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The other day, I got together with my grade two, grade three and grade four teachers, their husbands and mine. My grade four teacher arranged my own personal school reunion. It was great! We had a wonderful afternoon catching up on the last 50 years, and my grade four teacher played the piano to entertain us.

At one point we talked about my husband’s name  David and how many Davids there were in those days. Sometimes a name is so popular that the student becomes known by the first and last name. We have a cousin known as “Katy Bray,” so well-known that way, in fact, that one of her friend’s fathers once asked, “What’s Katy Bray’s last name?”

In my on-line research into the Dean family, I found a record of a classroom in the Upper Musquodoboit school in 1828 where 18 of the 29 students were Deans. They were all cousins and siblings, grandchildren of the original settlers, John and Susan Dean.  If you’ve done any research yourself, you know that the same names in a family were passed on from one generation to the next. In that classroom there were  two James Deans, two John Deans and three Susan Deans. What did the teacher do then?

They must have had nicknames, which have not unfortunately been passed down to posterity.

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