Monday, February 5, 2018

52 Ancestors #6: Train Was the Name--But Why?


This week's #52Ancestors challenge (thank you, Amy Johnson Crow), is "favorite name." My pick is Train. Actually, I'm interested in TWO men named Train. The original Train who caught my eye is Train C. McClure (1843-1934), the third son of Benjamin McClure and Sarah Denning (hubby's 2d great-grandparents). Born in Wabash county, Indiana, Train was my husband's 2d great uncle. Why, I wondered for a long time, was his name "Train," and what did the middle initial stand for?

Train C. McClure served nearly three years in the Civil War. As a teen, he enlisted in Company A, Indiana 89th Infantry Regiment on August 3, 1862 and was mustered out at age 21 on July 19, 1865 at Mobile, Alabama, far from his Indiana home. Two years after his military service, he married Gulia Swain and started a family. They had four children together. After Gulia died, Train remarried to Rebecca Abbott. He outlived all of his siblings and died at the age of 90.

After puzzling over Train's first name and middle initial for a while, I went over the McClure family tree with a finer-tooth comb. Then I discovered that Train's father Benjamin had a younger sister named Jane McClure, who married Train Caldwell on April 5, 1831.

Doesn't it seem reasonable to think that Benjamin named his son Train Caldwell McClure after his brother-in-law, Train Caldwell? In fact, as the 1850 Census at top indicates, the McClure and Caldwell families had a close enough relationship that a Mary A. McClure was living in Posey township, Indiana, with Train, Jane (nee McClure), and their children. Presumably this is one of Jane's relatives. To avoid getting derailed from the Train kinfolk, I haven't yet focused on little Mary McClure, but I will.
In tracking Jane's Train Caldwell, I learned more about his background, as you can see from the excerpt here, part of volume 3 of a book titled History of Northwest Missouri, edited by Walter Williams (1915).

Unfortunately, I don't agree with the book's assertion that Jane McClure, Train's wife, was the daughter of Samuel McClure, who lived in Indiana but was originally from Adams County. I've run into Samuel and the McClure confusion often during my Indiana research, because the Benjamin McClure in hubby's family tree was also from Adams County and later pioneered in Indiana. No connection with Samuel that I can find (yet), and I've actually discussed the possibility with Wabash history experts in the past.

The two Train men have provided endless hours of research and interest. Interestingly, Train was not an uncommon name in Indiana at that time. More research is clearly in my future as I stay on track with my McClure and Caldwell investigations.

8 comments:

Linda Stufflebean said...

Train is certainly one of the more interesting given names I've ever heard of. We're used to the Puritan names like Experience, Resolve, etc., but Train is a new one for me. What is the birth year of the earliest Train you've come across? Maybe someone actually named him after the invention of the train.

Marian B. Wood said...

The oldest Train is about 1810, which I suspect is too soon for the invention of the train. Actually, steam trains were being tested in UK around then, but how would someone in Indiana know about that and care enough to name a boy Train?

Renee Schmidt said...

How very interesting! I wonder if I can offer some insight. I have some ancestors with Train as their last name. The earliest of these Train ancestors I have traced to Whately, Massachusetts in the 1700s. I wonder if these people with Train as their first name knew or were relatives of someone with Train as their last name.

Renee Schmidt said...

Upon further inspection, The majority of descendants of my Train ancestors moved to Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan all states bordering Indiana. I haven't done much in the way of finding descendants, so this is based only off of a few families. I would not be surprised if more moved to Indiana as well.

Marian B. Wood said...

Renee, your insights are very helpful. One of the two Train men in my post wasn't born in Indiana but his parents were on the border, waiting to pioneer. I'm going to keep digging for more info. Thanks for leaving me your comments!

Dana Leeds said...

Love this name! And, I have never seen it before. (I'm a week behind on #52 ancestors and still need to choose a "favorite name")

Alice Keesey Mecoy said...

In My tree, many children are named for brothers/sisters, uncles/aunts, in laws and family friends. Sometimes makes for confusing research. Great Post. I really enjoy your blog.

Anna Matthews said...

Very interesting and punny post! Interesting that the first Train was so named before the train.