Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's In a Name, Anyway?

Since this is a blog on history and/or historical romance, I thought it pretty apt to give a little information about how my pen name came about because there is both historical and personal relivance to it for me. :) I'm still in the process of researching my father's side of the family, but I know much more about my mother's side. I take great pride in my families. It's so cool to imagine how they might've lived, loved, struggled and overcome obstacles of their time. I've even gotten ideas for books based on some things I've learned. They might seem insignificant, but there's a romance story everywhere if you look closely as I'll explain later. :)
My real name obviously, isn't Abbey MacInnis. It was actually my Mom who thought of it for me. :) Koodos to her for that. :)
Abbey MacInnis comes from the maiden names of my grandmothers, both born and raised in Canada, but who, for various reasons migrated to the Detroit area and found husbands and started families of their own. My mother's family come from Antigonish Nova Scotia. I have second and third cousins who live all throughout Canada. My grandmother was the youngest of seven. She came to the US to take care of her older sister who was ill. Antigonish was mostly a farming community in the 40's and earlier, so jobs were hard to find.
My father's mother's family came to Detroit pretty much for the same reason. The car industry was booming then. People from all over North America were coming to Detroit to find work.
Abbey comes from my father's side of the family. That side is British and German. I'm still trying to research my father's side of the family, but one story I recall hearing from my grandmother before she passed away was that a Great Great grandfather (not sure how far back it goes), came from England in the 1700's. He was a physician who helped settle the territory.
I know a bit more about the MacInnis side, my mother's family. :)
They came from Scotland and settled in Nova Scotia, which in essence means "New Scotland." They arrived in Canada in the 1800's. My Great Great Grandfather spoke Gaelic. This too, is something my grandmother, my mother's mother has shared with me, so it's led me to conclude that perhaps my Great Great Grandfather might've come from Scotland. Or that perhaps his father did. :)
Here's where it gets really cool. :) My Great Grandfather, (still on the MacInnis side), served in WWI. Here's an original wood-framed black and white photo of him in his uniform.

One story my grandmother told me was one she wasn't supposed to overhear, but even as a kid, my Grandma was awesome even then. :)
She overheard her father talking to someone that he saw a German soldier. He was supposed to kill him, but the man was praying, so he didn't. I thought that was very honorable. Turns out that the two men crossed paths in a church after the end of the war, both recognizing the other.
The war took a toll on my Great Grandfather. He'd traveled from England to France to Germany on foot. Obviously conditions in the trenches were horrible, but he survived and returned to Nova Scotia.
Here's where the romance of my very long post comes in. :) I don't know if my Great Grandfather courted his wife before or after he returned from the war. I'm going to write a book centered around this though. Only a lake separated my Great Grandfather and Mother from each other. So instead of walking around the lake, he'd swim over to court her. How cool is that? :)
They married and raised a family. The Casket was the local paper. My Great Grandfather was a contributor to it for several years. I like to think that's where I got my love for writing.
On my trip to Nova Scotia in 2000 for our family reunion, I actually visited the house where my Grandmother grew up, and the grave site where her family's buried. It was a trip I'll never forget, and one I hope to repeat during my lifetime.
I'm so happy to have shared the meaning behind my pen name with you. :) I feel I'm honoring both sides of my family, and am proud I have ancestors who fought for their happiness and freedom and who lived good lives. :)

Abbey MacInnis is a published author of Contemporary Western romance. Along with Contemporary, she writes Historical, Paranormal and erotic romance. Whether she’s being swept off her feet by a Medieval knight, regency rake, or cowboy or cop, her heroes are always strong men who’ll love their women unconditionally.
On most days, Abbey can be found at her computer, penning her latest tale. A tale where love, respect, and passion combine to create a satisfying and happy ending. She invites you to step in to the pages of her romances, to leave your worries behind and get swept up in her world.
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  1. Abbey that is so cool to know about your family's history. My mother's side were Huguenots from Prussia who went to France and then Scotland and finally to here in New Zealand - quite apt when five generations later my children came from Russia. My dad's family were Irish and came out on the founding father's boats to NZ, something to be very proud of.

    1. Thanks for sharing some of your family history too, Jane. :) It is very interesting to see where we came from. :)

  2. Hi Abbey - what a fabulous family tree and I love the story about your great grandfather. I am tenth generation Welsh with a little Spanish thrown in somewhere along the line. Great post :)

  3. Hi Abbey - so interesting to read about your family tree. What a great way to find inspiration!

  4. Hi Helen, thank you. :) I love what stories I've learned about my family history. :)
    Hi Lee, I never thought I'd receive any inspiration from doing a little research, but I'll take it. :)
    Thanks for commenting, ladies. :)