By Betsy Cross Thorpe

“We should all have that one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, my Grandmother was that person for me.” Phyllis Theroux

My aunt, Lucy Jearldine Roe made this quilt for my daughter Ruby Elizabeth shortly after Ruby was born. Now, almost 40 years later it remains one of my daughter’s most treasured keepsakes.
My Grandmother, Ruby Elizabeth Isaacs Roe with her great granddaughter ( my daughter) Ruby Elizabeth Thorpe, sightseeing in Memphis Tennesse, November, 1992.


I can’t recall what my grandmother was doing when I first made my promise to her. Was she busy at her sewing machine, tapping her foot up and down to keep the treadle going?  Was she bent over the wood stove, lighting some kindling to start a fire?  Perhaps she was in the yard tending to her roses, or on the porch snapping some freshly picked green beans. Was it while she was busy in the kitchen, boiling down some berries to make a batch of her much-loved blackberry jam?  Its quite possible that I might have whispered it in her ear late one winter afternoon, while she was sitting quiet in her chair just resting her eyes.

I really can’t say.

 But what I do know is that at some time during my childhood I promised my grandmother that one day when I was grown and married, I would have a daughter and that I would name her, Ruby Elizabeth, after her. I promised to give my future daughter her entire name, not just pass down half of it like she did when she named my mother Nannie Elizabeth, or like my mother did when she named me Elizabeth Ann. I promised her that my daughter would have the exact same name as her.

Years later I kept my promise.  When I took my baby daughter to see my grandmother for the very first time she was swaddled in a quilt that my aunt had made—her name clearly embroidered on the front of the blanket.

Ruby Elizabeth

I am glad that I kept my promise to my grandmother and so is my daughter. She is very proud to carry on the name of her great grandmother.


There is one other person in my family who had the same name has my grandmother, but it was a person that I never knew.  As strange  as it may seem my father’s mother was also named Ruby Elizabeth.

My grandmother had other granddaughters and great-great granddaughter’s who share the name Elizabeth, but to my knowledge my daughter is only one who fully carries her name. My youngest granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth, is the fifth Elizabeth in my direct family line to be named Elizabeth.

For 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Prompt for “Same Name.”

#52Ancestors #52AncestorsSameName

4 thoughts on “SAME NAME

  1. Mary Elizabeth Also holds my first name I am a grandmother on the Father’s side. My birth name is Mary Ruth Jane Morrow Griffin Holt


  2. Thanks for sharing Mary Ruth. What an honor for the two of to share our names with such an amazing girl. Our Mary Elizabeth is a girl on fire. Its exciting to be watch her grow.


  3. Ruby Elizabeth Thorpe was mine and her late Great Gramps first grandchild. All family and friends were delighted none more so than my mother Ruby Elizabeth Issacs Roe and the bonus of having her namesake! I vividly remember the quilt her great aunt Geraldine made for her! The quilt was such the big hit at the “lovely at a distance” Ruby Elizabeth Thorpe shower hosted by our good friend Rusty Bedortha who lived across the street from our family since 1964. Many family and friends were there and non of the gifts were wrapped so all of us could see them and then wrapped for mailing from Springfield, Oregon to Austin, Texas!

    As for my name Nannie Elizabeth the name Nannie came from Aunt Nannie Coghlan of Kentwood, Louisiana. She was our father’s sister and I received gifts and letters from her for years and years and when I learned to read and write I read the letters and answered them. I was able to meet her for the first time when our family visited her in Kentwood in 1971 and again when my late husband and I and our dear friends Dick and Beverly Chadburn went to New Orleans for a fabulous trip for Mardi Gras and my dear Aunt Nannie ventured from Kentwood to New Orleans to spend time with us and I remember being told it was her first time to Mardi Gras! I was called by my given name Nannie until my first day of school in Dorena, Oregon after migrating from the Mississippi Delta. My 4th grade teacher asked us all what our names were and I said “Nannie Roe” and she said I think we will change your name to Nan! And she did and forever after I was called Nan except by family and close friends and they called me Nan lots of times!


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