Cloudy Night Rainwater. How could you run across such a name in your lineage and not be curious? Initially, I wondered if it really was his name. Did his parents believe that the name Rainwater was Native American? Why would they choose a name like Cloudy Night, with or without the last name of Rainwater? 
Although the true origins of the Rainwater name are unknown, there are many theories. Different Rainwater families suggest the name is everything from Cherokee to Jewish in origin. Susan Chance-Rainwater shares some of the various theories on her website “The Rainwater Collection.”  
Cloudy Night Rainwater was born September 1894 in Arkansas and was the son of Homer Cloud Rainwater and Pearl Rivers McCracken. Cloudy Night Rainwater was my fourth cousin, once removed. 
I  was thrilled to find not only a short little story about Cloudy Night in a newspaper but a sketch of him as well. 
Cloudy Night Rainwater, Rainwater family, Arkansas, Homer Cloud Rainwater, Pearl Rivers McCracken, genealogy, ancestry, ancestor, research, newspaper
The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana)
23 Jul 1899, Sun Page 28 

“Cloudy Night Rainwater, whose picture you see here is the 4-year-old son of Dr. H. Cloud Rainwater and Pearl Rivers McCracken, the favorite niece of the late Mrs. Nicholson (Pearl Rivers), proprietor of the Picayune. Cloudy Night is a fine boy and like his grandfather, he is a great practical joker. One day, not long ago he called to one of his little playmates, “Hello! don’t you want some rock candy?” at the same time holding out a tempting-looking morsel. The other little boy took it eagerly and put it into his mouth; but he quickly spit it out again. It was salt! Cloudy Night knows his letters already, and wants very much to learn to read, so that he can read Lilliput Land for himself. “

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved

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15 thoughts on “Cloudy Night Rainwater–Really?

  1. Who could resist researching Cloudy Night Rainwater? What wonderful luck to find not only a news brief but his picture in the paper! What did Cloudy do when he grew up, were you able to find out?

  2. It's one thing to find a name like that, but to find a story and a little drawing of him….priceless. Questions I think of….Did he grow up and marry? If so, what did he name his children?

  3. What a great article and sketch! And, it makes me curious about Lilliput Land!

    When I was a teacher, I had a student named Rainy Land. I honestly just assumed his parents were having fun with the last name, but maybe I was wrong! Or, maybe that is all Cloudy Night Rainwater's parents were doing, too.

  4. I think the Lilliput may come from Gulliver's travels.

    You do have to wonder about such names! I would like to ask the kids with such names if they had to defend their name their entire life. Seems like kids often managed to make fun of even the most every day type of names, so I can only imagine what they did with some of the funnier ones.

  5. Cloud(y) Night was named for his father, Homer Cloud and uncle Night Writ. He married and settled in Morrilton Arkansas raising two daughters, Marjorie and Jeanne. Cloud passed away shortly before the birth of his second grandson who was given the name Cloud Night Rainwater Keyes. The name was passed on to Cloud, Jr who goes by Night and on to Cloud Night Rainwater Keyes, III who goes by Trip.

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