Did you read my book? If not, it’s not too late to pick it up before book 2 makes its debut. When I began this project, it was as much of journey for me as it was for my characters. The fictional family I wrote of indeed feels like my people. I have dreamt them up in my mind and have imagined their story. I have plotted their steps and felt their revelations.
Why did I choose this surname or hereditary name for my characters?
Fabulous question, Hartmann is a family name on my Father’s maternal side. This decision was one of the hardest and most daunting deliberations I found myself in.
The name means, “Hartmann is a Germanic surname. It is less frequently used as a male given name. The name originates from the Germanic word “hard” or “hart”, which translates to “hardy”, “strong”, “bold”, or “brave”. “Mann” is a suffix meaning “man”, “person”, or “husband”.- Wikipedia
The setting is rural East Texas in 1845. Texas was a wild frontier at that time. Texas was a young state that had just entered statehood with baggage that plagued Texians. I knew that my characters would need to be strong to live during this time frame. While my family is from a different region of Texas than portrayed in the setting of the book, the dedication, and strong foundational fortitude is much the same.
Names are awesome and how they change over time and place. Some names seem to ride the test of time like, John, Adam, Mary, and Sarah. Rarely, does a person receive a name that they adore. It does seem to be right of passage for a child to want to change their name to something more suitable, popular, and less scrutinized by other children. While other names are easily associated with a particular personality. I have known a great many Bill’s that own car lots or some other business. Some names seem old to us- and foreign. Lottie, Inez, Isum, Zular, and Weeder Fae are just a few female names from our family tree. I am not entirely sure I spelt that last name right- but that’s how I remember Granny saying it!
Much to everyone surprise our names will stick with us longer than we thought. The Bible says, we will be known as we are known…(I Corinthians 13:12). Mothers, choose wisely- for we are stuck with that name. Call me old fashioned but, try not to name your little one after the newest boy band or the hay baler in the pasture. You’ll succeed until baby decides he doesn’t like it and so adopts a “nickname.” I couldn’t help but feel the same pressure for my characters. Written in ink they’d have this name for eternity and maybe you noticed how the nicknames just slid right in there.
Take a look at the picture below. This is close to home for me, these are my people, just four generations ago. These are the Hartmann’s. I didn’t pattern my fictional characters directly after the family I descended from but rather borrowed their strong name. No different really than Hollywood, I took my own liberties. In my mind, when I close my eyes to envision the story I tell, this is who I see. Pretty awesome right! ? If we could just step right into that picture and have a look see. I love how they captured life around them. They didn’t zoom in and crop out the world but rather included it in their shot.
In Long Journey Home, Oliver and Sarah, affectionately nicknamed Ollie & Sadie are two grown children orphaned on their way to fulfill their father’s hopes and dreams of a new start in Texas.
I found it interesting that so many people were migrating going to Texas during this time. It was common to find an empty house with the letters, “GTT” painted on the door. Everyone knew they were “Gone To Texas.”
No doubt we are what we are today because of these strong willed determined ancestors. I suppose that is where our deep sense of arrogant state pride comes from. There is a real life story here to tell and with God’s grace, it would be an honor to tell it. Until then, our journey must continue through the cobwebs of my mind.
The adventure for the Hartmann’s is far from over. What would a western be without a handsome Texas Ranger? The law was dashing, brave, and lived on the back of a horse heroically dispensing justice. The paths of our siblings meet with the Texas Ranger guaranteeing their lives to be changed forever.
If you did read, Long Journey Home, if you would be so kind as to leave me a review. You can leave it on Google, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Facebook, or in the comments here. Reviews matter so much to us and it’s the best and simplest way you can show your support for your favorite author.
What great names do you have tucked away on your family tree?
Thank You for taking this journey with me!