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Family Letters

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This is an excerpt from a letter written by Sarah (Comeans) Sharp as a possible explanation for the name variations...

  "Aaron and his two brothers, John and Elijah, were orphaned when very young.  They were placed as bound boys with farmers in Ross County, Ohio.  They were required to work for their keep.
  His experiences of those early years Aaron related to his two oldest sons, our father Dave and Uncle Crate who through the years were known as the Comeans Brothers.  He told them it amounted to slave labor, being assigned tasks that was far beyond the strength of a child.  Never had the opportunity to attend school, so was not educated, but proved he was a very smart man by the success (with the aid of his family) he achieved in amassing hundreds of acres of fertile farm land, and had several thousand dollars out on loan for which he required no collateral.  He never lost any money he loaned.  Even the money owing him at the time of his death was paid in full to his estate.
  Aaron told the two brothers he remembered his name was Comeans, yet it was being spelled Carmean.  The brothers launched a search for some record that would explain the change of name.  Over a period of several years all their inquiriess brought no results.  In 1882, Grandfather Aaron died.  His headstone was inscribed Carmeans.
  Dad and Uncle Crate, because their father had been so positive he knew his name was not Carmeans they intensified their efforts in the search for some clue to prove him right.  Five years difference in age in adulthood does not seem like much difference, but when very young someone five years older makes a great difference.  As in the  case of brother Frank being five years older.  I was only three, he was eight and heard the family talk of the controversy while I had no knowledge that there was a name difference.  He remembers and was shown the early document that was finally located that proved our name is indeed Comeans.
  Records were transcribed in long hand and poor penmanship that made the name illegible was responsible for it being copied as Carmeans.  Grandfather's headstone was corrected.  All members of the family changed the spelling of our name to what it should be except one.  Uncle At Carmeans did not.  He later did drop the "s" and was known as Carmean.
  The name spelled with the two "m"'s is said to come about when one of Uncle Ed's daughters started to school.  The teacher spelled it with an extra "m".  Her parents believing as a teacher she was an authority on spelling adopted it.  Brother Ott was convinced and he too added the "m".  Today only Ott's descendants spell their name differently."  

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