Strange coincidences

5 09 2011

Recently my husband came across a letter and enclosure from his sister, Ann, dated a few years ago. It was a response to his request for information on an aunt who lived in the Netherlands. For a long time, he had wanted to visit her, since she was the only living member of his father’s family. Unfortunately, she had died not long before we received the letter from Ann.

The enclosure was a copy of the death announcement. Two pages of details revealed her date of birth and death, a short homage to her, and a listing of surviving family members, including those in her family who had preceded her in death.

The part I found especially interesting was the list of the names. I’ve been fascinated by names for many years. In most cases in Dutch family history, the names are repeated every other generation, though the modern trend is to choose the ones you like for your children instead of those dictated by custom.

There, in the list, was the name Coen. It caught me by surprise. Coen. I have only seen that used as a first or middle name one time. My grandson, who just celebrated his third birthday, is named Xander Coen DeVries. Who knew? I’m quite sure my son and daughter-in-law had no idea they were choosing a Dutch middle name for their son. Gotta love it!

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