Capt. John B
by Gary D. Crawford To a newcomer, the interconnections between local families can be quite bewildering. Locals seem reluctant to adopt the sensible practice of wearing name tags, despite my earnest entreaties. Besides, that wouldn’t really help. In small communities, people eventually become related in some way to virtually everyone else. We who come into such communities from outside, who don’t know these linkages, are forever surprised and muddled. We simply have to accept that we’ll never really understand it all. It i s t he i nt e r - m a r r y i n g , of course, that makes it all such great fun. First names get passed around, too, a s chi ld ren a re na med for t hei r pa rent s or g ra ndpa rent s, but this doesn’t help differentiate. There may be a Thomas Crockett in one Crockett family and another Thomas Crockett in another family. I suspect that these overlapping names may be one of the reasons for all the nicknaming around here. (It’s not the main reason, of course, which is more related to humor and bonding.) Our area is rife with nicknames, wonderful ones like Biscuits, Erky-Derk, Old Rip, Toady Buck, Monk, Petelo, Hootch, Hot Dogs, and untold others. (Yes, I am
John B Harrison at age 30. collecting a list ~ and contributions are welcome.) However, I c a n c ategor ic a l ly state, here and now, that the naming is not just to confuse newcomers. Nevertheless, it is such good fun when one of us (usually me) steps into a genealogical cow-pie. One day I was showing off a little poster I had made up to advertise an upcoming lect ure by a noted loc a l a rche ologist. “He’s a really good speaker, too,” I said, encouragingly. The woman smiled, “Yes, I know. He’s my brother.” I was awfully glad I had said something nice about him!
November 2014 Tidewater Times