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|My maiden name is Webb, but not really. Here's the story.
There was a man who was a high ranking soldier in William the Conqueror's military force, think 1066. Because of his valuable contributions to William's victories, the man was awarded a great deal of wealth, land, money, jewels, etc. He had a wife and a daughter, but I don't know of any other children. The man's name was James Webb. His precious daughter was named Mary. Mary Webb.
Mary fell in love with a handsome young man from Wales who spoke only in Gaelic and Mary knew only the King's English, but they were so in love they taught each other their words and had no trouble communicating. The day came when the young man from Wales went to Mary's father, Mr. Webb, and asked for his daughter's hand in marriage.
"But what is your name, young man?" asked the wealthy and highly superior Mr. Webb.
"My name is Raouldus fLaithbheartaigh, Sir," said the young man in halting English.
"What! No daughter of mine will take a name like that. No! You cannot marry my daughter."
Now Mary, being a very strong young woman, as all Webb women are, took matters into her own hands (as most all Webb women do) and had a talk with her beloved. And more talks. And more. Time passed and she continued to talk with her beloved.
One day she went boldly into her Father's quarters to talk privately with her Father.
"Father, dear Father," she said in her most daughterly fashion. "My beloved is handsome, he's strong, he will work hard to support me, he will give you many strong grandsons, and he will take good care of me. Please give us your approval."
"NO, absolutely NO, no daughter of mine will marry a man by the name of Raould fLaithbheartaigh. Never!" said the stately Mr. Webb.
"Father, dear Father," said dear Mary, "my beloved has agreed to take the name of Richard, in honor of your brother, when we marry. Will you now approve?"
"NO, absolutely NO, no daughter of mine will marry a man by the name of Richard fLaithbheartaigh. Never!" said Mr. Webb.
"Well then, dearest, dearest Father, my beloved has agreed to take the name of Webb when we marry. He will become Richard Webb. Will you now approve?" said dear and quite brilliant Mary.
"Welcome to the family, Richard Webb," said the smiling and very wealthy Mr. Webb.
And that my friends is how - all these years later - I became Sharon Webb and not something as undignified as Sharon fLaithbheartaigh.
(P.S. The story is legendarily true, but the Gaelic name is incorrect. It's something similar, but much longer, and I'm too tired to dig into my records tonight to get the correct spelling, so forgive that one little writer's privilege I sneaked in. My grandfather was an attorney and had access even years ago to many many records and lots of people and places. His father was also the postmaster, which opened other doors for him. The results are quite remarkable, and though there are some blanks in the very early years, closer accuracy begins in England sometime around the mid 1300s and I can pretty well count on the accuracy of the rest of it. I love interesting stories.
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