Family Name History

I came across a Family Name History feature at a site called nameLab, so I decided to lookup a few surnames.

Americanized spelling of Dutch Van (der) Not, a habitational name for someone from a place called Ter Noot, for example one in French Flanders.

1. Dutch: habitational name from any of various minor places named with Middle Dutch ort ‘outermost point’.
2. Dutch: Alternatively, it may be from a misdivision of Van Noort, variant of Van Noord.

Dutch: topographic name for someone ‘from the north’ (Dutch noord) or habitational name from any of the places named with this word, in North Holland, Zeeland, and North Brabant.

English and Scottish: from Middle English derling, Old English dēorling ‘darling’, ‘beloved one’, a derivative of dēor ‘dear’, ‘beloved’ (see Dear 1). This was quite a common Old English byname, which remained current as a personal name into the 14th century. The surname probably derives at least in part from this use, probably in part also from a Middle English nickname.

Variant spelling of English Goodall.

1. English (chiefly Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire): habitational name from Gowdall in East Yorkshire, named from Old English golde ‘marigold’ + Old English halh ‘nook’, ‘recess’.
2. English (chiefly Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire): from Middle English gode ‘good’ + ale ‘ale’, ‘malt liquor’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a brewer or an innkeeper.

1. English (especially Yorkshire) and Scottish: occupational name for a fuller, Middle English walkere, Old English wealcere, an agent derivative of wealcan ‘to walk, tread’. This was the regular term for the occupation during the Middle Ages in western and northern England. Compare Fuller and Tucker.
2. The name was brought to North America from northern England and Scotland independently by many different bearers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Samuel Walker came to Lynn, MA, in about 1630; Philip Walker was in Rehoboth, MA, in or before 1643. The surname was also established in VA before 1650; a Thomas Walker, born in 1715 in King and Queen Co., VA, was a physician, soldier, and explorer.

1. English: probably an early variant of Doughty.
2. Edward Doty (c.1600–55) was one of the passengers on the Mayflower, a servant of Stephen Hopkins. He became comparatively wealthy and moved to Duxbury MA, where he left nine children.

English and Scottish (also established in Ireland, especially Dublin): nickname for a powerful or brave man, especially a champion jouster, from Middle English doughty, Old English dohtig, dyhtig ‘valiant’, ‘strong’.

1. Irish: variant spelling of Connor, now common in Scotland.
2. English: occupational name for an inspector of weights and measures, Middle English connere, cunnere ‘inspector’, an agent derivative of cun(nen) ‘to examine’.

Irish: reduced form of O’Connor, which is an Anglicization of Gaelic Ó Conchobhair ‘descendant of Conchobhar’. 

1. English: patronymic from Reynold.
2. Christopher Reynolds of Gravesend, Kent, England, arrived in America sometime before his marriage in 1644 in Isle of Wight Co., VA.

English: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ragin ‘counsel’ + wald ‘rule’, which was first introduced to England by Scandinavian settlers in the Old Norse form Rǫgnvaldr (see Ronald), and greatly reinforced after the Conquest by the Norman forms Reinald, Reynaud. The surname is occasionally also borne by Jews, in which case it presumably represents an Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.

1. English, Welsh, and northern Irish: variant of Bowell.
2. Irish: variant of Boyle.

Irish (Donegal): Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Baoithghill ‘descendant of Baoithgheall’, a personal name of uncertain meaning, perhaps from baoth ‘rash’ + geall ‘pledge’.

1. Welsh: variant of Powell (see Howell).
2. English (of Norman origin): habitational name from Bouelles in Seine Maritime, France, so named with Old Norman French boelle ‘enclosure’, ‘dwelling’.

1. Irish: reduced form of Shanahan.
2. Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Seanáin ‘descendant of Seanán’, a personal name based on a pet form of seán ‘old’.
3. Irish: in County Clare, a reduced Anglicized form of Mac Giolla tSeanáin ‘son of the servant of St. Seanán’. In the Irish midlands Leonard and Nugent have been adopted as equivalents of this name.

