the letters of my name, my entire name: A Story Using The Letters in My Name. Quite a fun exercise. The link is below.



A Story Using The Letters in My Name


26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter C

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter H


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: