Saturday, April 6, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: F is for Floral

This is Day 6 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name but no story.


is for Floral.

Floral May Sullivan Merica was my maternal grandfather’s cousin, therefore my first cousin twice removed. 

She was the third of five daughters born to William and Laura Jollett Sullivan. 



Pearl, Minnie, and Floral Sullivan about 1896
Seated: Minnie Sullivan
Standing in the back:  Pearl Sullivan
Standing in front:  Floral Sullivan


Growing up, I always thought it ironic that Laura had a lovely and refined name but she had selected the most old-fashioned old-lady names for her own girls:  Minnie, Pearl, Floral, Leota, and Elta.  On reflection, those were probably cutting edge names in their day while “Laura” had assumed the title of “old fashioned.”

They must have been a fun bunch, judging by the number of photos my grandfather and his sisters had from their younger days spent with their cousins.

Sullivan house 1924
Unknown gentlemen
outside the Sullivan gate
1924

While there seemed to be lots of men calling at the Sullivan house, Floral did not marry until late in life.  She completed four years of high school and achieved success as an assistant cashier and later THE cashier for the local bank in Shenandoah, Virginia.


Sometime between 1940 and 1954, Floral married Cletus Homer Merica (now THAT’s a name!).  Those dates are based on the 1940 census when she was single and living at home and a 1954 city directory for Alexandria, Virginia, in which she appears as “Floral S. Merica” alongside Cletus H.









Sullivan sisters and Grandma Davis
Left to right:  Floral Sullivan Merica, Lucille Rucker Davis (Grandma),
Pearl Sullivan Strole, Leota Sullivan Racey, Elta Sullivan Farrar

There were no children, and Floral outlived her husband.  She died in a nursing home in Chesapeake.  My guess is that this was most convenient for her only living sister and survivor, Elta Sullivan Farrar.

Tombstone of Cletus and Floral S. Merica
Tombstone at EUB Church Cemetery
Shenandoah, Virginia


For more F Fun, Find your way over to the A to Z April Challenge.  

26 comments:

  1. Floral, sounds such a lovely name.

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    1. I imagine it created some confusion with the more traditional "Flora."

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  2. Hi Wendy, good to see you on A-Z - I found you via your SS post today. I shall be coming back to check out you other names.

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    1. Hey Bob. Thanks - I'll be looking for you too.

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  3. Old Lady names...LOL...especially since Minnie and Pearl are names of women in my Family Tree. No Floral's though except for Rose and Lily! I wonder why William and Laural named her Floral May and not just Flora..without the 'l'. Couldn't have been that she was born in May and they had so many girls they ran out of Old Lady names!
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

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    1. I wondered too why not just Flora -- certainly it was common enough. Maybe that was the problem: too common. After all, later they came up with Leota and Elta, both of which I never heard of.

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  4. There is a parent of a student in my class that is named Flora. Funny how Eleanor, Lilly, Fiona and Violet are coming back in style.
    I love the photo of them all...classic!
    Happy A-Z April!

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    1. Yes, those oldies are coming back.

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  5. Found this on M.J.'s post. She listed two family history blogs, yours and mine. Love the use of the names and the descriptions. Can't wait to see what else you have to share.

    http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for visiting. I didn't realize MJ had mentioned us - I need to go check.! I'll be by to visit your blog.

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  6. Those were some names, but I think you are right about them being a fun bunch. Grandma always liked them.

    Maybe our kids will think these are great names. HA!

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    1. What - instead of Blaine and River and Russell?

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  7. I love the photo of all of them - classic! And they are fairly well color coordinated, too.

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  8. I have never heard of Floral as a name, but I like all those names :)

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  9. I have lots of Pearls and 1 Minnie but no Floral, although there is a Flora. And there's a family friend who was named Leota.

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    1. Leota - really? I thought we had the one and only.

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  10. What fun photos Wendy! Those two men "loitering" outside the Sullivan home is classic. Maybe they were "waiting each other out" to see who would be the one to call on one of the Sullivan girls.

    And the last photo is so sweet.

    I checked my database...no Florals or Leotas, but I do have ten Pearls and one Pearle. And three of the Pearls are men!

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    1. What's up with men named Pearl?? That had to be rough in elementary school.

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    2. I know right? Maybe they went by their middle names instead. =)

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  11. Floral sounds like a very smart lady. Cute picture of all the sisters too!

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    1. I'm sure becoming the head cashier at the bank was a big deal for a woman back then. So I am guessing too that she had to have been pretty smart.

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  12. Wendy, you and the others who are doing the April A-Z challenge amaze me. I think it's hard work to compose the FH Alphabet challenge posts every week; I can't imagine doing the alphabet every day! Congrats to you for doing such a great job with it.

    Floral is such an unusual name. I don't believe I've ever heard the word used as a name before. The photo of the 3 girls is adorable and the photo of the 5 sisters is even better. Can you imagine all the chatter that might have happened during a get-together like that, especially if they were talkative and in the mood to reminisce?

    Lovely post (as are all of yours).

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