Monday, July 2, 2007

Paging Doctor Calaway

Because parts of Sherman Calaway Jones's name have been passed down to some of his descendants, I've been interested in finding out where his name came from. The name Sherman doesn't appear in the family before his birth, and I've never heard any explanation about how his parents, Silas and Nannie Jones, chose it. But since we know that his father was a Republican and the son of a Union veteran, I am inclined to believe that, despite the fact that they lived in Arkansas, Silas Jones named his first son for General William Tecumseh Sherman, who was loathed by Southerners for his destructive March to the Sea in 1864. It was just this kind of thinking that ultimately got Silas run out of Arkansas. (I'll get around to that story soon.)

So what about Calaway? Cal's daughter remembers being told that the name was in honor of a Dr. Calaway, but I've not been able to find such a person in their part of Arkansas at the end of the 19th century. But there's one other thing worthy of note: Silas Jones's grandmother, whose maiden name was Salina Hash, had a brother whose name was Alvin Calaway Hash; in his case, the name was probably in honor of his and Salina's great-grandmother Ann Calloway, who was of a line of Calloways that came from England to Virginia in the 1600s. So whether or not Silas knew it, Calaway was a family name. I hope I'll figure out where the mysterious Dr. Calaway fits in at some point. I'll let you know.

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