As in all families, most of us had nicknames used almost exclusively in the family. As I tend to refer to family members by their “family names”, I thought a list would be helpful.
Your humble author – Nance or Nancer (strictly in the family), and Nöödnick II. (There were so many Nancys in my school, that for awhile I went by Nancy Jane.) Jane was the middle name of 2 of my great-grandmothers: Sarah Jane Smedley Sparks and Mary Jane Shepherd Gambell; and my great-aunt Lucile Jane Conover Gambell.
My Mother-in-law called me Nan, which I disliked intensely.
My Sister – Linda Elaine. She was Nöödnick I to our Dad. No one really called her that. She was always called Lindy, named for our Mom’s dear friend (and Maid of Honor), Marilyn (called “Lindy”; I have forgotten her last name). Our Dad preferred “proper” legal names – which was why she was named Linda. Only one person (Roscoe Feild) actually called her Linda. She said many times that she wanted to change her name, legally, but never did.
My Mom – Eileen Frances Fight. The only nickname that I know of – was “Pete”, which is what our Dad called her during courting and early marriage. Once she became a grandmother, she was “Granny”. She was named for her Mother: Frances Eileen Gambell. Mom was actually raised by her grandparents, Molly (Mary Jane) and Arthur Gambell.
My Dad – William Albert Sparks. His parents and sister called him William. Everyone else called him Bill. My Sister and I called him “Pops”. As a grandfather he was “Gramps”. He was named for his 2 grandfathers: William Withers Sparks and Albert Lizer.
Paternal Grandfather – Charles Craddock Sparks. Everyone called him Charles. His wife always called him “PaPa” (emphasis on the first Pa) . As a grandfather, he was called “Poppy”. I do not know about his first name, but Craddock was for an Uncle, Richard Craddock Sparks (who, in turn, was named for the editor of the oldest newspaper in Kentucky, Richard Craddock).
Charles’ Father – William Withers Sparks. He was called GrandDaddy Sparks, to distinguish him from another “GrandDaddy” in the family.
Charles’ Mother – Sarah Jane Smedley. She was called Grandmama. My Mother knew her as “Aunt Sally”. Mom had relatives who lived in the same small town, Cynthiana, so she knew the Sparks’ before she actually met my Dad.
Paternal Grandmother – Margaret Louis Lizer. She was called “Mag” or Meg” by her huge family. Her middle name was for one of her father’s best friends. As a grandmother, she was called “Mucky”!
Mag’s Father – Albert Lizer. He was always called Albert.
Mag’s Mother was Tilitha Frances Adams.
Only Aunt – my Dad’s sister – Sarah Frances Sparks. She was always called Sarah. My Dad called her “Sis”. We called her “Auntie” or “Lil Auntie”, she was not quite 5′ tall. She never married. She was named for her two grandmothers, Sarah Jane Smedley and Tilitha Frances Lizer.
Maternal Grandmother – Frances Eileen Gambell. She was called “Fa”. As a grandmother, she was called “FaFa”, pronounced Faffy. She married, first, Otto Enos Fight. And second, Oscar Howe. Both marriages ended in divorce.
Fa’s Father – Arthur William Rogers Gambell. He was called Art. As a grandfather, he was called GrandDaddy Gambell. He was named for his Father – Arthur Gambell, his grandfather “William Gambell” and his Grandmother “Miss Rogers”.
Art’s Father – Arthur Gambell.
Art’s Mother – Alicia Frances Featherstonehaugh. She was called “Fanny”.
Art’s Sister – Alicia Frances Gambell. She was called “Daisy”.
Art’s half sisters were Maud Gambell and Olivia Gambell.
Art’s step-mother was Maud Shanly.
Fa’s Mother – Mary Jane Shepherd. She was called “Molly” and as a grandmother, she was called “Mammy”.
Molly’s Sister – Evelyn Shepherd. She was called “Aya”.
Mollie’s Brother – Leonard Shepherd. He was called “Uncle Buddy”.
Uncle Buddy had 2 children:
Robert Raymond Shepherd (Bobby) and Agnes Shepherd.
Maternal Grandfather – Otto Enos Fight. His Father was Enos D. Fight. No known nicknames.
The Frank Family:
Robert Davis Frank (my spouse). He was called Bobby by friends, Robert by his parents. He had a lot of nicknames, mostly from classmates. There was “Hook”, Prof or Fessor (short for Professor) because generally he knew answers to most questions. Then, because he had 2 first names, one friend decided he needed a last name – which was Jones. So he became Bob Frank Jones. Then, another fraternity brother decided he needed a first name. Then he became Joe Bob Frank Jones. Then it was decided that because southerners were called by double names, he should be called Joe Bob. He was named for his Uncle Robert Peck, and his paternal grandfather Davis Frank.
Once, one of his friends asked Bob’s Mother what she called him, she replied: I call him Robert, Bob, Bobby, Bastard, or whatever comes to mind! Thus, shocking all the kids.
Robert’s Mother was Helen Bernd Klein. She was called Helen by everyone but her husband. He called her Helly.
More to come.