For whatever reason, I have been ignoring my great-great grandmother's parents. My only excuse is that I got caught up in other branches and just never got around to them. I went through many family reunions where my mother's cousins told me I had spelled their grandmother's name incorrectly. My Grandmother provided me with the spelling of her mother's name: PHEBE ANN GARDNER KOONTZ. I went with the theory that her daughter was a better source than any of her grandchildren. A number of "all knowing" first cousins, once removed, assured me the proper spelling was the traditional PHOEBE. I then found where great grandmother Koontz signed her own name as PHEBE. That was a good indication the cousins were wrong. But, it did not explain the strange spelling of the name.
Now, I am not totally unfamiliar with strange spelling of names. My mother's name was Jmae (pronounced J me). So, there had to be a reason Phebe dropped the O.
I finally started going back up the tree. Phebe's mother, Mary Ann Cummings Gardner, died at an early age and her husband, William G Gardner married three more times. So, that end was a scramble. All I had was Mary Ann's father was Abner and they were living in Connecticut at the time Mary Ann and William were married. Well, I did what I was supposed to do and started the #Census search for Abner. To the best of anyone's recall Abner had died in 1848, so I was looking before 1850. I found Abner with the appropriate household members in the right are of Connecticut, But, this was all before 1850. No names of family members other than Abner. So, I stared in #1850Census since it contains a list of all the family members and looked for Mary Ann Cummings in the same town in Connecticut. Well, what popped up, but Mary Ann as the daughter and Phebe as the wife. That is right PHEBE. Wife, not Widow. Well she was Line 1. Wonder what was on the #previouspageofthecensus. Abner was alive and well. In fact he lived until 1884, not 48.
So, my great grandmother was named after her grandmother, using the same spelling. There was a reason. What is in a name? Sometimes, a whole lot of family history....