Mom wasn’t born with a silver spoon, but she did have a silver cup.

I found this little mug when I was clearing out my parents’ home a number of years ago. Never saw it before I ran across it in trying to determine what was of value (financial and sentimental) and what was to be left for the estate sale. In this case it was a very tarnished child’s sterling silver cup. I could make out the markings on the bottom as having a Sterling mark. It says Gorham Sterling 3307. I had no idea whose it was. A bit of silver polish – OK, a lot of silver polish – later and I discovered the engraving on the side opposite the handle. It said J Mae. Now, my grandparents named my mother Jmae (all one word, one capitalization) so this must have come from someone who misunderstood what they were told or the engraver took it upon themselves to “correct” what they were given — 100 years ago version of auto-correct.

Mom’s name is strange. She was named after a family friend of my grandparents. The original Jmae owned a number of hardware stores and had no children. I think Grandma and Grandpa had dreams of my mother being significant in the friend’s will. But, it didn’t quite work out. The friend married late in life and her new husband went through her money faster that water through a sieve.

As a child, I cannot count the number of times I was challenged that I did not know how to spell my mother’s name. A couple of times Mom had to come to my defense since the teachers would not accept the weird spelling until she confirmed it. I do have a copy of her birth certificate — Jmae, one word, one capital letter.

About Pat Shaul

Genealogist / Family Historian; Blog started as a record of my Grandfather's post card collection which ran for 15 months. Then, in June, 2017, I changed over to reporting and commenting on notifications from the ANCESTRY app "We're Related" I then started to provide snippets into ancestor biographies on the dates that were significant anniversaries.
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