Tag Archive: name

Uncommon Roots

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Jerry Buchanan)

Many years ago, I started a new job in a small company in Hollywood with only eight employees. One of the other employees had the same last name (not a particularly common one) as mine.

Since we had this bond, we spent several lunches together. We eventually learned that we were both from Indianapolis, Indiana!

Interestingly, we had both had our family trees researched, and there were no common ancestors between us.

[EDITOR: Before you say anything, I know this is a rather simple story compared to most. And some might not even find it that big of a coincidence. I personally have known several Buchanans (including Jerry), which made me not even initially accept that it’s an uncommon last name.

But the reason we chose to share this story anyway is because it highlights a thought process that a lot of people go through. What’s mundane or simple to you might be startling to me. What I shrug off as irrelevant or barely a blip on the radar is startling and telling to someone else. And it’s often these little events that mean the most to people. And for someone who’s already on the edge of superstitious, these events add up.

Do you have any friends who claim these things ALWAYS happen to them? That they’re constantly surrounded by strange events, coincidences, numbers that follow them, etc.? Odds are you know or have met SOMEONE with this mind set, and to them a little event like this isn’t something to be shrugged off. They plug it into the greater tapestry of what they believe to be a pattern, and signs, and it informs their life views.

So recognizing and tracking even these small events and realizing what they can mean to people is an important part of understanding the overall phenomena. If it’s important to someone, it should be important to us, too, even if it’s not for the same reasons. – Jarrett]

A Common Name

We were on the phone recently for almost 45 minutes with our friend Dawn who has moved to Northern California. We’ve been friends with her for ‘way over 20 years, and about half that time she was married  to a man named Jim, Jim Thomas.

Later, I was scrolling through an online bulletin board, and one of the messages was from Jim about Dan Ackroyd.

This past weekend, I happened to see a documentary about comedians who died young, including John Belushi, and included shots of him with Dan Ackroyd in the Blues Brothers… And the name of the man who posted the bulletin board message is Jim Thomas. So — that’s like a pattern seeking triple whammy. Of course, Jim Thomas is a pretty common name, like Wendy Hughes, that lends itself to coincidences.

A facebook friend Jana Morales noticed that I’d “friended” a man by the name of  Trevor Jenkins…  and she commented that I had friended her grand nephew! I asked if she was sure, and whether he lived in Canada, as that’s where my new FB friend is from.

It took awhile to find out, but it turns out that there are well over 100 people named Trevor Jenkins on Facebook, and they are not the same Trevor Jenkins. My new friend and I met on a bulletin board for science writer Gary Taubes, and we are both skeptics; my friend Jana’s grand nephew is the first other Trevor Jenkins that he has known of indirectly, ie known someone who knows someone who has the same name, coincidentally.