G is for Gertrude

Gertrude means “strong spear/spear maiden.”

My grandmother was born Gertrude Elizabeth Yates on August 10. For the longest time, we all, i.e. her daughter and her family, thought she was born in 1898, which I found easy to remember: the Spanish-American War was that year. But one day in the 1960s, she decided, or was persuaded, to register to vote. And we were surprised to discover that she was in fact born in 1897. Why had she lied about this fact for so many years, we never knew.
My mother was born Gertrude Elizabeth Williams on November 17, 1927. The younger Gertrude was called Gertie by her family. Turns out, she HATED being Gertie, and, at some point before I was born, became Trudy. Only some of her cousins still referred to her as Gertie.

I’m fascinated how some names somehow get dubbed as “old-fashioned.” Continue reading “G is for Gertrude”