The Name Game: Rebecca

Every time I start a new family tree for a client, I marvel at the variety of names and dates before me. Each one of those individuals was an actual person and lived a life. Some of the names are familiar, and others are a bit more unique (like Seattleton). In this post series, I’d like to dedicate time each week to a particular name(s) that can be found in our files.

Fun Fact: One of the names on this list is actually my maiden name, though the individual isn’t me.

To start this fun exercise out, I’ve chosen my given first name, Rebecca.

Meaning of Rebecca

Rebecca Anderson (1749 – ?? )

Not much is known about the first daughter of Patrick and Hannah Anderson, but she was born in 1749 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The United States had yet to be formed at this point, it was only the colonies of the British empire that Rebecca and her family were living in. At this point and time, this is all the information we can find on her.

Rebecca Churchill (1875 – 1875 ); Nine Days Old

Out of all the Rebecca’s shared in today’s post, Rebecca Churchill was probably the youngest when she passed. At only nine days old, the first daughter of George Washington and Kazia Elizabeth Churchill lived and died where she was born.

Rebecca Woodbury Corning (1785 – 1881 ); 95 years old

Miss Rebecca Woodbury Corning was born in 1785, the same year that the newly created American government she was born into sent their first ambassador to Great Britain. Born in Preston, Connecticut to Uriah and Elizabeth Corning, Rebecca was third out of eight children. At the age of seventeen, Rebecca married Jeffrey Champlain. The two only had one child, their daughter Frances Amanda, born in 1806. Sadly, Rebecca outlasted her own daughter and husband and lived until the age of 91, when she died in Norwich, Connecticut, only five miles away from where she was born.

Rebecca Darby (1797 – 1859); 61 years old 

Note: Out of all the entries in today’s Name Game entry, this one struck me the most. You see, Rebecca Campbell isn’t the name I was born with, Rebecca Darby was the name given to me at birth, and it was slightly odd to see my own name on a clients family tree dating back five generations.

Marriage Intention of Eben Davis & Rebecca Darby
Marriage Intention of Eben Davis & Rebecca Darby

Rebecca Darby was born right before the turn of the 19th century to parents Rebecca & Captain Benjamin Darby in Leominster, Massachusetts. Not the first Rebecca in her family (her mother), this Rebecca came last out of six children. In May of 1814, Rebecca married a young man by the name of Ebeneezer Davis, from New Salem, Massachusetts and had nine children over the next few years. In her late twenties, not only did her own mother pass away but her young daughter, Arvilla Davis died at the age of two. Only a few years before she died, at age 54, Rebecca married Ashael Divoll. At the age of 61, Rebecca passed away in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

Rebecca Dunbar (1900 – 1968); 68 years old 

Rebecca Dunbar was born at the beginning of a new century, in the middle of a hot July summer in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania — most likely on her families farm. Her parents, Solomon T. and Elizabeth V. Dunbar had nine other children — four boys and five girls. By the time she was 19 years old, she had met her future husband, Martin Van Buren Phillippi and they were married on the 7th of July, 1919. Over the course of the next 15 years, Martin and Rebecca had five children before he died, making her a widow at the age of 33. Never marrying again, Rebecca lived out the rest of her life in Pennsylvania until she died in Orrville, Ohio where she passed away at age 68.

Rebecca Ferguson (1799 – 1861); 61 years old

Rebecca Ferguson was born in North Carolina around the turn of the 19th century. When she was 21 years of age, she married Joseph Hickenbottom in Adair, Kentucky, which at the time had many Chesnut trees, but as of this date has one of the only remaining American Chesnut trees in the world. Joseph and Rebecca had twelve children before she passed away at the age of 61 in Lockridge, Iowa in 1861.

