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The Story of My Life

by Helen Keller

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What was Helen's mother's name?

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Helen began her autobiography by introducing her parents and relations.  Her mother's maiden name was Kate Adams.  When her mother married Arthur H. Keller, she became Kate Adams Keller.  Kate's parents were Charles Adams and Lucy Helen Everett.

Helen emphasized names in this first chapter of her book.  She told the story of how her parents chose her own name.  At first, they wanted to name her Mildred after an ancestor.  They eventually decided against this name, though they chose it for her younger sister years later.  At Kate Keller's request, they settled on naming their infant daughter after Helen Everett Adams, her maternal grandmother.

This emphasis on names at the beginning of the book shows that Helen's family valued names and connections with the past.  Helen told the names of her parents, but she did not stop there.  She also named all of her grandparents.  On her mother's side, she identified her great-grandparents and briefly identified their family history.

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