Thursday, April 2, 2009
Our two Julias
I have to say, I'm beginning to applaud the practice of naming a child after his or her deceased older sibling. Yes, it offends the modern sensibilities, but it works. Assuming that the idea is to preserve the memory of the child that died, it really works - probably better than the parents ever could have imagined. Julia Toner would never be the subject of blog posts on the internet if her little sister hadn't been named in her memory. (Do you think that Mary and Richard actually thought that their children would be the subject of blog posts on the internet?) If I weren't looking for our Julia, Julia Toner Mulvaney, I would have done nothing but glance at the name of the oldest child on the 1860 census record, assume she'd either died or married by 1870, and given her no further thought. I'm interested in my great-great-grandmother, after all. But since this girl shared a name with my great-great-grandmother, I sat up and took notice. I searched for her. I learned about her. And, I hope, I've lessened the risk of her being memory being forever lost to the past.