Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do you have a unique name?

Is any name unique today?
I used to think there were some, but I'm not sure anymore.
After decades of accepting my difficult to spell and even harder to pronounce last name — Arave (say: "Arvey"), as a price to pay for being unique in the name of Lynn Arave, I now have to concede otherwise.
I've recently learned that at least one other man has the same name as I do, and he is 11 years older, and so he, in Idaho Falls, is the original.
To make matters worse, at least two women have also married into the Arave family and have my same name too. One lives in Kentucky.
And, a distant cousin, Leonard Arave, goes by "Len."
It was the Internet that made discovering these doppelgangers possible.
I'm likely weird enough that I'm not much like these other Lynn Araves, but considering it was only my great-grandfather, Nelson Arave (1833-1906), who was the first ever Arave, that does seem amazing.
It is most likely that Arave should have spelled arrivée, as in the French word for Arrival.
When Nelson Arave's father and grandfather drowned in a rafting accident while logging on the St. Lawrence River, he was just three years old.
Nelson's mother was poor and could not speak English, so she gave Nelson to the Lampson Family. A Mormon family, they ended up in Nauvoo.
At the age of 17, Nelson drove a team of oxen across the plains. He became a carpenter after reaching Utah. He made hay bailers, washing machines, turning lathes and wooden bowls. He married twice and had 23 children.
He lived in both Utah and Idaho.

(Above photo is Nelson Arave's grave in the Basalt, Id. Cemetery.)

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