52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Namesake

This week’s theme for 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks is Namesake. Rather than discuss namesakes I would rather discuss names in general in my family and my husband Dave’s family.

My name is Tonya. My mother wanted to name me Tony, but my father objected. The name Tony sounded too Italian. My birth occurred a few years after the end of World War II and feelings against Germans and Italians ran high. As for me, I didn’t like the name Tonya. People misspelled my name, and worse, they mispronounced it.

Image Courtesy Pixabay

My dad was Talmadge Hollis Lane. While he was alive it never occurred to me to ask where his middle name of Hollis came from. I have yet to find anyone in his family with that name. His great-grandfather was William H. Lane. Is it possible that the H in his name was Hollis?

My mother’s family came from Switzerland. Josephus Antonius Aloisius Schwegler, my great-great-grandfather immigrated from Switzerland in 1863 from Wolhusen, Canton Lucerne with his second wife Anna, two sons Julius and Franz, and his brother Petrus (Peter).   Joseph’s grandfather and grandmother were Josephus Schwágler and Catharina (Stalder) Schwágler. They had fifteen children. Their fourteenth child was Caspar Melchior Baltazar Schwágler, born about 1806.[1] The three Magi were named Caspar who hailed from India, Melchior who was from Persia, and Balthazar who was from Arabia. Apparently, Josephus and Catharina were running out of names for their children.

My father-in-law was Russel Carrol Ferguson. His middle name is usually spelled Carroll rather than Carrol. The name Russel runs deep in the Ferguson family. His great-great-grandfather was Russel Ferguson, the son of Moses Ferguson. Russel was born in 1806 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. The Ferguson family migrated to Rhea County, Tennessee eventually moving west to Johnson County, Missouri. Russel, his wife Sarah (Miller), and their son Jackson died within months of each other leaving the other three children Thomas Bunn, Martha, and James C. Ferguson orphans. Russel’s uncle was James C. Ferguson who named his son Russel. And Russel named his son James C. Ferguson. Perhaps the middle name of both James C. Ferguson’s was Carrol.

The orphan, Thomas Bunn Ferguson, was Dave’s great-grandfather.  His wife was Mary Elizabeth Baker. They named their last son Samuel Bunn Ferguson. Where in the world does the middle name of Bunn come from? Most likely from the Thomas J. Bunn family that lived close to the Russel Ferguson family in Mount Pleasant, Van Buren County, Missouri as shown in the 1840 census and Cass County, Missouri as shown by the 1850 census. [2] The Bunn family must have been very good friends with the Fergusons.

Dempsey Pope and Sarah (Edwards) Pope were Dave’s great-great-great-grandparents. Dempsey was born in Edgecombe County, North Carolina in 1777. Sarah was born in 1791 in Wake County. Dempsey, Sarah, and their family moved first to Robertson County, Tennessee, and then to Blue Mound, Macon County, Illinois. Dempsey and Sarah named their second son James Madison, most likely after the president James Madison. James and his younger brother, Zachariah, heeded the call of President Abraham Lincoln to join the Union Army in 1862. Zachariah died on 11 Nov 1862 at a hospital in Lexington, Kentucky of typhoid fever. His brother, James, lost his life at a regimental hospital on 31 Dec 1862 in Danville, Kentucky of cardiac obstruction with measles as a contributing factor. Neither brother saw any action in the Civil War.

And finally, my great-great-grandfather, Joshua H. Hood, was born in 1831 and married Margaret Johnson. His second son was William Harrison “Buck” Hood. Buck’s third daughter was Minnie Mae (Hood) Presley cousin to my grandmother Ruberta (Hood) Lane. Minnie Mae was Elvis Presley’s grandmother. So, Elvis Presley is my third cousin. How about that? If my dad knew, he never let on.

If you want to learn more about our ancestors mentioned in this post, click on their name in red to see the post about their life.


[1] Wolhusen, Canton Lucern, Switzerland, “Baptisms, Marriages, Dead, Confirmations 1657-1738 Baptisms, Confirmations 1738-1814 Marriages, Dead 1738-1825 Baptisms, Marriages, Dead, Confirmations 1815-1918,”   Caspar. Melchior Baltazar Schwegler. 

[2] 1840 U.S. census, Mount Pleasant, Van Buren, Missouri, Mount Pleasant, pop. Sch., p. 140, line 21, Russel Ferguson household and 1850 U.S. census, Cass, Missouri, pop. sch., District 16, Cass County, Missouri, p. 112A, dwell. 733, fam. 738, Russel Fergueson household. 

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