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.
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.