Sunday, November 09, 2008

Someone asked me about my ancestry

This morning, I was talking to my fellow "greeter" and she asked me about my ancestry, given my last name. That question got me thinking again about Matilda Lehman (not Lemon), who married a Beardsley in the 19th Century. Her son told the 1870 census taker that his mother was born in Holland. Other indications were that she was born in Ohio, but I can accept that she might have in fact been born in Holland, in the early 19th Century. What I have learned over the last few months was that the name Lehman was associated with Anabaptists in Germany and the Netherlands in the 17th Century.

The Beardsleys apparently had the custom of greeting men in the family by their middle name. My grandfather was called Moore. The president of Miles Laboratories, who thought of the idea for Alka Seltzer, was called Hub or Hubble, his middle name. He was my great-grandmother's brother. In the 1950's, there was a Beardsley man who they called Lehman, obviously his middle name. They pronounced it Lay-man, not Lee-mon. The name came from my ancestor, Matilda Lehman.

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