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


Same Name Different Spelling

By Gerry Roe, as told to Betsy Cross Thorpe

“A good name is more desirable than great riches” ……. Proverbs 22:1

My mother sent my birth announcement to her youngest brother, James Rollin Isaacs. My Uncle Jay. He held on to this
keepsake for many years. He was my special uncle. He gifted this to me before he died in 1911.

In 1894, a group of women in Greenville Mississippi set out to care for the most impoverished people in their community. Faced with the magnitude of the local need they realized that in order to care for such a large disadvantaged population they would need outside assistance. They applied to join the International Order of The King’s Daughters, one of the oldest Christian service organizations in the world.  The King’s Daughters Hospital is a result of their effort and is where I was born in 1946.

The first meal that my mother ate after giving birth to me was a bowl of oyster stew. While eating the stew she bit down a pearl. That pearl is pictured above sitting on top of a compact. The compact belonged to my mother. It was one of her most treasured possessions. She stored the pearl, wrapped in tissue, inside the compact’s rouge drawer.
The story of how my mother found a  pearl on the day of my birth is one of my favorite family stories.
(The rouge drawer is shown open in the above picture)


My name is Lucy Jearldine Roe. I was born in Kings Daughters Hospital in Greenville, Mississippi, on March 15, 1946.  Sixth in line of Henry and Ruby Roe’s seven children, I am their second and youngest daughter, the first of their children to be delivered in a hospital.  All my older siblings were born at home.

 My mother named me after two relatives, my father’s older sister Lucie Georgia Roe, and her cousin, Geraldine S. Isaacs.  While our names are the same, they are spelled differently. It was my mother’s aim that I be a proper namesake to my aunt and cousin, that our names  be spelled the same, but when a hospital nurse recorded my birth she spelled out my name as she saw fit and not how my mother intended. I don’t know why but I have always gone by my middle name, Jearldine.  Most members of my family call me Gerl, others call me Gerry. Few people know that my first name is Lucy.

We moved to Oregon when I was a baby. My Aunt Lucie sent letters to me long before I learned to read and write. My mother answered her letters for me until I was old enough to respond myself. We sent letters back and forth for more than twenty years.  I finally got to meet her in person shortly before she died in 1977. I never met cousin Geraldine, but I did meet members of her immediate family in November of 1992 when I took my mother back to Kuttawa Kentucky  to visit her birth place and to spend time with cousins and other relatives who  she hadn’t seen since she was a little girl.

Although our names are spelled differently, I am honored to carry the name of these two long-gone relatives and I hope that they were pleased to share their name with me. I also hope that when they look down from heaven that they see that I was careful to live a wholesome life and that I maintained the character of their good name.

By Gerry Roe, as told to my niece, Betsy Thorpe

For 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. From Prompt for week of February 6 to February 11, “Same Name.”

#52Ancestors #52AncestorsSameName kingsdaughterhospital #greenvillems #trejurcompact