Question: Why did a pioneer father name all of his daughters Mary?
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Mary, the Mother of Many Marys
Sitting on his knee one day, William Meeks, told his little daughter, Mary Jane Meeks (Pearce), this story of why she was named Mary. He thought Mary was the sweetest name he had ever heard. He loved the story of Mary, mother of Jesus, and, the sweetest girl he ever knew was Mary Elizabeth Rhodes, so it was she he chose to become his wife. When their first daughter was born she looked so much like her mother that he insisted that she be named for her mother. She was named “Mary Elizabeth.”
When the second daughter was born she was just as sweet and so that she would not be denied the name of Mary, she was named “Mary Ann.” When the third daughter was born he could not be partial after giving the first two this favored name, so she was christened “Mary Jane.”
It was then that the father said he could not think of treating one child better than the other. “Hereafter,” he said, “I will give the name of Mary, and mother may choose any name she wishes to go with it.” The fourth child was “Mary Ellen;” the fifth, “Mary Melissa;” and the sixth child was named “Mary Louise.” All have been happy with their names and happy to know that there was no partiality shown. In addition to the six girls there were also five sons, Harvery, Henry, William, Joseph and John born to William and Mary Elizabeth Rhodes Meeks.
Kate B. Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage – Vol 15, p. 142. “Mary, the Mother of many Marys” from Sylvia Pearce Rogerson.