Irish (Munster): reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Seanacháin ‘descendant of Seanachán’, a diminutive of Seanach, a personal name from sean ‘ancient’, ‘old’.

1. German: topographic name from any of several swamps so named.
2. German: from the Low German and Frisian personal name Radde, a short form of any of the various Germanic personal names formed with rād, rāt ‘counsel’, ‘advice’, for example Radebert, Radebold.

English: habitational name from Tydd St. Mary in Lincolnshire or Tydd St. Giles in Cambridgeshire, named probably with an unattested Old English word, tydd ‘shrubs’, ‘brush’, ‘wood’.

English: habitational name from Northorpe in the former East Riding of Yorkshire, named with Old Norse norðr or Old English norþ ‘north’ + þorp or þrop ‘dependent outlying farmstead’, ‘hamlet’.

1. English: occupational name for a gamekeeper employed in a medieval park, from an agent derivative of Middle English parc ‘park’ (see Park 1). This surname is also found in Ireland.
2. Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish names.

1. English, Scottish, and Irish: from an Anglo-Scandinavian form of the Gaelic name Niall (see Neill). This was adopted by the Scandinavians in the form Njal and was introduced into northern England and East Anglia by them, rather than being taken directly from Gaelic. It was reinforced after the Norman Conquest by the Anglo-Norman French and Middle English forms Neel, Nihel, and Nigel, which were brought to England by the Normans.
2. Scottish and Irish: reduced form of McNeal (see McNeil). 

German (also Höh): topographic name or nickname from Middle High German hōch, hō ‘high’ (see Hoch).
Chinese: variant of Hu.

1. Scottish and English: topographic name for someone who lived by an enclosure, Middle English hay(e), heye (Old English (ge)hæg, which after the Norman Conquest became confused with the related Old French term haye ‘hedge’, of Germanic origin). Alternatively, it may be a habitational name from any of various places named with this word, including Les Hays and La Haye in Normandy. The Old French and Middle English word was used in particular to denote an enclosed forest. Compare Haywood. This name was taken to Ireland (County Wexford) by the Normans.
2. Scottish and English: nickname for a tall man, from Middle English hay, hey ‘tall’, ‘high’ (Old English hēah).
3. Scottish and English: from the medieval personal name Hay, which represented in part the Old English byname Hēah ‘tall’, in part a short form of the various compound names with the first element hēah ‘high’.
4. French: topographic name from a masculine form of Old French haye ‘hedge’, or a habitational name from Les Hays, Jura, or Le Hay, Seine-Maritime.
5. Spanish: topographic name from haya ‘beech tree’ (ultimately derived from Latin fagus).
6. German: occupational name from Middle High German heie ‘guardian’, ‘custodian’ (see Hayer).
7. Dutch and Frisian: variant of Haye 1.
8. The surname Hay is particularly common in Scotland, where it has been established since 1160. The principal family of the name are of Norman origin; they trace their descent from William de la Haye, who was butler of Scotland in the reign of Malcolm IV (1153–65). They hold the titles marquess of Tweeddale, earl of Kinnoul, and earl of Erroll. The earl of Erroll also holds the hereditary office of constable of Scotland, first bestowed on the family by Robert I in 1314.

English, Welsh, French, South Indian, etc.: from the personal name George, Greek Geōrgios, from an adjectival form, geōrgios ‘rustic’, of geōrgos ‘farmer’. This became established as a personal name in classical times through its association with the fashion for pastoral poetry. Its popularity in western Europe increased at the time of the Crusades, which brought greater contact with the Orthodox Church, in which several saints and martyrs of this name are venerated, in particular a saint believed to have been martyred at Nicomedia in ad 303, who, however, is at best a shadowy figure historically. Nevertheless, by the end of the Middle Ages St. George had become associated with an unhistorical legend of dragon-slaying exploits, which caught the popular imagination throughout Europe, and he came to be considered the patron saint of England among other places.

