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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 3 "Unusual Name": Astyanax

Hector's last visit to his family before his duel with Achilles: Astyanax, on Andromache's knees, stretches to touch his father's helmet. Apulian red-figure column-crater, ca. 370–360 BC. From Ruvo. Stored in the Museo Nazionale of the Palazzo Jatta in Ruvo di Puglia (Bari). Jastrow, 2006. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

One of the unusual names I have come across in my family tree is Astyanax. In Greek mythology, Astyanax was the son of the Trojan prince Hector and his wife Andromache.

The first Astyanax I have come across is Astyanax Mills, the son of  Archibald Ewing Mills and Nancy Hardgrave (sister of my 5th-great-grandmother Hannah Hardgrave.) He was born in Kentucky and was a child when his father died around 1814. He may have died young. However, the name continued in the family.

Astyanax Mills Douglass (10 September 1838 - 1 March 1908) was the son of James S. Douglass and Caroline Mills (half-sister/half-first cousin of Astyanax Mills; daughter of Nancy Hardgrave and her second husband John F. Mills, the half-brother of Archibald Ewing Mills.) He was a physician, Confederate officer, and Texas state representative. He was born and raised in Sumner County, Tennessee. He studied medicine in Nashville and earned his medical degree in 1861. He served in Company I of the Sixth Mississippi Infantry Regiment and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant after the Battle of Shiloh. After he was wounded in 1862, he went to Bowling Green, Kentucky and served as assistant surgeon. He returned to the Sixth Mississippi Infantry Regiment in 1863. After the war, he returned to Sumner County, Tennessee and practiced medicine, then moved to Covington, Hill County, Texas. He served in the Texas State Legislature from 13 January 1874-18 April 1876; 18 April 1876-14 January 1879; and 14 January 1879-11 January 1881, and served in the Texas State Senate from 10 January 1893-10 January 1895 and 13 January 1903-10 January 1905. He was chairman of the Texas State Board of Health and president of the Medical and Surgical Association of Hill County, the Medical Examining Board of the Eighteenth Judicial District, and the Confederate Veterans and Old Settlers Association of Hill County. He was profiled on the blog The Strangest Names in American Political History.

Astyanax Mills Douglass had a son, Astyanax Saunders Douglass (24 September 1871-27 April 1897), who had a son also named Astyanax Saunders Douglass (19 September 1897-26 January 1975.) This Astyanax was a Major League Baseball catcher. He played for the Cincinnati Reds in 1921 and 1925. He was a veteran of World War I. He was a coach at Amarillo High School in Amarillo, Texas, and named the team the Golden Sandstorms. He later founded Furniture Warehouse Stores of El Paso, Texas.

Elizabeth L. Mills, daughter of John F. Mills and his first wife Frances Thurmond, and stepsister/half-first cousin of Astyanax Mills, had a son named Astyanax Mills Duncan (6 February 1833-5 September 1921). He lived in and near Sumner County, Tennessee.

The name Astyanax was also used as a middle name in the family. Ann Hardgrave Mills, the daughter of Nancy Hardgrave and John F. Mills, had a son named Dero Astyanax Saunders (13 June 1858-28 June 1913). He lived in Mississippi. He had a son who was also named Dero Astyanax Saunders (9 March 1900-15 October 1961), who fathered a third Dero Astyanax Saunders (13 September 1931-15 March 1969.)

Bork, June, comp. Wayne County, Kentucky Deed Book B (1811-1818). San Diego, CA: June Bork, 1993. Deed abstracts: Joel Coffey & Patsy his wife to the heirs of Arch. E. Mills, dec'd, 24 Nov 1814; Joshua Jones Sr. & Hannah his wife to Nancy Mills, widow of Archibald Mills, et al., 9 Mar 1816.
Miller, Aragorn Storm. Douglass, Astyanax M. Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association.
A. M. Douglass. Texas Legislators: Past and Present. Legislative Reference Library of Texas.
Find A Grave, Astyanax S Douglass
Astyanax Douglass - Wikipedia
Astyanax Douglass. Baseball Reference.
Astyanax Douglass - "A Horned Frog Makes Good"
Death notice, A. S. Douglass. El Paso Herald-Post, 27 Jan 1975, p. C-7.
"Concerning Names." El Paso Herald-Post, 1 Feb 1975, p. B-1.
Find A Grave, Astynas Mills Duncan
Find A Grave, Dero Astyanax Saunders
Find A Grave, Dero Astanyax Saunders
Find A Grave, Dero Astyanax Saunders, Jr.

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