Sunday, January 20, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 3: Unusual Name

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 3 - Unusual Name
Phariba - Pharaba - Fariba

I’ve decided to join Amy Johnson Crow’s 2019 challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  I haven’t been successful in following through in the past, but some stories are better than none!  I hope you find these interesting, and if you think we might be related let me know, and if you are related and/or have more information for me, I would certainly appreciate it.

This weeks prompt is "Unusual Name."  I have a few in my tree, but my Great x3 (Genealogy shorthand for Great, Great, Great) maternal Grandmother's name is the one that has intrigued me over the years.  Partly because her surname makes me wonder if I'm related to the feuding Hatfields, but it's mostly because Phariba is so unusual - at least to me.  

I discovered that there were actually 1.75 million entries that come up if you search for Phariba on   There are three women on facebook with that name plus two more whose names are in a different language alphabet.  One site I looked at said there are less than 2,700 people living today with this name which can also be spelled Fariba.   It apparently is of ancient Persian origin and means lovely, charming, and enticing.

My Phariba was born in 1791 in Russell County, Virginia to Joseph Hatfield and Rachel Smith.  Some people list her name as "Phariba (Phoebe) Hatfield" which may be because of the unusual name and in the 1850 census Ancestry indexed it as "Phoriba" although I think it is a sloppy "a" instead of an "o."  I'm not sure where they got the name Phoebe* - maybe just trying to make it fit in today's world. 

One of Phariba's daughters was Rachel Reed who married Samuel McDonald who were the parents of Dillie McDonald the Great Grandmother I wrote about last week.  Her oldest daughter also had the name Phariba, and I had forgotten but I also have an inlaw of a second cousin who died as 10-year-old in 1904.  Although these families lived in the same general area of Kentucky and Scott County Tennessee, One set is my Mother's maternal line and the other is in my Mother's paternal line. They are the only ones in my tree at this time.  I haven't been able to track her after 1860.  

I haven't done a lot of research on her since I live so far away and I rely on others research.  My son and I are in her DNA Circle along with 202 other probable descendants.

*Some people have her listed as Phoebe Reed in the 1870 Census in Georgia, Blind and living with an apparent son James.  I don't think that is her.  Findagrave has Phariba dying in 1840, but I don't believe that is correct either.  I've messaged the Hatfield descendant that created the memorial so will have to wait for her to respond to find out her source - I could be wrong.  

Interesting how writing what you know, tends to raise more questions.

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