1. English: nickname from Middle English chitte ‘pup’, ‘cub’, ‘young (of an animal)’ (apparently related to Old English cī{dh} ‘shoot’, ‘sprout’).
2. English: habitational name from a place named Chitty in the parish of Chislet, Kent, named from an Old English personal name Citta + ēg ‘island’, ‘dry ground in marsh’.
3. Possibly an Americanized form of German Schütte (see Schutte).

1. English and Scottish: extremely common and widely distributed topographic name for someone who lived on or by a hill, Middle English hill (Old English hyll).
2. English: from the medieval personal name Hill, a short form of Hilary (see Hillary) or of a Germanic (male or female) compound name with the first element hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’.
3. German: from a short form of Hildebrand or any of a variety of other names, male and female, containing Germanic hild as the first element.
4. Jewish (American): Anglicized form of various Jewish names of similar sound or meaning.
5. English translation of Finnish Mäki (‘hill’), or of any of various other names formed with this element, such as Mäkinen, Heinämaki, Kivimäki.

1. English: variant spelling of Bellow.
2. German: habitational name from any of three places in Mecklenburg named Below.
3. Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic) and Russian: variant of Beloff.



Stephen Cannell (1941-2010)


Stephen J. Cannell and James Garner on the set of Rockford.
Stephen J. Cannell and James Garner on the set of Rockford.

Stephen Cannell, producer of so many television shows including The A-Team and The Rockford Files, died yesterday.

Cannell, who struggled with dyslexia at school, wrote hundreds of episodes for television shows in the 1970s and 1980s and created the character of private investigator Jim Rockford.

Cannell helped created nearly 40 series including Baretta, The Greatest American Hero, Hardcastle and McCormick, 21 Jump Street and Wiseguy.

I loved watching, mostly in re-runs, The Greatest American Hero with Robert Culp and William Katt, Hardcastle and McCormick with Brian Keith, Hunter, and Rockford. I still watch Rockford and The A-Team on Hulu.


Sjoelen & Sjoelbak: Dutch Shuffleboard

A sjoelen board is called a sjoelbak.
A sjoelen board is called a sjoelbak.

While at Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel, I came across some folks selling a Dutch shuffleboard game. They call it sjoelbak, but technically-speaking this word refers to the board itself, according to Wikipedia. The game is known as sjoelen.

A sjoelen board is called a sjoelbak. It features four scoring boxes, the value of each denoted by the number of dots or tacks above each box’s entrance.


Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War

Newton D. Baker was Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921. He served during a critical period in American history: World War I.

He has been described as a Wilsonian idealist, supporting America’s participation in the League of Nations and the World Court. He had been mayor of Cleveland, from 1912 until 1916.

Baker . . . played an important role in Woodrow Wilson’s nomination in the Democratic National Convention of 1912 . . .”

President Woodrow Wilson asked him to join his cabinet as Secretary of the Interior. Baker refused for some reason. Wilson apparently really wanted him in his inner circle. He selected him for Secretary of War, and Baker accepted.

Baker made an interesting choice for Secretary of War, as he had previously been known as a pacifist. His time as Secretary of War proved to be a significant time in American history. Baker sent an American expedition to Mexico to capture the Mexican outlaw Pancho Villa in 1916, and he chaired the Council of Defense with its role of preparing the United States for potential involvement in World War I. As secretary, Baker appointed General John Pershing to command the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I.”

Historian Robert H. Ferrell has criticized Baker as unqualified and Wilson for selecting loyalists for his cabinet rather than the right men for the job.

Ironically, Baker implemented policies he had previously personally opposed.

Although he was, as he himself said, so much of a pacifist that ‘he would fight for peace,’ he soon submitted to Congress a plan for universal military conscription, and he efficiently presided over the mobilization of more than four million men during World War I.”

Baker visited the 42nd Division while in training at Camp Mills on Long Island and also while the men were serving in France. Both occasions were reported in the press at the time, including accounts in The New York Times.

