Hello everyone and happy last day of August! Back in May of 2017, I posted an article about the main family in The Battle For Heritage Series, the Mason family. I told y’all some random facts about the family and how the family had changed from my original plans. If you would like to read that post, click here 😉
Today, I’d like to share a few more facts about this family, or more specifically, about Dixie and how she got her name. It’s an interesting twist of events.
Writers Tip: When writing a story set in a historical time period or a different country…do your research before getting to attached to the names you’ve chosen for them. It will save you heart break later on, trust me. 😉
When I had my cousin, Travis Stevens, proof The Land of Cotton for historical accuracy, he told me the only thing that he found that wasn’t right was Dixie’s name. Dixie obviously wasn’t a name back then, at least not for a girl her age. (She was born in the 40’s; The song Dixie’s Land was written in the 50’s).😐
He told me not to change her name though. It had the appeal of the South to it and is easy for people to connect with. It sets the tone for the book: sweet, Southern, country and genteel. That classic Southern flavor. She’s easy to like, I hope.
But there is a bit of a story behind her name.
I love the name Dixie. I would love to name one of my daughters Dixie someday. So naturally, I had to name my main girl character Dixie. But I also wanted to have something with a Southern Belle edge. So, Dixianna. But to get around the time-period issue, I formed a bit of Mason Family backstory to explain her name, though this didn’t make the final cut of the story. ☺
After studying some etymology, I found out that the name Dixie used to be a boy’s nickname for Richard. Don’t ask me why! But anyway, I decided to have Dixie named after her two Grandmothers, Dixianna Mason and Susan Rains. The elder Dixianna, who went by Anna, was named for her grandparents, Richard and Anna MacIntyre. Problem solved, right? Well, at least it sounds good!
I considered changing Dixie’s name when I found it wasn’t accurate. But, like I said, Travis thought it would actually be a good thing to leave in. And I think her name will endear her and her whole family to the reader, even if they don’t realize it.
Oh, and the modern meaning of the name Dixie? A Lady of the South. Fitting, huh?
Something to think about: Do names in books or of people you know have a special meaning to you? Take a look at a baby book and find out what the name actually means. Does it align with your thoughts on the name or are they totally opposite?
Have a lovely day, and I'll see you tomorrow!
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Wow, I have put this family through it! Today I want to tell you about my main family, who they are and the process it took me to get to the present family situation.
Originally, the family consisted of Richard, 16, and Dixie, 13. They were orphans who lived at a boarding house in Richmond…then South Carolina. It was hard deciding where I wanted them to be from. They lived in a boarding house along with their friend Tyler Nace.
Then I decided to add a younger brother, 10 year old Michael. Drummer boy aspect, you know. Well, I learned some more about a soldiers life during the War for Southern Independence, and though my ages were alright, some of the things I wanted them to do merited an older person. Plus, after reading what I had ready to my sister, Sarah, she insisted they have parents.
Enter Mason Family #3, with Samuel (Papa), Ellen (Mama), Isaac (21), Richard (18), Seth (16), Dixianna (13), Michael (10), Cynthia (6), and Gerald (4)…too many people and way too confusing. Isaac became their married cousin; Cynthia, a younger cousin and neighbor; Gerald disappeared completely. :)
I could easily handle a four child family. (I did change Samuel to Silas, though.) But back in those days, families tended to be larger. So, there were three siblings vaguely mentioned, who died: Silas Jr., a year older than Richard, who was stillborn; Elijah, Dixie’s twin, who died at a few weeks old; and last of all, Alden, who was born when Michael was 6 and died a few months later.
So, this is basically the structure for the family, with three main changes: Dixie is 15, Elijah and Silas Jr. disappeared, and Michael is 12, turning 13 by the end of the book. Baby Alden was the only one to actually die as a child. Oh, and of course we still have Silas, Ellen, Richard and Seth.
Now for a few fun facts about the Mason family!
The descriptions for my fictional family pretty much line up with my real family’s opinions, but we do have some differences of opinion on Seth. Seth, in my mind’s eye, is on the shorter side, slim, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Others agree with hair and eye color and height, but his frame varies. Oh, well. We all make up in our minds what a person looks like and no matter what the description states, you will always see them your way. :)
Hope you enjoyed this random break from my usual posts! Sometimes, it’s fun to try something off topic. Have a great day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.