Saturday, April 9, 2011

Surname Saturday - Are You Related To...?

Do you have a surname that engenders the question "are you related to..."? Our family has several names that cause great interest whenever we meet someone.

The surname of Ruth has many asking if we are related to George Herman Ruth, Jr., the "Babe", "The Bambino", "the Sultan of Swat". The fact we reside in Maryland, where Ruth was born and raised, causes even more interest. From the moment I became Mrs. Ruth people were excited that I may be related to one of their favorite sports figures. Before starting this genealogy adventure the usual reply to the question was "probably no relationship." Recently there have been several clues linking my husband's  family lineage with the Babe! More to come in another post on this discovery.

The surname of Starr usually has several different queries about relationship. If the person asking this question is local to Maryland and of a certain generation they ask "are you related to Blaze Starr"? Blaze, Fannie Belle Fleming, was a flamboyant figure in Baltimore history. Depending on your viewpoint Blaze could be famous or infamous. Some called her a stripper, some called her a burlesque star, some called her hussy. Since Blaze chose "Starr" for her stage name we are pretty certain there is no connection.

The other notorious Starr people ask the question about would be Belle. Myra Maybelle Shirley, was a notorious western outlaw. Legend states that Belle married Sam Starr, outlaw, while still wed to Bruce Younger. Thus far I have not found a connection to this particular family line, which disappoints my daughter Starr! Ever since she was a tyke there has been a fascination with the tough living Belle.

How fun to investigate possible connections to famous, historic, and notorious ancestors! Are you ever asked this question?


  1. That's really cool that you guys are linked to Babe Ruth!

    I'm always asked, "Are you related to...?" because of my maiden name, Foley. Most often, Mick Foley, the wrestler. I used to just answer, "Yes." Who knows, I could be!

  2. What a neat post. How cool to think there could be a connection to Babe Ruth. I've never thought much about Surnames before.

  3. Hi Deb, glad I'm able to leave a comment. Enjoyed this post. I thought the Ruth in your name was your middle name! Shows how alert I am. Would be nice if you could find a connection to the Babe.