Rebecca Fulton (1851 – 1933 ); 82 years old 

Death Certificate of Rebecca Fulton Fishel
Death Certificate of Rebecca Fulton Fishel

Simon and Elizabeth Fulton’s daughter, Rebecca was born in 1851, in Clearside, Pennsylvania. One of twelve children, Rebecca spent her life on her families farm until she met John F. Fishel and they married. Seven children (six girls and one boy) came to this union. Rebecca died at the age of 82 in 1933 when she got pneumonia and then died of influenza within the course of a month.

Rebekah Hall (1740 – 1815); 75 years old

Rebekah Hall was born in Alstead, New Hampshire in 1740, only five years after the town was charted by then Massachusetts Governor Jonathan Belcher as a line of nine forts that were intended to protect southwestern New Hampshire from native indigenous attacks. Rebekah was married to Jonathan Webster when she was twenty years old in Plaistow, New Hampshire in 1761. The couple had eleven children to their union before Rebekah passed way in 1815 at the age of 75 years old.

Rebecca Hickenbottom (1838 – 1916); 78 years old

Rebecca Hickenbottom was the daughter of Rebecca Ferguson and Joseph Hickenbottom and was one of twelve children born into the family on the 12th of July 1838 in Morgan County, Illinois. She married John Willis Toothaker when she was 21 years old in Jefferson County, Iowa and quickly had six children — two girls and four boys. Rebecca passed away at the age of 78 years old in Hoxie, Kansas.

Rebecca Tanner (1791 – 1824 ); 33 years old

Very little is known about Rebecca Tanner, the daughter of Nathan and Lucy Tanner. It is known that she married a man by the name of Ephraim Powers and may have had children with him, but how many is not known. After he died, family rumor goes, she married a ‘Latter Day Saints preacher and moved to Nauvoo, Ill., where she died.’ From what little information there is about Rebecca Tanner, it is believed she died at 33 years old in Nauvoo, Illinois.

Rebecca Ann Tate (1867 – 1938); 71 years old 

Rebecca Ann Tate was born to parents George Washington and Rosana Tate in Kanawha County, West Virginia. At age 18, Rebecca Ann married a young man by the name of William Addison Casdorph. To this union, six children were born. At the age of 71, Rebecca died from arsenic poisoning and was laid to rest in the same county she had been born into.

Rebecca Edith Tucker (1903 – 1982 ); 78 years old 

Rebecca Edith Tucker was born to William and Emma Tucker in Patton, Pennsylvania — a small borough of Cambria County. Rebecca Edith was one of eight children. Rebecca married William T. Hutchinson and had two children, John and Richard Bruce Hutchinson. In May of 1982, Rebecca passed away in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania.

Rebecca Van Alstyne (abt. 1790 – abt. 1820); abt. 30 years old

Rebecca Van Alstyne was born in Montgomery, New York in about 1790, the same year that George Washington gave the very first State of the Union address and the same year that Congress approved the first federal census of 1790. In October of 1807, around the age of 17, Rebecca married Martin Quackenbush. The two had two daughters before Rebecca passed away around 1820.

Do you have any Rebecca or Becky’s in your family history? Be sure to share their story with us in the comments below!

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Genealogy in the Works: What it Means to be a Genealogist

Genealogy. When you hear it most often images of older folks or Mormons come to mind, but put that aside for a moment. Genealogy is so much more than dates and places. It is people, it is lives, it is stories that we shouldn’t forget.

In this series, Genealogy in the Works we will be interviewing genealogist of every background. This includes gay and queer genealogists. What it means for the family tree when you are a transgender individual or how to approach issues of sensitivity like slavery and indigenous tribes. All of this comes together to create an intersectional view of genealogy and family history.

This series really wouldn’t make sense without explaining who I am first, so here goes:

Becks Campbell
Becks Campbell, 2016

Who are you?

I’m Becks Campbell. I run The Hipster Historian blog and am the sole owner of Life Stories Transcription Services.  I’ve been an amateur genealogist for most of my life and in the last year have decided to go into my favorite hobby professionally.  I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for 12 years and live in the Pacific Northwest.

