Government names are rather incidental on my mom’s side of the family. For every name I’ve found on a Census or vital record, there’s a colorful nickname to go along with it. And a lot of times, a relative’s birth name is a discovery in itself. So here’s a rundown of who’s who in the Pinkard family:
Sailor. Government name: Willie Pinkard My maternal grandfather.
Hannah. Government name: Lula Bryant Pinkard. My maternal grandmother. Apparently Hannah was only used by those closest to her. We’re not sure where the name came from.
C-Bo. Government name: Sylvester Pinkard. My uncle (my mom’s only brother). She gave him this nickname as a child and it stuck.
Little Sister. Government name: Maggie Pinkard Reynolds. One of my grandfather’s younger sisters
Sugar Pie. Government name: Ina Bell Pinkard. Another of my grandfather’s sisters.
BT. One of my grandfather’s brothers. “I don’t know how he got that name,” my mom said. “His real name was Ike.”
Big Willie. Government name: Willie Reynolds. Little Sister’s husband. He stood over six feet tall… and didn’t use deodorant.
Poo-Doo. Government name: Can’t recall at this time. My mom’s first cousin and Sugar Pie’s son
Soldier Boy. Government name: Unknown. Cousin who lived in Cleveland
Sonny Boy. Government name: Can’t recall at this time, but in his adult life, he was known as Bonck
Aunt Sump. Government name: Again, can’t recall at this time. This was one of my snuff-dipping aunts.
With cameo appearances by…
Bo Chainch and his wife, Katie Bell. These were my mother’s neighbors while growing up. They were the proud parents of Tonk and Nip. A friend earned the nickname Bad Eye after a run-in with a barbed wire clothesline left a gash over her eyelid. Chocolate Chunk was another neighbor, so named because of her brown skin. Further up the street lived Tal and her husband, Tootie. And I’ll round out the roll call with these neighbors: Doon, Sweetheart, Li’l Honey and Honey Boo.