Friday, 22 January 2010

A is for Arkle...


A is for ......ARKLE! Isn't that just so obvious! While I was visiting Kathy this morning I picked up on a new meme – I know I said I would only do the Sunday Stealing and not over commit myself but well, this one looked fun! Kathy provided a link to her friend Jenny who has devised a meme called Alphabe-Thursday, I won't repeat all of the rules, have a look and check it out for yourself!

Anyway, as I say A is for Arkle. When I married and took the name I believed that I was part of a unique English family with possibly the most unusual surname in the whole wide world. John's family hailed from the north east of England and although he knew a fair bit about his extended family he thought that they were the only ones. Wrong – there are Arkles all around the globe.

Let me bore you for a while with my absolute favourite tale of Arkle-ing. About 11 years ago, when access to the World Wide Web was more limited, I took up the challenge of finding other people with your surname around the world. I used a search engine call Bigfoot and entered our family name. It returned about 12 links. The top one was for an Arkle based in an area where there had recently been a high school shooting – somehow it didn't seem right to contact them. Instead I went right to the bottom, took a deep breath and mailed a guy called Will Arkle, explaining what I was doing, asking him to excuse me for contacting him and giving every opportunity for him to totally ignore me. He didn't ignore me. He wrote back. I wrote back. We got to know each other in the ether, we learnt about each other's families. Eventually he invited us to visit. Gulp – apart from what we had disclosed via email we knew nothing about each other.

To cut a long story short, we visited Will and his family in 2001. They made us very welcome in their home in Joplin, Missouri (yes – Joplin gets a mention in that great song about Route 66) and we had the best time ever. Will and his wife Jo are an older couple with offspring nearer my age. This is how we became such good friends with Scott & Shirley with whom we have since spent many a happy holiday.

So I hope you forgive my self indulgent choice for A and appreciate my reasons for choosing it! Since meeting up with our Missouri 'cousins' we have also found other Arkle's virtually all over the world through Facebook and other networking sites – if you're feeling brave, give it a go with your surname. You never know where it might take you!

Now for B...I'll need to start planning for next week, any ideas?

18 comments:

  1. B is for blogging, surely! I found two people with my full (maiden) name in the US, one's a realtor and one is a Methodist Minister!

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  2. Or how about B is for Boys

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  3. Thanks for the suggestions! The good thing about knowing what's coming next means you get to plan...any ideas for X anybody???

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  4. That's a great story.. I've found others with my surname but not taken any steps to contact them yet.. maybe I should!

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  5. I love this story. We received a postcard from Germany from someone with the same surname as my husband. Luckily our daughter took German and could translate! Turns out they were not related, but it was fun corresponding. If you ever find any Arkles in Texas I hope you come visit! Kathy

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  6. I love stories like that! How fun to meet up with unknow relatives!

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  7. I love your energy and curiousity in this search for the Arkles. This is such a neat thing to do! Are you doing a journal of your family searches? That would be so interesting to have on hand for "someday" when you're as old as me and start forgetting everything! Thank you for joining us. I think the weeks will get less confusing! My B post is about bones but that's all I'm gonna say! A+ for you!

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  8. what a cool idea and very brave of you :D

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  9. Really neat story.

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  10. How fun to meet long lost cousins that way! :-)

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  11. What a wonderful story...it's so amazing that you took the initiative to do this and developed such a friendship because of your first step!

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  12. Thank you all so much for your comments, this is such a good way to meet new people and make new friends! I'm trying to work out how to reply to individual comments on here - does anybody know?? Please share if you do!!

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  13. Great last name. I have to admit I have not heard of it before. Wonder if there are any Arkle's in Michigan? I have a cousin on one side of my family and an uncle on the other that are always working on the family tree. I hope to really get to see what they have collected one day.

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  14. My son is the last of the kin to carry on our last name. I was rather curious one day and searched our last name. OMG I was amazed at how many there were all over the world and all different races and religions were mentioned. I was Amazed!
    Judy

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  15. I'm so glad you joined in for Alpahbe-Thursday. It is going to be lots of fun.

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  16. Loved the story and what a great way to start out the alphabet ... I have checked out my surname ... and wow, hundreds and hundreds of us :)

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  17. I was wondering what an "Arkle was......lol...now I know, it's a you...I am in Jenny's Alphabe too..come visit if you get a chance....Melinda

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  18. Here I am late to the first Alphabe-Thursday class. Please don't tell Mrs. Matlock.
    Enjoyed your post! I hope you are keeping a journal of all the information you uncover. Thanks for sharing. See you again on Thursday....Sarah

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Hey, thanks for stopping by my ramblings! Thanks for taking the time to comment - I really appreciate it. Looks like the spammers have got the message so I'll remove moderation!