BAKER WILL REVIEW RAINBOW DIVISION; Secretary of War is Scheduled to Arrive at Camp Mills This Morning. 27,000 MEN WILL MARCH Army Aviators from the Mineola Training Camp Will Take Part in the Program.

CAMP MILLS, MINEOLA, Sept. 22.– Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, accompanied by several officers of the General Staff, will arrive at Camp Mills tomorrow morning to review the Rainbow Division of the army . . .”

BAKER REVIEWS RAINBOW DIVISION; Sees 27,000 Reorganized and Hardened Guardsmen Ready for Final Training. MANY STATES REPRESENTED Secretary Calls Them a CrossSection of America and Proof of Our Unity. Gayety of Peace Parades Gone. BANKER REVIEWS RAINBOW DIVISION 3,700 Men Pass in Sixteen Minutes. Sure a Fine Stride. French Mortar Men of Maryland. A Cross-section of the Union. BAKER VISITS CAMP UPTON. Secretary Surprised at Progress and Magnitude of the Work.

CAMP MILLS, near Mineola, Sept 23.– America’s already famous ” Rainbow Division, drawn from twenty-six States and the District of Columbia, which, as Secretary of War Newton D. Baker expressed it this afternoon, is representative in the noblest sense of that word of the unity of the American… 

While in France, Secretary Baker visited the 42nd Division again.

BAKER IN FRANCE ON NEW MISSION; Secretary, Who Left Secretly, Is Expected to Take Up Aircraft Situation. J.D. RYAN ACCOMPANIES HIM Others in Party Are Surgeon General Gorgas and Brig. Gen. F.T. Hines. Official Statement Issued. Ryan’s New Duties. BAKER IN FRANCE ON NEW MISSION

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8.–Secretary of War Baker has arrived in France on a second mission in connection with the affairs of the American Expeditionary Force.

BAKER HEARTENS FRENCH PEOPLE; Says “We Are Committed with All Our Resources to Winning of the War.” OFF FOR AMERICAN FRONT Secretary Sees Poincare, Joffre, and Clemenceau–Two Submarine Alarms on Voyage. Poses for a Flashlight. Baker Issues a Statement. BAKER HEARTENS FRENCH PEOPLE Joffre Calls on Secretary. French Press Cordial.

PARIS, March 11.–Secretary Baker has made a most favorable impression on the French press, whose representatives he received this afternoon with American and British correspondents.

BAKER CONCLUDES VISIT TO WAR ZONE; Cover’s Many Miles by Automobile, Visiting Our TroopsWherever Billeted.GETS A GLIMPSE OF VERDUNReviews Brigade of Veterans in theRain–Visits Joan’s Birthplace.

WITH THE AMERICAN ARMY IN FRANCE, March 20, (Associated Press.) –Secretary of War Baker today concluded his visit of inspection to the American military zones in France with a trip which took him from the Verdun sector to Great Headquarters, and included a review of one brigade of the …

BAKER IN PARIS, MET BY PERSHING; No Submarines Sighted on the Secretary’s Uneventful Voyage to France.MAY ACT TO SPEED UP WAR Washington Expects Him to Report on Problem of Priority inShipments Abroad.

PARIS, March 11.–Newton D. Baker, the American Secretary of War, arrived in Paris this morning. He was received by General Pershing, General Tasker H. Bliss, the American Chief of Staff, by French officers representing Premier Clemenceau, and by Ambassador Sharp.

‘PRESS ON,’ WAS BAKER’S FINAL CALL TO ARMY; Quitting, France, He Promised to Speed Forward the Remainder of Our Forces. Commends Men on Acteon.

WITH THE AMERICAN ARMY IN FRANCE, April 18.–(Associated Press.) –General Pershing today made public a letter dated France, April 7, sent by Secretary of War Baker to the officers and men of the American Expeditionary Forces:

PERSHING URGED TRIP.; President’s Correspondence with Baker on Visit to France Published.

