Friday, May 19, 2017

What's In a Name? Frustration!

This post will be relatively short because I am a bit frustrated. Here is why.

My last name is Wilkinson. It is a very popular name in England, the place I do much of my genealogy research. It is also a very popular name here in the USA in one time period in which I spend considerable research energy. My father, Fred James Wilkinson, most likely graduated from a New Hampshire teachers college, most likely in the late 1940's, from graduate school in Boston, Massachusetts, most likely in the early- to mid-1950's, and from Harvard University's doctoral program while I was living overseas in 1964.

The dates of his Bachelor and Masters degrees are what I am looking for, so far, unsuccessfully. I have contacted school administrators and am spending time researching what I can in newspapers, hoping I will find a clue or two. That is where the frustration is. You see, in the same time period as my study, a very well-known major college football coach was at the peak of his popularity and skill. And newsworthiness. His teams were great and he knew how to spread their popularity. Thus, he garnered many headlines in many newspapers (a major source of study for me) nationwide.

His name? Coach Bud Wilkinson, from my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma.

OH, how frustrating it is, trying to find articles about my Dad, Fred Wilkinson, when my search turns up 30-50 name matches to Bud Wilkinson, even from small, local Massachusetts and New Hampshire newspapers.

But as I keep saying (mostly for my benefit) if it was easy, everyone would do it and there would be no fun or challenge.

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