Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What's in a Name?

My daughter Mystie recently wrote a blog post about names. Specifically, her own name, spelling of it, and the names of her children as all of them are rather unusual. She came by that trait through my family, although Mystie is the only one of my children to possess an unusual name. My parents gave two of their girls rare names, one of them my own.

Vondalee. Certainly not a normal name. Where did it come from? The story my Mom told me was that my parents had planned to name me Vonda Kay. Until one day a few months before I was born, Mom happened to read the wedding announcement of a local girl named Vondalee D. She really liked the look and sound of the name and so I became Vondalee Kay.

And that's all I knew of the story until yesterday when I received an email from Vondalee, the original! Her own mother, years ago, had told her of the phone call she received from a new mother who had just named her baby Vondalee after seeing the wedding announcement in the newspaper. Vondalee D. moved away from home in Lewiston, but wondered about that younger Vondalee now and then. One day she decided to do a little internet search and found my name from my mother's obituary, plugged it into google, found my blog and my email address and voila!

Now how did Vondalee D's mother come up with the name? Her mother and aunt were listening to the radio back in 1938 and heard a singer with a most unusual name which her mother liked immensely and gave to her daughter when she was born. However, later on she learned that the singer's name was not Vondalee, but Vaughn De Leath!

And now the mystery is solved.

Vaughn De Leath
Jazz Singer
First Lady of Radio

15 comments:

Mystie said...

That's a great story!

Hey, I'm not the only one with an unusual name. Geoff is one of those "traditional but no one knows it" names like Johannes; and like Mystie and Misty, Geoff is completely different from Jeff -- much classier. And Brendan, not Brandon, and Kirsten isn't CURSE-TEN, but KEER-sten. And I continue to think you should have spelled it Kiersten. :)

That's why you can have Fritz for a dog name; it's much too simple a name for a Winckler child. :) People wouldn't have to ask or be told how to spell it! :)

Elisabeth Braun said...

What a super story, Von!

I came by my name as my big bro had a little playmate before I was born called Elizabeth. However, she couldn't say her name properly and was always 'Libby'. When I was born, Michael was asked what to call the baby and he picked 'Libby', which is what my family still call me.

Barbara said...

It is a fantastic story!!

I'm named for my father's first love, who was a Mormon and therefore totally out of bounds to him (and vice-versa). I still can't believe my mom agreed to this strange choice. I always hated my name because it sounded so stuffy and I didn't like any of the nicknames ... but I've grown into it. ;)

Kendra said...

Cool story! I love name stories, as I come from a large extended family that has quite a few unusual and "made up" names among the generations. Unfortunately the story behind the names isn't known for everyone, as the namers have passed on in many cases. But it's still fun to look back though my genealogy files and see all the interesting names.

Vonna said...

Ohhh...fascinating story! I love "names" and how they are chosen...My children's names are not unusual, however they are named after someone in our families and all are dear to me. I think I may have to blog about names now! LOL!

Connie said...

Von, what a wonderful story!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! And aren't you glad your mom didn't call you Vonda?????

I think, after studying the picture of Miss De Leath that there is a resemblance to the Paulson family, which makes it an even better story!!! Maybe she's a long lost aunt or something!!!

Mary said...

Thats a really neat story of how your name was chosen!

Dianne said...

That's an amazing story! I'm glad you got to meet the original Vondalee.

Dianne said...

Oh, and I definitely have one of those names that seem to have lost their popularity. My mom is Jeanne with two 'n's and she liked the name Dianne. I have a few Annes in the family too. My son graduated with a Diane Carol and that's my middle name too! My father is Carl.

Sharon said...

What a neat story. I always thought your name was unusual and pretty. It nice to know how your Mom came up with it.

Abi said...

That's a great story. Thanks for sharing. Ms. De Leath looks like a Sarah Moon design. :)

Stitch Wizard said...

What a neat story!!! My mom decided to name me Debbra. No one spells it like that but a friend had a little girl named Debra who passed and mom didn't want to copy her name so she put two b's in mine. I go by Debby. I used to spell it Debbie, but my husband Jerry thought it would be neat if I spelled it with a y so since my legal name is Debbra anyhow, I started doing that. Thanks for the encouraging words about my upcoming dental appt. I go in next week. What a medical year this has been. Hopefully it is better than years ago and living here helps too. Debby :) PS. Your blog is really pretty

Jacque said...

What a terrific story and it is so amazing that she found you!!!

I was named after Jacqueline Kennedy and being that I was born on my father's birthday and his name was Jack, it appeared to be meant to be as well.

Cindy said...

What a cool story! Very awesome that the "original" looked you up and told you the rest of the history :)

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

What a great story! Love the picture of Miss Vaughn De Leath, too! :) So cool, Von! Hugs, Deb