WASHINGTON, March 12.–Secretary Baker’s letter to President Wilson asking for permission to absent himself from his office long enough to make an inspection trip of the American expeditionary forces in France and a visit to London and Paris was made public here today, together with the President’s reply granting his request. The Secretary’s letter follows: My Dear Mr. President:

BAKER AT FRONT; SHELL FALLS NEAR; Secretary Enters the Front Lines and Peers Into No Man’s Land. TALKS WITH PRIVATES Later He Makes an Address to the Soldiers of the Rainbow Division. Insists on Going to the Trenches. Baker Wears a Gas Mask. BAKER AT FRONT; SHELL FALLS NEAR “On the Frontier of Freedom.” Visits Captain Archic Roosevelt.

WITH THE AMERICAN ARMY IN FRANCE, March 20, (Associated Press.) –Secretary Baker has had his baptism of fire in the front-line trenches, and while he was returning from them a German shell burst within less than fifty yards of his motor car. He was not injured.

Baker’s Gift to Mrs. MacArthur.

VICTORY TALK IN BOOK BY SECRETARY BAKER; Cabinet Member’s Departure from Pacifism Indicated by Speeches Just Collected Into a Volume.

UNDER the title of “Frontiers of Freedom,” the principal addresses of Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, have just been published in book form by the George H. Doran Company.


The 123rd Illinois Infantry

John T. Wilder
John T. Wilder of the 123rd

One of the last classes I was required to take to complete my two Associate degrees was a writing requirement focused on research, one of my strengths. I decided to write a paper on the 123rd Illinois Infantry.

My ancestor John Green Parker was a private in Company F of the 123rd. Sadly I have neglected him and the story of the 123rd for awhile. But there’s way too much material out there for me to sit idly by, so I’ll be posting my notes on this unit and the men.

One of the most interesting of the immediate commanders of the 123rd was John T. Wilder. At some point the outfit was dubbed Wilder’s Lightning Brigade. Wilder’s letters have been preserved at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, including his wartime ones.

Camp near Corinth Apr. 29th 1862

Dear Wife

I received your letter last night, was sorry to hear you had been sick, and little Mary too, do take good care of yourself, and the “babies.” We are moving slowly towards Corinth. The rebels are falling back, as we advance, a great many deserters come into our lines, all say that their army is very much demoralized.

We are about 10 miles from Corinth, have to make timber or “Corduroy” roads as we go. Gen. Pope is here with about 25000 men. We now have a far larger army than the rebels. I am perfectly satisfied with your renting the shop, be careful that the school children do not get into the lot and destroy the trees and vines. Have everything well taken care of. I think I shall not soldier longer than through the spring campaign. Col Hascall has been confirmed as Brigadier General. I suppose I will be commissioned Col. now. Write me at Pittsburgh landing Tenn. I must close as it is late, and I am very tired. I would like, little George to go with George Anderson to live. I think it would be best for both. No more. Your loving Husband

J. T. Wilder


50 Years Ago Today: The First Nixon-JFK Debate

Kennedy and Nixon enjoying a moment
Kennedy and Nixon enjoying a moment

Fifty years ago this evening, nearly half the nation, 80 million Americans, watched Vice President Richard Nixon face off against Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy in the first nationally televised presidential debate. The entire debate is available online. The Nixon Foundation has commentary and background on the historic, trend-setting event on its site.


Brigadier General Robert A. Brown

A worker at the Research Center of the National WWI Museum sent me some material on Brigadier General Robert A. Brown and his service during the Great War, which I am including here in full. I wrote about him a bit in a previous post.

Robert A. Brown, BG
Biographical Information

BG Brown was a Regular Army officer (West Point, 1884 (Cooke, p 132) or 1885 (Ferrell, p. 46)) who “had served as an officer in a number of cavalry regiments, including the famous 7th Regiment in 1891.” (Cooke, p. 132) A Regular Army colonel, he was his promoted to Brigadier General in the National Army on 5 August 1917.

