Friday, August 27, 2010

Notes on a name

It has been a bit of time between posts.  As summer draws to a close, I have been busy with visitors, repairing the back deck and simply trying to balance work, chemo and all of life's many other aspects. 

I received an email from a friend inquiring about my 'real' name.  It is confusing.  When I was born, as the first child, I was a compromise baby, named for both grandmothers:  Helen and Regina. 

Helen Regina and Barbara Jean, Denver, 1955

Helen, my father's mother, got pride of place but my mother insisted that I be called "Gina" a diminutive of Regina, her mother.

Helen Fauster Cullen             Regina Werner Holst

It makes it difficult when you inform your teachers every first day of school that, no, you do not go by "Helen" but rather "Gina."  By the time I graduated from law school, I decided that Regina sounded more formal and lawyer like and went with my full second name.  Friends from my early years know me as "Gina" while those in Seattle know me as "Regina." 

It turns out that I was not the first compromise baby.  My Aunt Caralou was named for her two grandmothers:  Cara Murbach and Lulu Huston Cullen. 

Caralou Cullen Chapman

I don't know much about Lulu Cullen, other than that several family friends wrote on the occasion of her death, about what a sweet voice she had singing in church.  Her daughter, Bernice Cullen Sullivan, my great aunt Bebe, taught piano lessons in Paulding, so it seems that the gene for music descended from the Huston side of the family. 

Lulu Huston Cullen       Cara Murbach Fauster

Cara Murbach was the sister of Edwin and Clarence Murbach, who I've written about before.  Her husband, John Ulrich Fauster, probably met her when he was practicing medicine with the Murbachs early on in his career, in Archbold, OH, although it was a family story that the Murbachs and the Fausters emigrated from Switzerland in 1854 together.  John U and Cara Fauster moved their growing family to Paulding, OH where Gramps practiced for a number of years, helping start the Paulding Hospital, before he moved the family to Defiance, OH.  Cara had no illusions about her appearance--on the back of the above photograph--which she sent to her son-in-law, she wrote, "Dear Seth, Don't let this picture give you the blues.  It's some chromo don't you think!"  However, she was an appealing young woman and her children adored her throughout her life, which ended far too soon in 1938 from a heart condition.

young Cara Murbach

1 comment:

Dan Matyola said...

That is a very fine little piece of family history. It is a treasure to share with relatives, and especially the kids.