52 Ancestors: Favorite Name


This week’s prompt – Favorite Name – was a tough one for me. I come from a long line of boring names. (I told my mom of this week’s prompt, who replied, “which John are you going to write about?”😂)  So instead, I have opted to write about someone who loved their unique name, my paternal grandmother Veva.

Veva Loene Crowe was born on September 29, 1922 in Salem, Oregon to Chester and Myrtle Crowe. She loved to tell me about her birth story: she was born two days after her youngest maternal aunt, Marie. Her mother Myrtle assisted with the birth of her sister, and then gave birth with the assistance of her mother. Marie and my grandma grew up like sisters.

George Dyer and great grandchildren

My grandma as a baby, with her brother Merle, cousins Delva and Walter Levengood, and their great-grandfather George Dyer. Delva and Walter’s mother was Eva.

My grandma loved her name, because it was unique. She told me it was name her mother had come up with, to honor to women: her dad’s sister Vera and her mom’s sister Eva, combining the two names into Veva.

Chester Crow with his sisters, Vera and Violet

Chester, Vera, and Violet Crowe, circa 1910.

Eva, Myrtle,

Eva, Myrtle, and Lester Sanford, circa 1900.

Growing up, my grandma would tell me how she loved her name because it was unique to her, that no one else had it. I remember being at a store with her when I was younger and stumbling across Viva paper towels, and being stunned that it was only one letter away from her name! I recall her being less than impressed; after all, it was not her name, spelled the same way.

Veva Loene Crowe

Veva as a child. This was her favorite picture of herself.

As I got older, my grandma asked that I name one of my children after her, to keep her name alive. “A middle name is fine!” she claimed. (In hindsight, she picked the wrong grandchild to ask, as I have no children, but my brother, sister, and one of my cousins each have three.)  However, I am happy to have a platform to share the story behind the name she loved.

Thanks for taking the time to read the story about my grandma’s name! You can find all my 52 Ancestors post through the tag below.

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Until next time,