Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Naming a New Baby

By Photographer "Roberts of Llandrindod Wells" [Public domain]
via Wikimedia Commons
Last Sunday was Grandparents Day.  What a perfect day for the christening of our youngest grandchild.  Along with all the holy and joyful moments shared with family members, I later pondered on two thoughts related to celebrating our family stories.

This newest grandchild carries the names of his father, a maternal Grandfather, and a paternal Great Grandfather.  He will grow up knowing his father and Grandfather, having his own stories to share of special times.  It will be through pictures and family stories that he will come to know his paternal GreatGrandfather.  If the rest of us do our part, this little one will come to know a skilled craftsman, sharer of family stories, and teller of country yarns, his GGrandfather Nelson.  He will get to know GGrandfather Nelson as a person, not just as the middle name on his birth certificate or another name on a family tree.

A few days prior to the family christening, I had been at the local university doing more rainy day research.  After looking for the books on my To Do List, I started browsing the shelves.  There in the stacks I saw a copy of The Registers of North Farnham Parish.(1)  The book contained transcriptions from the early 1700s 
of church records for births, marriages, and deaths in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia, home to many members of the Tarpley family.   

The Registers book provided me with additional documentation about a number of the Tarpley children.   There on one page were the names and birth dates of six of the eight children of my 6GreatGrandparents James Tarpley and Mary Camp Tarpley;  their other two children were listed on the following page.  For a number of these Tarpley children, this meant that I finally had day/month/year birth dates.

Children of James and Mary Tarpley, highlighted in red

Granted, these transcriptions of church registers are derivative documents, secondary sources, but they do provide a lot of family information.  I’m thankful that these old registers exist.  I'm thankful that someone took the time to transcribe them and publish them.  It ended up being yet another rainy day surprise for me.

(1)  Standford, George Harrison.  The Registers of North Farnham Parish 1663-1814 and Lunenburg Parish 1783-1800 Richmond County Virginia,  Fredricksburg, VA: George Harrison Sanford King, 1966.

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