Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's in a name?

Thought you might like to hear a little background on the name.

Gwen: We spent a lot of time thinking about a name for our baby girl. There was a list of requirements and frequent trips to this website to analyze popularity trends. In the end, it turned out to be the only name that fit all our search criteria and that we both really liked. It means "white, fair, blessed". As an added bonus, one of my Grandma Brown's very best friends was named Gwen.

Sophronia: meaning: wise. Levi Orlando is named after Jerry's grandfather, Jerry Orlando Mortensen. So, we thought it a good trend to stick with a family name for the middle name. So Gwen's middle is after my Grandpa Brown's great-great grandmother Sophronia Kelley. Sophronia Kelley was a Mormon pioneer who joined the church and traveled to Salt Lake City with the saints. She was present when Brigham Young assumed leadership of the church. I found the following story about her on a genealogy website (told by her daughter).

"The next incident I must refer to was while crossing the Missouri River. My mother was driving her own team and wagon of supplies with her baby on her lap. The water was so deep the box on the wagon she was riding in floated off the wagon and tipped over, throwing her and her baby into the water. Her brother, who had crossed the river just ahead, ran down the stream, climbed out on some willows that reached out over the water. Reaching down from this position, he caught her clothes as she went under and held her until help arrived. She was unconscious as they dragged her onto the bank, but was still holding the baby."

As an added bonus, Joseph Smith had a sister named Sophronia. She was born in Tunbridge, Vermont, which is about 30 miles from where we are now living.

Pictured: Sophronia Kelley