Monday, November 15, 2010

My Name Is… Just Call Me Junior

We all have relatives we were around a good bit growing up but never really knew a whole lot about, thinking back I remember my Moms Dad as one of those people who I loved but never really knew.

I remember Papa as being a very quiet and soft-spoken man, he was known to drink a good bit at times which got him into trouble, but I really don’t ever really remember him causing any trouble to speak of, I have been told that he was an excellent mechanic and could tear down and rebuild a motor making it look easy. He actually lived with us for a while and during that time I still learned very little about him.

I do know that my Brothers middle name Paul came from Papa, Mom chose this name because it was her Dad’s and the funny thing about this now, begins with the fact that everyone who knew him called him Junior or Paul, we were always told that his name was Junior Paul, I found his World War I Draft registration and it lists him as P Jr., the 1930 Census shows his name as Junior, and Junior Paul is the name on his tombstone so why in the world would his name ever be questioned.

I found his Fathers, my Great Grandfathers obituary his name was Anderson Anthony Sr., there is my first clue and the next clue came with no son listed as Junior Paul but the only son living in the town my Papa lived in was Anderson Anthony Jr., Now I am beginning to question what his name was, it appears that the P Jr. on the Draft registration was actually A Jr. which was transposed as a P, now the question of where the name Paul came in we will never know, and I seriously wonder if I can get up a petition or something and get my Brothers name changed to Anderson, I could say something like “Hey the P on your birth certificate is supposed to be an A so we have been calling you by the wrong name all these years”, probably not so I guess I’ll just leave that one alone, as of now the Paul part for Papa is still a mystery.

Last time I visited Papa he was sitting in his chair in a mobile home he rented, not saying anything much, he would take empty cigarette packs and crush them into a ball and toss them on the floor and laugh as his cat batted these empty packs around. Papa seemed to not have a care in the world, the day was passed watching him enjoy the antics of the cat with the cigarette pack, even though only throwing out a little conversation once in a while it was an enjoyable day that I cherish even now.
One day in January of 1979 Papa was sitting watching a church program on TV, Louise his 2nd wife came in and changed the channel and said “Junior you never watch that stuff” Papa reached over changed it back saying “Ain’t nothing wrong with a little Preaching”, He was soon hospitalized with heart trouble and I have been told that a blood clot is what took his life on the 15th of January in 1979.

Do you have someone who you were close to and just thought that you knew their name, whether changed on purpose or a nickname that you thought was real? I think there is something to be proud of in the name you were given, but I still have to laugh a bit when I think about Junior Paul sitting there grinning to himself all nice and quiet when he was called by this name. Don’t worry so much about the actual name as long as you cherish the actual memories made with your very own Junior Paul.


  1. Okay, first I have to say...OMG, what an amazing story!

    It was like reading a mini movie of your family history!

    “Hey the P on your birth certificate is supposed to be an A so we have been calling you by the wrong name all these years”

    OMG...he'd have a heart attack! No, I agree...don't tell him - HA!

    Funny, we use to call my mother's mother, Mama Moo. So as I kid, I actually thought THAT was her name! Later, I found out it was really, Ruth. But until the day she died, I still called her, Mama Moo.

    "Don’t worry so much about the actual name as long as you cherish the actual memories made with your very own Junior Paul."

    You're so right, Jimmy!

    Great post!

    Hope you had a great day! Tell Cindy I said Hi!

  2. Thank You Ron, Isn't it funny how many of our Grandparents we don't actually know their given name a lot of times until they are gone.

    Unique name Mama Moo is I think it's really cool my Friend.

    Miss Cindy says to tell you Hi right back Buddy!!

  3. Having spent a lot of time on my family tree, I was amazed that some of the names (or nicknames) I knew some folks by, weren't really their names. When you learn them as a kid, you don't question them, you just accept them and use them.
    great post Jimmy!

  4. Love this. My family is so full of nicknames. I've found through the years that I never knew the REAL names of several people! Maybe it's a southern thing!

  5. I never got a chance to know my GREAT grandfather's dad...but I see pictures of him and wonder what his life must have been like. I know he grew up and lived in Sicily, and was killed by a car that hit him when I was about 2.
    It's funny, you don't have to go back very many generations before these people become strangers to you, even though the are direct family.
    I will be VERY fortunate if I live long enough to see any grandkids, because I am already getting old, and The Daughter is only 13.
    But for sure, I will never meet my GREAT grandkids...and they will never know me or probably even care...

  6. My mom and her sister changed their given names. I never knew it until I was in my 40's. These women could keep a secret.

  7. My maternal grandma always signed her name without an initial. Even her funeral cards just had her first and last name. Years later, I was working on genealogy stuff and found out she did indeed have a middle name - it was 'Cyvilla' and when I asked my mom about it, she told me that grandma HATED that name! LOL.

  8. Yes Sir Pat, This is true as a kid the names we learn are not questioned and they always stick to that person even when we find their true name. Thank You my Friend.

    Hey Suzicate, I am sure being raised in the south does add to the nicknames, a lot in my Family were simply known by their initials or even their middle name.

  9. Hey Joe, Learning your Family line in Sicily has to be really interesting, I so love tracing my family tree and the funny thing about it is that after a while you feel close to some of your Grandparents from generations back as if you really knew them, you will have family from generations down the line looking back and feeling close to you in this same manner I am sure, genealogy keeps your memory alive and I am sure your Daughter will contribute by telling her grandchildren about you.

  10. Linda, Some Family secrets kept over the years make it hard to figure who was who, did you ever hear a reason they changed their given names? Most likely like my Junior Paul no one knows the answer on this one either.

    Hey Cocotte, Don’t you just love Genealogy, I have a hard time finding or confirming middle names on most of mine, your Grandmothers middle name is really unique and with her not liking it is a wonder you ever found it out.

  11. Family history gets more interesting and important to me as I get older. Love that you have this much info about your relatives!

  12. Hey Betty, It seems the more you find out the more you want to know, I do enjoy the research :)

  13. very nice story about your great grandpa, Jimmy!
    It's very interesting to know about the history or their nick name...I never think/care about the nick name of my great grandma/grandpa till I read this post.

    Thanks for inspiring me, Jimmy!

    happy Wednesday!

  14. Hello Nensa, Family history is so interesting for me, I am sure if you ask a few questions about your Grandparents you will be so happy with the stories you hear :)


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