United States Genealogy

Opal Beatrice Ethel Pearl Hazel Rosie Dollie Dell Skipper.

Opal is the reason I became interested in my family history. My daughter was working on a project and needed more information on her family tree. As my daughter and I began looking into our family we came across Opal and believed that there was a question as to what her middle name was. We could not believe that Opal Beatrice Ethel Pearl Hazel Rosie Dollie Dell Skipper was her whole name.

We did not find any source as to what her name actually was, so we kept searching. At this same time my dad and some of his siblings were going to visit some of the family cemetery’s in the area. I asked my dad to please take pictures of the headstones. The Monday after this weekend with his siblings I meet with him to get the photo’s and Opal’s headstone was one of the pictures taken. I repeatedly said to my dad “it’s her”, he asked who? I then said it was the girl with all the middle names. His next question surprised me. He said “do you know why she had all those middle names?” Was my dad about to tell me that she really had 7 middle names?

He then told me the story of Opal and all her names. Opal was the last child born to my 3rd great-grandparents George Newton Skipper and Sarah Catherine Bishop. George was born on 22 July 1857 in Effingham, Illinois and Sarah was born 12 August 1861 in Effingham, Illinios and married 10 March 1878 also in Effingham. George and Sarah came to Oklahoma and George staked a claim of land in the 1893 Cherokee Strip land-run.

George and Sarah had 13 children, Clara Bell Dorie born 1879, Nora Jane born 1881, Cora Mae born 1883, Charles Edgar born 1885, William F born 1887, Lennie Oscar born 1889, Mary Ann born 1891, Harry Ward born 1893, Billy born 1895, Daisy Florence Lumandy born 1897, Freddy Leotis born 1900, Jesse Llewellen born 1901 and Opal born 1904.

Out of the 13 children George and Sarah had 4 of them died as infants and one daughter died at the age of 13. Their first loss came from their daughter Cora Mae who died 15 October 1896. Then their son Lennie Oscar who was around 9 months old died on 24 March 1890. The next one to come was Billy at only a couple of weeks old and he died on 1 September 1895. Fiver years later their son Freddy Leotis also died at 4 months old on 3 Dec 1900 .

At the time of Opal’s birth they were living in Goodnight Oklahoma. George and Sarah had 8 living children. As I sat stunned and listened to every word my dad was telling me that it was true Opal had 8 names. George and Sarah let each of their 8 living children name this last daughter born to the family. So her name is Opal Beatrice Ethel Pearl Hazel Rosie Dollie Del Skipper.

Sarah Catherine Skippers Bible record of births. You can see Opal’s name toward the bottom of the entry.

Here I zoomed in to Opal’s name.

Sadly about 9 months later Opal died. She was the 5th child of George and Sarah to die. I can not imagine what heartache it would be to lose 5 children in 8 years. I was lucky enough to find this photo of Opal as a baby. What a wonderful gift this was.

I found this picture of Opal on findagrave. Photo credit Find a Grave by Sher K
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7737862/opal-beatrice-skipper
Opal’s headstone in Olivet Cemetery, Perkins Oklahoma.
Freddie’s headstone in Olivet Cemetery, Perkins Oklahoma.

Opal and Freddie are buried right next to each other in the Olivet Cemetery in Perkins Oklahoma. Also buried in this cemetery was Alvin Ervin Skipper, who is the son of Opal and Freddie’s brother, Charles Edgar and his wife Kitty Fitzpatrick, who also died at 17 months old.

By the time Sarah passed away on 15 July 1954 in Tonkawa Oklahoma she had outlived all but 5 of her children. In her life time she lost 9 children.

Article from the Tonkawa News Paper for Sarah Catherine Bishop Skipper.

I am always amazed at what my ancestors lived through. I cannot imagine how hard life was and am grateful to learn from and about my ancestors.

15 thoughts on “Opal Beatrice Ethel Pearl Hazel Rosie Dollie Dell Skipper.”

  1. Wow, poor Sarah. So tragic to lose so many children. But she had a long life and I hope she felt it was a good one. Sometimes we forget how many children were lost to death in those days. I love that the family gave Opal all of her names. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great name story! And so good that your dad knew about it. I wonder if Opal’s many names are a ‘record’ number 🙂 In our tree, I believe the most given names for an individual would be five – and as far as I can see, that cousin never used any of them.

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  3. I enjoyed finding your posting Geneabloggers Tribe. This was a great story and while there was overwhelming sadness to this story how sweet that all of Opals siblings got to name her. It is wonderful this story was preserved and passed down in the family.

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  4. How lovely that you have remembered little Opal with this post. My ancestors also lost infants and young children to diseases that are now preventable/curable, and eliminating such heartbreak is an important contribution of science and medicine.

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    1. As a new genealogy blogger I am always thinking about who or what I can write about and I loved how Opal was named and I am so grateful that we have modern medicine so we do not have to endure what our ancestors did.

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      1. Jennifer, this is a wonderful post. It is heartbreaking sometimes when we discover what our ancestors went through. But, it is also quite heartwarming to know the other kids all gave little Opal their names!

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      1. Jennifer, I intended to write you before this. I love your blogs. You are a gifted story teller.I love how passionate you are about family.

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