The big trend in baby name news this week? It has to be borrowing a name from your family tree.
Once upon a time, it might have been expected that your firstborn son was a junior, or maybe shared his name with grandpa. In other places, family surnames were handed down along with the silver.
These days, there’s less pressure than ever to choose heirloom names. And yet we’re still inclined to honor our loved ones.
Other parents aren’t passing down family names, but they are coordinating their children’s names. Sometimes it is a shared first initial; other times, the theme is more subtle.
It’s a pattern my husband and I embraced. Our son shares his names with a great-grandfather, a grandfather, an uncle, and his dad. Our daughter wears a variation of her grandmother’s name, a family name that connects her to generations, plus a middle that comes from her aunt’s nickname.
Welcome to the world, you nicely named babies in the news this week:
George Samuel – Isn’t this a solid choice, rich with history but not too terribly common? Country music’s Chely Wright and her wife Lauren Blitzer Wright are new parents to twin sons. For name inspiration, the couple turned to their family trees. George and his brother are both named for great-grandfathers.
Everett Joseph – George Samuel’s twin is Everett Joseph. When there’s a gem like Everett in your family history, it is easy to imagine passing it down. Joseph is simply classic. Together, George and Everett are nicely matched – both vintage choices that are wearable in 2013.
Asher James – Actors Jamie Anne and Marshall Allman also welcomed twin boys. Their sons arrived back in January – months before their due date – but the proud parents are sharing the news now that both boys are healthy and at home. James is Marshall’s dad’s name, and connects Asher to his mother’s name, too.
Oliver Charles – Asher’s twin is named Oliver. It’s a pleasing duo. Both names are current favorites, but given their histories of use they don’t feel trendy or fleeting. I can’t confirm if Oliver’s middle name also has family ties, but it seems possible.
Hendrix – Nat Bass has welcomed a second child! The Australian pop star turned actor/Aussie X Factor judge and her husband Cam McGlngchey are now parents to Hendrix John Hickson, a little brother for Harper Rain Sinclair. They’re both musically inspired choices, and with his stylish x, Hendrix has been catching on. The names are nicely matched, but I think they’ve definitely set a pattern that they’ll need to maintain should they add to their family.
Klay – Manchester United star Wayne Rooney and his wife Coleen have also brought home baby number two. Klay Anthony joins big brother Kai Wayne. Is it me, or are these two names confusingly close? On a positive note, Kai has dad’s name as his middle. Baby brother Klay has Coleen’s brother’s name.
Emerson Jay – On to the girls! Yes, Emerson Jay is a girl, the first child for Cleveland Indians’ first baseman Nick Swisher and his wife, actor Joanna Garcia. Thanks to the success of Emma and Emily, Emerson is one of those surname names more popular for girls than boys these days. Could she be the next Addison? As for Jay, it is borrowed from Joanna’s dad.
Gracie James – Remember Ron Livingston from Office Space and Sex in the City? He and wife Rosemarie DeWitt have adopted a daughter. Her name is Gracie James. James appears to be after Rosemarie’s grandfather, boxer James J. Braddock. If that sounds familiar, it is probably because Russell Crowe played Braddock in Cinderella Man.
Alaia-Mai – Let’s end with another celebrity birth announcement from the UK, the daughter of singers Marvin Humes and Rochelle Wiseman. No family ties with Alaia-Mai’s name, but both halves of her hyphenated appellation are very much on trend.
Would you use family names for your children? If yes, in the first or middle spot?