One name that has surfaced several times on both sides of my tree is Rebecca. Does this look like a Rebecca?
I’m not sure what a Rebecca would look like but, apparently, it wasn’t this child. WAIT – that child is ME and my name is definitely not Rebecca!
My mother, a Gentile, married into a Jewish family in 1950. And while she wasn’t terribly religious, it must have been difficult for her to convert to Judaism. She told us on several occasions that it was tough for her to “take” Santa and the Easter Bunny from her kids so while we were mostly raised Jewish, we did have visits from these two characters even though we didn’t really understand the meaning of the holiday. Many of my friends would comment that we were “lucky” to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas – more presents!
Mom also told me the story that when I was born, the name they had decided on for me was Rebecca. For whatever reason, Mom thought the name was “too Jewish” so they settled on Deborah instead. Apparently, it escaped Mom that Deborah was also Jewish name. Of course, children often don’t care for their name and many times I longed for the name Rebecca.
So when I was expecting our first child, I remembered my best friend from nursery school (whom I never saw after I left that school) who was E Maria Mulcahey. I loved her name and when I told my husband, he agreed to the first name but wanted a different middle name. Marie? No, something else. And it was then that I remembered the story about my name and said “what about Rebecca”. And so it was.
I remember when I first saw my grandmothers after her birth and one of them said “my favorite grandmother was Rebecca”. To which the other replied “MY favorite grandmother was Rebecca”. I never let on that I had no idea of those facts when their first great granddaughter was named. And then, many years later, this genealogy journey began and the pieces of the puzzle began to come together and I was able to learn about these two favorite grandmothers.
Rebecca (Steen) Schwartz
Rebecca (Steen) Schwartz, date unknown
Rebecca Steen was born 8 Feb 1848 in Poland and died 7 Jan 1918 in Oakland – I’ve written about her many times and you can learn more about her HERE.
While I wasn’t ‘happy’ to read about Rebecca’s death, it was interesting to read what my grandmother said to her future husband about the passing of her grandmother.
January 7, 1918 – 10 pmAnd then after the burial on Wednesday.
My very own Sweetheart,
We are a house of mourning here at 1933 tonight, my Grandmother passed away at 15 minutes to six tonight, poor soul, she is much better off, but, of course, we all shall miss her terribly. She is to be buried Wednesday.
Enough about sorrow, sweetheart. You can see how much I think of you to be writing tonight, all the folks are in the front room and I am in the dining room trying to collect my thoughts for you only.
January 9, 1918 – 10:30 pm
My own Sweetheart
Your letter was waiting for me upon my return from the cemetery and it cheered me up considerably, sweetheart. It was quite comforting after the ordeal of the afternoon. Grandma looked so peaceful sleeping that no one could have the heart to wish her back. If she could only have seen the wonderful bower of flowers she was lying in I know she would have been so happy as she loved them so. But now it is all over and we have only the memory of her.
Oakland Tribune 8 Jan 1918
Rebecca (Waller) McAboy
Rebecca Moriah (Waller) McAboy, c 1920
Rebecca Moriah Waller was born 7 Feb 1845 in Warren, Ohio and died 23 Oct 1928 in Fresno. I wrote a little about her HERE when my ‘new’ cousin, Kris, shared a photo of Rebecca with me. Thanks again, Kris!
Rebecca (Parker) Waller
Another very, very important Rebecca in my tree is Rebecca Parker, Rebecca Moriah’s mother. I discovered her quite by accident several years ago HERE and love thinking about this woman whom her daughter was never able to know. While I don’t have a photo of her, I treasure the information I do have so that she will never be forgotten.
In Memory of Rebecca consort of E L Waller. She departed this Life February 13, 1845; Aged 30 Years, 4 months, and 5 days. Look at this as you pas by, as you are now so once was I, as I am now so you must be. For death and follow me.
While I’ve written about these special women on many occasions, I like to have things in one place so that my ancestors are never forgotten.