Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Chaney (and ISWG)

My grandmother’s maiden name was Chaney. I’ve always loved that name. In fact, that’s what we named our daughter. When my romantic comedy was contracted by Silhouette Romance, I had to choose a pen name. I chose Jessica Chaney. I thought it sounded romantic, fun, and memorable. Much to my disappointment, the editors vetoed my choice, insisting it sounded like the name of a horror writer because of you-know-who: Lon Chaney

Leonidas Frank Chaney was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Frank H. Chaney and Emma Alice Kennedy; his father had mostly English and some French ancestry, and his mother was of Scottish, English, and Irish descent. Her father, Jonathan Ralston Kennedy, founded the "Colorado School for the Education of Mutes" (now, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind) in 1874, and Chaney's parents met there.  Both of Chaney's parents were deaf, and as a child of deaf adults Chaney became skilled in pantomime. He entered a stage career in 1902, and began traveling with popular Vaudeville and theater acts. In 1905, he met and married 16-year-old singer Cleva Creighton (Frances Cleveland Creighton) and in 1906, their first child and only son, Creighton Chaney (later known as Lon Chaney, Jr.) was born. The Chaneys continued touring, settling in California in 1910.  (taken from Wikipedia)
I wish I could discover a family connection to Lon Chaney.

Are you related to anyone famous? If you are, who? If you could choose a famous relative, who would it be and why?


I totally forgot that today is IWSG day.
The purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage and it was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Because I love IWSG and take it seriously, I'm tacking on a couple of great quotes to encourage you. Wish I knew this guy or gal named ... Unknown.

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.
~ Unknown

Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can.
~ Unknown


Melanie Schulz said...

I agree with you, it's important to remember where you came from.

Helen Baggott - Author Services said...

Yes, we're just a small link in a large chain.

No famous personalities in my family...yet?!

Man O' Clay said...

It's too bad they made you change the name. My two oldest sons are named after maiden names from either side of the family.

I wish I was related to C.S. Lewis, or Charles Dickens.

James R Tate said...

I googled my name a few years back and found a James R. Tate that was a Pulitzer prize winning poet. He's much older than I am, but I found it interesting. Otherwise, I come from a fairly ordinary lineage.

Sue McPeak said...

Thank-you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment on my Letter 'C'...Chisolm Trail Quilt post. It is always so interesting and fun to find another blogger interested in genealogy and their families history. I began with your A post and caught up to your C post. Well done with intersting insights and queries.

Last year my AtoZ was all about my Family Tree and the research I've done via and Family photos. You may have noticed it on my sidebar.

You are so fortunate to have your grandmothers quilt. I'm sure it is a treasure and an heirloom for you and your family. Enjoyed my visit to your blog. Again, thanks for visiting.
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

Jan Newman said...

No famous relatives I know of, and I'd have to think to answer the other part of your question. :)

Kathy said...

Very interesting. Thank you for stopping by my letter C!


Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

I don't think I'm related to anyone famous, but Schmidt is a pretty big last who knows?

It is important to remember where you came from (and for the record, I liked the pen name. I didn't know who Lon Chaney was...)

Lexa Cain said...

I love the info on Lon Chaney's family! And I must agree with the editors, the name Chaney is a bit horror-esque (chain, Lon Chaney, Dick Cheney). On the other hand, I chose mine because I'm a horror writer! And nope, I'm not related to anyone famous. Bummer.

Bhav.Zz said...

Interesting article; sadly no famous personalities in my family... as of now :)
Bhavya from the AtoZ Challenge blogging at Just Another Blog

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd probably want to choose Charles Darwin. I just very much admire him as a scientist.