Family Names for Babies: Everett, Jay & Klay

This week, Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain finds lots of family ties in the names in the news.

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 JosephGeorge 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 JamesActors 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.

AlaiaMai – Let’s end with another celebrity birth announcement from the UK, the daughter of singers Marvin Humes and Rochelle Wiseman.  No family ties with AlaiaMai’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?

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17 Responses to “Family Names for Babies: Everett, Jay & Klay”

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WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 3:38 am

Ooh lovely sets of celebrity twin boys!

Harper and Hendrix’s siblings could be Harmony, Hathor, Helicon, Holly, Holiday, Haley, Harrison, Houston, Hunter … and that’s where my knowledge of music gives out.

Abby Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 5:34 am

@WaltzingMoreThanMatilda – Such a great list – now I really hope they have more! Holiday June Sullivan and Harrison Max Callister, maybe?

mamamo Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 8:16 am

We chose the middle name Alyce (along with it’s less common spelling) for our daughter’s middle name after her still living great-great-grandmother; my dad’s mom’s mom. Her first name, Elinor, was chosen simply for her classic beauty and bright meaning, but after the birth and name announcement we found out Eleanor was the name of my husband’s mom’s dad’s mother, another great-great- grandmother! My husband’s grandfather was so touched that we named or first daughter after his mother that we haven’t told him that it was a coincidence!

For baby number 2 (due in December), there is only one family tie in our name possibilities. Our last name had ‘Von’ in front of it decades (maybe a century) ago, so if we have a boy his middle name will be Von.

shieldsc Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 9:59 am

Love family names! I’ve been researching our family trees for names for baby #4 and found some great ones: Friedrich, Wolfgang, Frieda, Magdalena, Rhynold, Emanuel, Bridget, Viola, Sadie, Elizabeth, Edwin, Lenora, Theophil, Pearl, Katharina…lots of fun choices.

sweets12 Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 10:21 am

The names in my family are very early 20th century like Minnie, Ernestine, Sullivan, Betty Jo, Harold, Hazel, Paula, Carolyn, etc. except my grandpa he’s a Christopher and my uncles are Mark, Michael, and Russell. I would probably borrow those.

Lark Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 11:09 am

Family names are always my first inspiration. We used one of my favorites as my 1st son’s middle name — Larson. I love the meaning it holds for our family.

tori101 Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Love family names!
If/when I have children each child will have two middle names each being family names. Loving these choices excluding Wayne Rooney’s choice. Yes Clay/Klay is okay on it’s own but as a brother for Kai it’s so silly their far too close!!

karateleshi80 Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Thumbs up for the names Larson and Lenora 🙂

jpruitt76 Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

My children all have middle names after close family members. Their first names are also family-related but that was more of a coincidence as they are farther back in the family tree (for example, I let my husband choose our son’s first name and he chose Henry, which also happens to be my great-grandfather’s middle name).

My philosophy is that mom’s should get first dibs on family names for all children as the baby typically carry their father’s family surname. And I think that if one child has a name that honors a family member, the rest of the children should as well.

My eldest’s middle name has become a tradition on my mom’s side – Louise is her great-aunt’s first name and is my mom and I’s middle name as well. It just happened to also be the same mn carried by my MIL but that was more of a happy coincidence. My middle daughter has a bit of a whopper in the mn spot – we weren’t sure if we’d have any other daughters and wanted to honor an Emma and a Marie, hence her mn: Emmamarie (wanted only one middle initial and don’t care for hyphens). My youngest carries my mother’s maiden name as his middle name – Morris. My mom was an only child of an only child and I wanted to carry it on somehow. I’d have used my maiden name (Stuart) for one of my kids’ middle names but it has unfortunate flow with my married surname. Sigh.

MoonlightSonata26 Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

If you’re going to honor a relative with naming your child after them, I think you should do that with all your kids. I’m not having kids for a long,LONG time, but I would defintely honor my family.

Abby Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Love seeing all the affection for family names!

@Lark – Larson is great!

frustratedauthor Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Not wild about Emerson Jay or Hendrix, but all in all a nice list.

I would definitely use family names for my children. I want my children to feel like they’re connected to something larger than themselves. I’ve been doing a lot of genealogical research and have been tucking away names for future use.

WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

@Abby I love Holiday June so much I hope they see this! Harrison Max seems perfect for the family.

Family names are a bit of a tradition for us – my great-grandma is Molly, my grandma is Mary Anne, my mum is Anne Mary, and my sister is Mariana! My sister doesn’t have any daughters, so I managed to hide a Mary Anne in my daughter’s name somewhere! 🙂 I do hope it’s a pattern that can be continued, since Mary and Anne are very adaptable.

JH Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I’ve always wanted to name my kids after family members. I just had my first baby a few weeks ago and named him after my grandpa, dad, and my husband’s dad (who share the same first name). I’m also a genealogy nut, so I love the connection names give us to our family history.

gipro2003 Says:

May 27th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

My middle name is Judith after my aunt, my younger brother’s middle names are Christian David after my uncle and dad, and my daughter is Karin Olylmpia Lucerne. Karin is after her maternal great grandma and Olympia is my mom’s first middle name also.

liviajoan Says:

May 28th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I’m definitely using Ione as my first daughter’s middle name, and if I have a second daughter, her middle name will be Bernadette. If somehow there’s a third, her middle name will be Joy. Ione was my maternal grandmother’s name, while Bernadette is her sister. Joy is my boyfriend’s great-grandma’s name, plus its a name I’ve always liked.

marisarose Says:

June 3rd, 2013 at 8:19 pm

My son’s middle name is his father’s middle name, his grandfather’s middle name, and his great-grandfather’s first name: Liam Anthony

My fiancee and I have several names picked out when we decide we’re ready for more:
Jason Robert (fiancee is Justin, so the J is for him; Robert is my fiancee’s middle name and his father’s first name)
Micah Scott (the M is for my first name Marisa; Scott is my fiancee’s mother’s maiden name)
Oliver Patrick (my mother’s name is Patrice, so Patrick in honor of her)

Juliette Rose (Rose is my middle name, my paternal grandmother’s middle name, and both my great-grandmother’s first names: Rose and Rosa)
Kathryn Aria (Kathryn is my grandmother’s name)
Evelynn Joy (Joy is for his mother: Joyce)
Claire Vivianne (Claire is for his paternal grandmother; Vivian was my paternal grandmother)

All in all, family history in every name 😀

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