Floridians revel in sharing names with founding fathers, mothers

July 3, 2013 at 3:22 PM

MIRAMAR, Fla., July 3 (UPI) -- Florida residents sharing the names of U.S. founding fathers and mothers say having famous names can sometimes be beneficial.

Thomas Jefferson, a retired high school history teacher in Miramar, credited his name with sparking his interest in history and said his students "got a kick" out of their teacher sharing a name with a founding father, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Jefferson said the name can be less convenient when he's trying to make restaurant reservations.

"They always think it's a joke when we call to reserve," he said. "Sometimes I just have to go by Tommy."

John Hancock, 45, of Hollywood said he is the third in his family to bear the name, although he doesn't think he is related to the most famous bearer of the name. He said his father, also named John, mastered the founding father's famous signature.

"I tried doing it for a while, but decided on just using my own signature," Hancock said.

Betsy Ross, 88, of Lighthouse Point said she didn't think much of marrying a man with the last name Ross until she soon ended up as the recipient of constant flag jokes.

"Pretty soon everyone starting asking me if my name was real," Ross said. "Of course, they always ask me about flags. I put up flags; I've never put one together."

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