Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What's in a name?

In a post from last year I offered the question "What is Family".  Today I want to explore the history of family names.  

Where did they come from?   How did families get their last names? Did most families take their namesake to heart and protect its honour to the death?  I suppose one could ask the Hatfields and McCoys

Since today marks the celebration of Beltane, I feel compelled to unearth the origins of the Robinson family name.  It was due to pagan rituals and the phallic maypole that young maidens were led dancing into the forest for lusty initiations with the Green God (or his representatives). Nine months later, the families didn't know what to call these bastard babies so chose Sons of Robin or Robinson.

You see, my family may be descendents of Robin Greenwood or Robin of the Wood. I honoured the discovery of this origin in a poem ten years ago.  Despite the bastardly references, I like to think we have the green blood of nature and essence of mythology coursing through our veins.

In The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness, there are a few family names worth looking into.  The Fletcher family name came about after researching options during the novel drafts.  A fletcher was a person who made arrows.  Matthew Fletcher was adopted and learned the carpentry trade from a Seguin Sound carpenter named Jim Robinson.  I made up the Vinoletti  name to represent a family of vintners from Italy.  

Returning to the Beltane reference, the novel contains some lusty frolicking in the forest that produced a teen pregnancy and the eventual birth of a much-loved February baby.  

Adult-content rating at Smashwords:

This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

Your mother may not approve.  Tsk, tsk.

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