The 42nd Division was a composite organization made up of National Guard units from many states to include the 167th (Alabama) Infantry, the 168th (Iowa) Infantry and the 151st (Georgia) MG Battalion, which made up the 84th Infantry Brigade. When initially organized for combat, The 42nd was commanded by MG William Mann (later replaced by MG Charles Menoher). Other key members of the division were BG Michael Lenihan, commander of the 83rd Infantry Brigade, and Colonel Douglas MacArthur, Chief of Staff.

Because of the structure of the 42nd, there were significant political influences. Pershing had wanted to break up the unit to use as replacements, but was forced to keep it intact as the reserve division for I Corps. This led to the replacement of Mann with Menoher in December 1917, shortly after the division arrived in France. By February of 1918, the division was no where near combat ready, and only the 84th Brigade, under BG Brown, appeared to even be on the road to readiness. By 20 March 1918, as the division began its forward deployment, the 84th Brigade was considered to be significantly more capable that the 83rd, having more men and more medical, engineer and ammunition units.

The 42nd first became involved in combat operations in July at the Champagne-Marne Defensive. By the end of that battle (17 July), BG Brown seemed overly tired, and the officers in the brigade began to express concern among themselves as to his ability to command. He had been unable to sleep for several days and had become more and more agitated as the fight progressed (Cooke, p.118). The division reached the Ourcq River on 27 July, but was unable to cross. The whole brigade seemed to have become hesitant and unresponsive (Cooke, p.125). On 28 July, the 84th crossed the Ourcq and occupied their objective. In spite of this, MG Menoher began receiving frantic messages from BG Brown telling him that the 84th (which had been considered the division’s best) would soon be incapable of offensive action (Cooke, p. 126).

On 30 July, the 42nd Division HQ became aware that something had gone dreadfully wrong with their offensive operations because the 51st Artillery Brigade failed to provide the expected support to the division. The problem was traced directly to orders given by BG Brown. Brown received a report from the 167th Regiment that the trenches which the 168th was approaching were occupied by Americans. The 168th reported that the trenches were occupied by German machine gunners. Brown ordered the 51st to cease firing, even though BD Dwight Aultman, commander of the 51st Artillery, protested the order. Brown’s decision making came into question, since he based it on the report of the 167th, rather than the commander directly involved in the fight (Cooke, p. 128-9). This probably led to his relief, since MG Menoher had been constantly prodding Brown to move his units, and was no doubt growing concerned over constant reports of low morale and confusion in what had once been his best brigade (Cooke, p. 130).

On 2 August, Menoher began the formal process for relieving Brown of his command, and replacing him with Colonel McArthur (who would be promoted to BG on the effective date of the order). The order came out on 8 August, and although Brown contested his removal, the results of the hearing confirmed that he had not been able to handle the strain. BG Lenihan, commanding the 83rd Brigade, had seen similar action within the 42nd, but did not manifest similar behavior. On 5 September, Pershing had Brown officially reduced to Colonel and sent back to the US (Cooke, p.133).

Recently, in 2008, Robert H. Ferrell, Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, has dissented with the view that Brown was overwhelmed, out of touch, and lacked the support of his junior officers. His reading of the testimony at Brown’s hearing is that Brown had a close reading and understanding of the condition of his men. Ferrell quotes at length testimony of Colonel Screws of the 167th Alabama that he had seen Brown acting efficiently, that Brown was no more exhausted than were his men, and that he, Screws, had himself recommended that the regiments be relieved (Ferrell, pp. 84-85.) On 3 August the 42nd division was relieved and sent for a short rest, corroborating Brown’s position that the troops were in need of relief.

Cooke, James J., The Rainbow Division in the Great War, Praeger Publishers, 1994.
Ferrell, Robert H., The Question of MacArthur’s Reputation: Cote de Chatillon, October 14-16, 1918, University of Missouri Press, 2008.

A retired lieutenant colonel from the Army Reserves sent me some dates related to him.

According to the Army Almanac, The Stackpole Company, 1959, Harrisburg, PA, this general officer was promoted to BG, USA on 5 August 1917, and was separated from the service on 7 November 1923 (by retirement, death, resignation, or other cause.)