During the final weeks of my senior year of high school, I did lots of research into the history of my name. I intended on making a book that traced through each generation of my Grandad’s father figures. What I found was super interesting…Nicholas Danforth immigrated to America from Framingham, England. He arrived in Boston aboard, The Griffin, where another notable passenger was Anne Hutchinson. Nicholas had several sons, including Thomas Danforth, otherwise known as “Judge Danforth” in the book, The Crucible. With more research, I also discovered that I had one relative fight for the Union in the Civil War…pretty cool stuff.
My middle name’s story is probably a pretty familiar one. My great grandma on my mom’s side was named Elizabeth Emerson Hurd, and my Grandmommy (paternal Grandma) was named Elizabeth Wagley Danforth. Needless to say, my middle name was a crowd pleaser.
My first name has a different story line. When my mom went to have my older sister baptized, there was a Kendall getting married to her fiance, whose last name was also Kendall. Her name was going to be Kendall Kendall. My mom thought this was funny, but also thought it was a beautiful name. At first, my Dad did not agree. He knew an obnoxious girl named Kendall while growing up, and also drew parallels with the company Kendall Motor Oil. He did not want his daughter to share the name of a motor oil company. However, with my mother’s persuasion, the name grew on him. I was born Kendall Elizabeth Danforth.
Looking back on this, each of my names shares some certain degree of generational influence. Obviously, my last name is the oldest one, while my middle name refers back to previous generations (specifically the Silent Generation). My first name however, is novel in my family’s history and because of this, it reflects millennial values.
On my dad’s side I am English and Norwegian. My mother’s ancestors immigrated from Ireland, but also have Scottish roots. So overall, like most people, I am a mut.
Here is a fun quote to leave you with, “The Kendall brand has served as a pioneer in the industry inventing the first oil designated for winter use, the first prepackaged and factory sealed one-quart oil can, as well as the first 2,000-mile motor oil, which resulted in the brand’s iconic two finger logo.”