Monday, September 12, 2011
Alfred Loraine Batson - My Namesake - Part 1
Not every girl can say she was named after her great, great grandfather. Luckily, my parents only gave me the Loraine as a middle name. I don't look like an Alfred... (he's here with his wife, Laura Jennie Akeman)
I did some research several years ago in Muskingum County, Ohio where Alfred was born to John and Sarah Batson. He was their first son and we often wondered why Alfred was given a female middle name. Neither of his names appeared to be family names. The family rumor was that the family was from Alsace Loraine in Europe and that's why he had that middle name. After doing a bit of genealogy it was obvious the Batsons had been in the US a long time and not recent immigrants. So that was more like a guess on a part of the family.
So when I went to Ohio to do research, a big part of it was to discover where that name came from. After some poking around in the John McIntire Public Library in Zanesville, Ohio, we found the mother-load! There was a history on the Trinity Church in Zanesville. At the time my Batson family was in the area, the Trinity church - then known as the Seventh Street Methodist Episcopal Church - was completed and dedicated in 1849. The history stated, "The sermon was delivered by Rev. A.M. Lorain of Putnam Station." I did a little more research and found that Alfred M. Lorain was made a Methodist preacher in 1823 and traveled around that part of Ohio preaching at the different Methodist churches.
I wasn't even sure my Batsons were religious as my Grandfather never mentioned it. But it is very apparent now - they were Methodists and God-fearing people. Alfred M. Loraine must have given really amazing sermons and maybe even was a friend of the Batson family, because on March 24, 1849, John and Sarah named their first son, Alfred Loraine Batson.
As I'm a Christian myself, I'm pretty proud of my family's heritage and that we continue the legacy of a belief in Jesus Christ. This is the best kind of genealogy discovery!