Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What's in a Name: Jesse

I don't recall ever having met a man named Jesse but in my direct line there are seven: three in the paternal line, all Warrens (Virginia and Georgia); four maternal ancestors including two Tomlinsons (Maryland), a Webb (born in Texas but with a father from Pennsylvania) and a Sill (Pennsylvania).

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries every branch of the Warren family in and around Hancock County, Georgia, seems to have a Jesse in each generation which makes sorting them out a challenge. Fortunately the three in my line are a father, son and grandson, all of whom are clearly identified through probate records from the mid-1820s. (As for exactly who was the father of the oldest Jesse, that requires more research which we hope to accomplish with a visit to Georgia later this year.)

Behind the Name gives us this etymology:
"From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishay) which possibly means 'gift'. Jesse is the father of King David in the Old Testament. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation."
In Christian art the Jesse Tree is a depiction of the ancestry of Jesus as a descendant of the House of David.
[Detail of a miniature of the Tree of Jesse. Origin: France, N. E. (Burgundy) 
Attribution: later addition under Louise de Savoie and Master of the Burgundian Prelates

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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