#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Favorite Name

I have come to appreciate unusual names, because it makes it easier to sort out families and link records to the right person.

That’s not why I love my great-great-great grandmother’s first name, Arminta.

First, I should clarify that my dad’s parents never much talked about their extended family or their ancestors. All I knew about my great-great grandfather William F. Hahn was that he was 3 when he came over from Germany (wrong) and that he had maiden aunts in the old country and Hitler took their property (extremely unlikely since William was born 100 years before World War II). So, I am positive that I never heard of Arminta Stephens (sometimes listed by her step-father’s name McKenzie) Cooper before I started doing genealogy about five or six years ago.

John Jurdan Cooper and Arminta Alice Stephens and their children, as listed on the FamilySearch family tree.
Arminta’s family group from FamilySearch.

In the late 1980s/early 1990s, I was involved in a Star Wars roleplaying/fiction writing group, and I created an alter-ego character named Aminta Starseeker.

I couldn’t believe it when I saw Arminta’s name. It’s so close. It’s a name I had never heard of before I made up my character’s name.

On FamilySearch, Arminta has two daughters named after her – Araminda Elizabeth Cooper, born in 1860, who tended go by her middle name, and Arminta A. Cooper, born in 1879, who appears in the 1880 Census and no other records that I’ve found.

My ancestor is Arminta’s son, Henry Merritt Cooper.

I think the name must have imprinted on his DNA and come to me in my blood, and I just left out one letter.

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
This entry was posted in Genealogy, My Life, Star Wars, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Favorite Name

  1. Barb LaFara says:

    Are you from Boston? that would explain dropping the r… 😉 Thanks for sharing!

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