Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why A-R-A-V-E?

We're stuck with this unusual Arave name, like it or not.
However, how did it come to be?
My mother, Norma Arave, has the answer in one of her 4 oversized Nelson Arave research books/scrapbooks.
Her research states that when Jesse Lampson (also times misspelled "Lambson") Nelson's "adopted" father (though not legally)realized he was going to die soon, he told Nelson what his real surname was, though he didn't know how to spell it.
The name was very likely Arrivee (the French word for Arrival).
Somehow, Lampson came up with the weird ARAVE spelling and likely the even stranger verbal way to say it -- "Arvey."
Nelson himself was probably no more than grade school age at the time.
In addition, a letter that Nelson Arave sent to a son, Joseph Arave, on an LDS Church mission and dated April 16, 1905, gives further support:
"Dear Son:
"I received yours of the 12(th). Twas very glad to hear from you. I am well at present and hope this will find you the same.
"You spoke of a man named Aravee (,) that is the way it is pronounced in France. My father and grandfather were drowned in the St. Lawrence river while rafting logs about the year 1836. In 1837 my mother went to St. Laurence County New York. There she married a man named Meyers. Her name was Jenette. I had a brother named Louis. He was born in 1836. I was born in 1834. I do not know my father's given name or whether he had any brothers or now. This is all that I can remember about it.
"Please write soon and let me know how you are getting along and how you enjoy your mission.
Yours afectionately (sic) Nelson Arave."
So, there you have it.
Anyone else out there have a different origin story, or one with more detail?
The one problem I have with the letter is that means Nelson was drawing on memory of when he was no more than two or three years old. I certainly can't recall much before age four or five in my life, so was he an exception to that? I'm not sure.
(Note: There is also some question as to whether "Nelson" was really the first Arave's first name. Some have wondered if the Lampson family didn't give him that first name.)

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