Becks Campbell and Spouse
Becks Campbell and her Husband, 2016


Why genealogy?

My mother is a professional genealogist and has been for well over twenty years. As a child growing up in the Mormon Church family ties and genealogy was emphasized heavily to me and after I left the church the passion for genealogy still stuck around. I’m completely obsessed with the stories of the past and who we were and who we will become.

Donna Mae Blocher
Becks late paternal grandmother, Donna Mae Blocher

What does it mean to be a genealogist?

Loaded question. Genealogy, by definition, is the study and research of ancestral lines. But in reality, it is so much more than that. We as genealogists are tasked with finding long-lost loved ones, records that may not exist and people that don’t want to be found. We pour through years of directories and censuses, and in some cases, it can be quite sobering what you’ve found.

In my narrative writing project Forgotten Women of History I’ve found stories of domestic abuse, child abandonment, and murder, just to name a few. We need to be aware that when we are researching a family line either for ourselves, for friends or for clients that there needs to be sensitivity and ethics involved.

What is your favorite genealogy blog to follow?

Right now there are so many amazing blogs to follow but I would highly suggest checking out Geneabloggers by Thomas MacEntee. It is the biggest source of networking and genealogy related blogs on the web right now.

What is your current field of study or research?

After several friends with Italian heritage asked me to research their history, I got hooked. I’m currently researching the Sorrentino‘s, Serago‘s, Pescatore‘s and Bugni‘s. In addition, because most of my work has been coming from that area I am slowly (but surely!) learning Italian. It is a big task, but I’m ready for it.

Where else can we find you?

I’m all over the web, but my favorite places to hang out are here at The Hipster Historian, working on transcriptions at my business Life Stories Transcription Services and my narrative writing project, Forgotten Women of History.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check by next week for our next Genealogy in the Works interview!

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Family History Story Time

Everyone has stories and our families (chosen or by blood) give us some of the tales that will be with us for the rest of our lives and often passed on as somewhat legends down on the line.  Under this guise, I’d like to introduce Family History Story Time to my reads at The Hipster Historian.

During Family History Story Time, we will relay either a story that comes from our family history or one submitted to us from you, the readers. To submit your story, e-mail us at thehipsterhistorian@gmail.com. This week’s story comes from a writing prompt from Kat Bouska at Mama’s Losin’ It — check it out here (I chose prompt #3)

My husband and I had barely been married a year and in that time, I had been sick a number of times, but he never had. It wasn’t something I was used to from him and I didn’t know what to expect when the time finally came.

I was worried about my response because when I was a teenager, I developed a nervous tic to adults retching. I’m not entirely sure where it came from, but whenever adults upchuck next to me or within hearing distance I dissolve into a puddle of hysterical laughter. It’s always been that way, but my now new-husband hadn’t really experienced the full brunt of this funny little tic of mine.

Engagement Photo

Becky and her husband at their engagement photo shoot in 2004

Our first jobs as a married couple were working for our universities janitorial service from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. He worked in the health center and I worked in the administration building (that story is for another time — I constantly fell asleep on the job). After I quit, my husband kept working while I picked up a job at our local thrift store owned by the Mormon Church.

One morning during that latter half of the summer of 2005 was when what we call “the incident” happened. My husband had gone to work and celebrated one of his coworkers birthdays with an employee breakfast. He came home in good spirits and even offered to drive me to my classes later that morning.

As we got ready to go, he looked fine and we walked out the door. As we were getting into the car, he mumbled to me a quick “I don’t feel well” and threw up as I was on my way over. I felt it happen as soon as I rounded the back of the car. The giggles began to peel over me and before I knew it, I was on the blacktop shaking.

I spent the next 15 minutes listening to my new spouse retch over and over again not able to assist him in any way because of my laughter. My husband forgave me years for this incident, but it sticks in my mind as one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. What is yours?

By Becks Campbell, The Hipster Historian