Category: Family Names
We’ve (thankfully) moved beyond the days when it seemed like nearly every first son was named after his dad — and if he wasn’t everybody wondered what was wrong.
Today family names are still favored, but many parents are more likely to honor a grandparent or spin mom’s maiden name into a first than to name the baby after themselves.
Would you, did you, name your baby after yourself? Or did you maybe use some version of your name in your child’s name? Maybe you have a family name as part of your own that you passed on to your child?
If you did name your baby after yourself, or if you’re named after a parent, how do you keep the names from getting confused?
Or perhaps you’re a junior who would never foist your own name on a baby.
For many years all around the world, it was the norm to hand names down generation after generation. In many cultures, it was traditional to use family names. Sometimes there were even patterns laid out for determining which child gets which relative’s name.
Times have changed a bit but even modern parents find themselves considering whether or not they’ll honor a relative.
I have racked my brain for a second boy’s name and just cannot land upon one.
I would like the new little one to have the middle name Stanley after my grandfather. But we do not have any more male family names to work from for first names.
In addition, we’re avoiding names that start with A, D, M, or J. I come from a large family and know how great it is to be able to label things with first initials!
Our last name is short, starts with an S, and has a long ‘ee’ sound, like sea.
I would like to honor my recently deceased father, Early Bernard, but I am drawing a blank! I just cannot see myself naming my child a name that would be shortened to Earl. His nickname was Early Bird, so I have flirted the idea of incorporating Bird somehow. But how?
I gave them all three names for personal reasons, and my son will have three names as well. I would prefer that no two of my children have the same first initial, so J, M, T, and W are out.
The Name Sage replies:
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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