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In 2021, edi­tor Alex Nea­son’s grand­fa­ther passed away. On his funer­al pro­gram, she learned the name of his father for the first time: Wil­son Howard. Not Nea­son. Howard. And when she asked her fam­i­ly why his last name was dif­fer­ent from every­body else’s, nobody had an answer. 

In this episode, we tag along as Alex search­es for answers through swampy ceme­ter­ies, libraries, and archives in the heart of south Louisiana: who was her great grand­fa­ther, real­ly? Is she sup­posed to be a Nea­son? Where did the name Nea­son come from, any­ways? And is a name some­thing whose weight you have to shed, or is it the only path for­ward into the future?