Reba McEntire’s Siblings

Oklahoma-born country singer Reba McEntire is one of four siblings:

  • Alice, b. 1951
  • Del Stanley, “Pake” (rhymes with rake), b. 1953
  • Reba Nell, b. 1955
  • Martha Susan, “Susie,” b. 1957

Reba was named after her maternal grandmother, but the story of Pake’s nickname is a bit more interesting. Here’s how their mother Jacqueline starts the story:

Our oldest daughter, Alice, was named “Pedro Joe” long before her birth. Her father, Clark [veteran rodeo cowboy and inductee in the Rodeo Hall of Fame], would often write home on the road because we didn’t have a phone.

He’d say, “How is Pedro Joe?” and, if I knew where he was going to be, I’d write back to the next rodeo he was entering and tell the prospective father that he was just fine. Well, when the baby came, she was a little girl. End of Pedro Joe.

The same thing happened with their second child, who was called “Pecos Pete” or “Pake” before he was born. In his case, though, the name was retained. The formal name his parents chose for him was Del Stanley (after rodeo stars Del Haverty and Stanley Gomez), but the birth certificate reads: “Del Stanley (Pake).”

The McEntire’s in utero nicknaming tradition wasn’t carried on with Reba or Susie.

Pake went on to have three daughters: Autumn (born on the first day of autumn), Calamity (named after frontierswoman Calamity Jane), and Chism (named after cattle baron John Chisum).

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P.S. Want more country music-related names? Here are Dolly Parton’s siblings.

Brothers Reindeer & Rainbow

Around 1920, a 15-year-old Montana boy named Reindeer Coffman was in the news.

Reindeer’s baby brother had died while Reindeer was babysitting. At first, murder was suspected. Later, it was revealed that Reindeer had simply neglected the baby, who proceeded to accidentally strangle himself. (The baby’s shirt collar got caught on a protruding nail.)

One article about the case included a few lines about Reindeer’s name:

The boy’s unusual name caused [Humane Officer A. E. Decew] to make inquiries as to its genuineness. He found not only that Reindeer was called by his correct name but that there was a still more unusual name in the family. Reindeer has a brother named Rainbow.

Sure enough, both Rainbow and Reindeer (spelled “Rainder”) were listed together on the 1920 U.S. Census:

Their parents were William and Mina, and their siblings had the more common names Warren, Emery, Frances, Iona, Henry, Myrtie, Charles, and Allen.

Source: “Nail catches dress, baby is strangled, is brother’s tale.” Great Falls Daily Tribune 13 Mar. 1920: 13.

Belvin Maynard’s 10 Siblings

Belvin Maynard, the race-winning pilot we talked about earlier this week, had five brothers and five sisters. All 11 kids were born in North Carolina. Here are their first and middle names:

  1. Morell Battle, b. 1890
  2. Belvin Womble, b. 1892
  3. Anna Bailey, b. 1894
  4. Sherwood Amos, called “Amos,” b. 1896
  5. Vera Claire, b. 1899
  6. Worth Jackson, b. 1901
  7. Elizabeth Liles, b. 1903
  8. Atlas Alan, called “A. A.,” b. 1906
  9. Caralee, b. 1909
  10. Junius Huston Bryan, called “Bryan,” b. 1912
  11. Lalon, b. 1914

Kids #7 and #8 were named directly after the parents. Belvin’s curious middle name, Womble, was the maiden name of his paternal grandmother (first name Kiddy).

Which of these names do you like best?

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The Descendants of Tristram Coffyn

“Dresser in Tristram Coffin House, Newburyport, Massachusetts.”

Earlier this week we talked about the original Tristram Coffyn of Nantucket, who is known to have a massive number of descendants.

He and his wife Dionis* had five children in England, then four more after relocating to the New World. Here are the names of not only all nine of their children, but also their 76 grandchildren:

  1. Peter (b. 1631) and his wife Abigail had 11 kids:
    • Parnel, Eliphalet, Abigail, Peter, Jethro**, Tristram, Robert, Edward, Judith, Parnell, Elizabeth
  2. Tristram (b. 1632) and his wife Judith had 10 kids:
    • Judith, Deborah, Mary, James, John, Lydia, Enoch, Stephen, Peter, Nathaniel
  3. Elizabeth (b. 1634) and her husband Stephen Greenleaf had 10 kids:
    • Stephen, Sarah, Daniel, Elizabeth, John, Samuel, Tristram, Edmund, Judith, Mary
  4. Stephen (b. 1637)
  5. James (b. 1640) and his wife Mary had 14 kids:
    • Experience, James, Mary, Abigail, Nathaniel, John, Dinah, Elizabeth, Deborah, Ebenezer, Joseph, Benjamin, Ruth, Jonathan
  6. Deborah (b. 1642)
  7. Mary (b. 1645) and her husband Nathaniel Starbuck had 10 kids:
    • Mary, Elizabeth, Nathaniel, Jethro, Barnabas, Eunice, Priscilla, Hephzibah, Ann, Paul
  8. John (b. 1647) and his wife Deborah had 11 kids:
    • Lydia, Peter, John, Love, Enoch, Samuel, Hannah, Benjamin, Tristram, Deborah, Elizabeth
  9. Stephen (b. 1652) and his wife Mary had 10 kids:
    • Daniel, Dionis, Peter, Stephen, Judith, Susanna, Anna, Mehitable, Hepzibah, Paul

Which of the above names do you like best? Are there any you don’t like at all?

*Dionis’s name is evidently a truncated form of Dionysia, which derives from Dionysius, which originally referred to a devotee of the Greek god Dionysos. The names Dennis and Denise are also derivatives of Dionysius.

**Nantucket’s Oldest House, also called the Jethro Coffin House, was built in 1686 as a wedding gift for Jethro Coffin.

Sources: Tristram Coffin, Sr. (1608-1681) – WikiTree, My Father’s Shoes – Our Coffin Story
Image from Early Settlers of Nantucket by Lydia S. Hinchman

Unusual Political Names in Connecticut

James A. Bill (1817-1900) of Lyme, Connecticut, served in the Connecticut state senate in 1852 and 1853 and in the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1849 and 1867. He also happened to be a rare pro-slavery Northerner in the years before and during the Civil War. This fact is reflected in the names of the last three children:

  1. Elizabeth
  2. Phoebe
  3. Mary
  4. Rebecca
  5. Lodowick
  6. James
  7. Kansas Nebraska (born in July, 1855)
  8. Lecompton Constitution (b. October, 1857)
  9. Jefferson Davis (b. February, 1862)

Kansas Nebraska Bill was named after the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), which created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, but also allowed the territories to decide for themselves whether or not they would permit slavery (the “popular sovereignty” principle).

Lecompton Constitution Bill was named after the Lecompton Constitution (1857), a proposed pro-slavery constitution for the state of Kansas that was defeated early the next year.

And Jefferson Davis Bill was, of course, named after Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy throughout the Civil War.

Their older brother, Lodowick, inherited his interesting first name from James’s father. The name Lodowick — like Louis, Ludwig, and Luigi — can be traced back to the Germanic name Chlodovech, which consists of the elements hlud, meaning “famous, loud” and wig, meaning “war, battle.”

[Other notable Civil War-era baby names include Emancipation Proclamation (“Prockie”), Gettysburg (“Gettie”), Kenesaw Mountain, and Elmer Ellsworth.]

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