Among the new physicians graduating today from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is Dr. Thomas Garland Magruder V — yes, the fifth.
Tom says he is proud to carry the name. His father and late grandfather, Drs. Thomas Garland Magruder IV and III, were UNMC graduates (1984 and 1956), and preceded him as physicians in Omaha. He often is asked about them.
Tom Magruder played offensive line in football at Creighton Prep and then attended the University of Tulsa. On freshman move-in day, he met another athlete — Chelsea Cornell, who was on a four-year rowing scholarship.
Upon graduation in 2008, they married in her hometown of Orlando, Fla. And now they have started a family with the birth of a son six months ago.
The Thomas Garland Magruder line, of Scottish ancestry but thoroughly American, has advanced unbroken for five generations, dating to the 1800s.
So do the modern Magruders know much about their forebears? As the Scottish would say: “Aye. A wee bit.”
Tom's great-grandfather, Thomas Garland Magruder Jr., was a newspaper reporter in Washington, D.C. An article found on the Internet but published by the American Clan Gregor Society calls him a “chieftain” of the clan and credits him with “20 years of dedicated research into Scottish archives.”
His genealogical work shows that the family came from “the picturesque valley of Glen Artney” in Scotland and was descended from “Gregor of the Golden Bridles,” who lived in the 1300s.
The first member of the family to emigrate to America was Alexander Magruder, who arrived in Maryland in 1652 and eventually owned a lot of land.
The article didn't carry the generations all the way forward. The Omaha family knows little of the first Thomas Garland Magruder, the new doc's great-great-grandfather. But he would be proud of all his namesakes.
Tom and Chelsea, a graphic artist, will move away for a few years for his anesthesiology residency at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. That's where their son, the next generation of the Magruder clan, will learn to talk and walk.
Oh. His name?
Well, his parents decided to name him — Connor.
Great Scott! Why did Thomas Garland Magruder V and Chelsea Magruder I break with the Roman-numeral tradition?
“Good question,” Tom said. “It just felt right to my wife and me to give him the name Connor. And we wanted to include her family in the naming, so his middle name is Steven, after her father.”
In the Magruder family, he said, it was a running joke in recent years about when “the sixth” would come along. Tom's dad, Dr. Magruder IV, told me he was “slightly disappointed” that the traditional name wasn't extended, but understands it's the parents' prerogative.
In any case, when the baby arrived, everyone loved him by whatever the Magruder monicker.
Said Tom: “There was absolutely no pressure.”
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