Our Common Family Names And What They Imply About Us

Since beginning to study our Blevins family history, I’ve noticed several interesting trends among the names that have been passed down from generation to generation. I’ve decided to present my findings here in our annual family newsletter so you might be better informed about what to name your future progeny, assuming you still practice the ancient family tradition of pulling out just a little too late. I know I do.

Edward — The original Edward was an Indian fighter and ever since then the name has been associated with both military service and virulent racism. That in itself is not too unusual because almost all of these names are associated with virulent racism. Except Aiden, that was a late addition to the family name bank.

Ruth — Ruths have historically been schoolmarms, upright bass players, or victims of witchcraft hysteria. Innocent victims, I might add, no matter what Great-Uncle Terry wrote in his last testament/confession.

Jack — A name seemingly reserved for either cops or criminals, with one exception being Jack Alexander Blevins, who owned a general store and was murdered by a cop-turned-criminal. To be fair though, he was sleeping with his first cousin Jack Burr Blevins’ wife.

Red — A common name for dogs or men who have inherited that rare genetic deficiency that leads to a disturbing lack of fingernails.

Henrietta — Every Henrietta who appears in our shared lineage at least interned at a brothel, if not eventually ran the place. I draw no firm conclusions about the six months my great-grandmother Henrietta spent in Chicago in the 1940s or the fat stack of wartime rations she brought back with her.

Allie — Three Victorian era lawyers: grandfather, father, and son. The first two were either sadomasochists or else really, really confident in their newborn son’s sexuality. The third Allie broke the streak of gender ambiguous baby names when he wisely called his son Sam.

Elijah — Ironically, one of the more Biblical names to show up in our family tree has almost exclusively been bequeathed to rabid anarchists. Elijah Thurston Blevins was a close personal friend of Emma Goldman, until he started to froth at the mouth and then he bit her.

Bertha — Both brunettes, with one of them known as Big Bertha, and with the other one developing an eating disorder because she grew up with everyone calling her aunt fat.

Thomas — No Thomas has ever gone by Tommy, which seems pretty pretentious to me and was a real missed opportunity for alleged Dust Bowl gangster and Pretty Boy Floyd hanger-on Thomas “Gun” Blevins.

Nora — Excellent quiltmakers all, unless the last few just kept recycling the quilts of the first few. Sure, each quilt was inscribed with the same dedication to Theodore Roosevelt, but that does not prove that they were, in fact, the same quilt. The Teddy was a hell of an interesting president, even I admit that, and my middle name is Elijah.

Stan — I won’t say that they were all sex offenders but no one should name their child Stan in 2018 unless you want to eventually have to ban them from Christmas and especially the 4th of July.

Robert — The original Robert was named after a Civil War general. The less original Robert was named after someone who was named after a Civil War general. The totally unoriginal Robert was named after someone who was named after someone who was named after a Civil War general. But that was mostly to appease a by then only kind of racist family about an interracial relationship.

Aiden — Good dude, bad luck with blenders.

Wyatt — Just because your grandfather patented a double-jointed prosthetic arm for amputees does not mean you should strap a PVC pipe to your brother’s wrist after he gets his hand cut off in your blender.