Category: Family Names
One of the very first readers of my blog emailed me to ask about the connection between the names Eleanor and Helen. She and her husband had a darling baby daughter, already named Eleanor, a name they loved, which they had happily bestowed in honor of St. Helen. (You might see where I’m going with this.)
It wasn’t until months after Baby Eleanor was born that the mom discovered that Eleanor is not actually a form of Helen, but she wrote to me in a last-gasp attempt to find some loophole somewhere that allowed Eleanor and Helen to be related.
Let’s face it: We all have embarrassing names in our family trees. Great Aunt Hortense and Uncle Myron, Grandma Gladys and Dad Brad. They’re the family names we hope we won’t be expected to pass down to our children.
But hey, today we’re here to celebrate the wonderful names, and we all have those too. Searching through the family archives, you discover that your great-great-grandmother was named Marguerite or Flora, or that you have a handsome Henry or Nathaniel among your forebears. Or it might be a surname or a middle name you discover that’s worth polishing up and passing down: Callahan or Keene or Caruso.
So what’s the best name or names in your family tree? The names you’re actually excited about passing on to a child? And who and where did they come from?
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By Linda Rosenkrantz
Congratulations and welcome to all the beautifully named babyberries born in December, and thanks to their parents for posting and sharing their name stories.
More boys than girls this month and just one set of multiples, who carry on the family tradition of double first names (two of the more unusual names reported):
By Alicia Chon
I recently watched a documentary titled The Grace Lee Project, where a Korean-American filmmaker named Grace Lee from Missouri investigated why people assume that most Grace Lees are ‘reserved, dutiful, piano-playing overachievers.’ The film explored the importance of a name and the stereotypes that are correspondingly cast as a result.