What's In A Name?

It is an American story.

It's time to come clean.  The weight of it all is too much to for me to carry.  I've been accused many times of having a fake name.  It is time to set the record straight.  My name is fake.  Yes, I know many of you feel vindicated.  I admit that coming clean has taken a load of guilt off my shoulders.  So here is my confession:

Maddox is a made up name.  I freely admit it now.  I've been living with that as a part of my name for many years.  But it is a made up name.  At least as made up as it could be.  So there you go.

Anyone who reads my blog will note the frequent references to my name.  It seems to have a handful of people in a twist.  They refer to me as Maddox, Lopez Maddox, Maddox Lopez, Lomad.  Often, it is meant as some kind of pegoritive. 

So how can this be?

Surnames are interesting things.  They tell a story but often not the full story.  My mother's people came from Germany.  I'm the 14th great grandson of Swiss Mennonite leader, Christian Stauffer.  I know this because the Mennonites keep very good records.  The Stauffers came to Lancaster, Pennsylvania around 1700.  More of her people came here from German eventually making their way to Kansas.

My father's people immigrated from Ireland and Norway and made it to Yuma as the Apache Wars came to an end.  Much of my father's family is now latino.  They even married into one of California's original Spanish land grant families that trace their line back to the founding of the mission in San Juan Capistrano.

So where did Maddox come from?  My grandfather took his stepfather's surname.

This is what makes our nation great.  My "family" is a blend of Swiss Mennonite, Lusieno Indian, Mexican-American, German, Irish and Norweigan.  Only small minded people concern themselves with names and ethnicity.  We are a nation set apart because we are the sum of many parts.

In a few days we will select our President for the next four years.  The undecided vote in a handful of states hold our nation in their hands.  The election is to be decided by a handful of people who just figured out an election is coming.  i guess that is also part of the American story.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Charles November 04, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I'm going to come clean too. When I apply to a job, I always check the Latino box even though I am 0% Latino. Ever since I started doing that, for some reason, I get a lot more interviews from companies that support Affirmative Action. (Which is kind of weird because these same companies claim to be "Equal Opportunity" - and it seems a company can't be both AA and EO.)


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