Namesake Names: Honoring family and friends

The question of the week: How would you go about honoring a namesake?

In choosing a name, there’s nothing more meaningful than paying tribute to a beloved family member, ancestor or friend.  Namesake names can connect your child to her heritage, and convey the essence of a loved one, bestowing their most admirable qualities on your child.  Personal heroes of the past or present can form the basis of worthy namesake names as well.

Would you approach this by:

  • Using the name verbatim as a first name?
  • Modernizing or modifying it in some way?  Changing Mildred to Millicent of Millie, for example?  Finding another name with a similar meaning?
  • Using it as a middle name?
  • Considering the honoree’s middle or last name if you didn’t love their first?
  • Would you ever consider making your son a Junior or a II or a III?
  • Would you use the name of an ancestor you never knew?
  • Would you consider the name of a personal hero?

So have you honored a namesake in your child’s name–or would you in the future?

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47 Responses to “Namesake Names: Honoring family and friends”

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Elle Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 3:14 am

My son’s middle name is my maiden name. My husband’s middle name is his mom’s maiden name and his grandfather’s middle name was his mother’s maiden name too! My dad’s middle name is also his mom’s middle name and my brother and nephew are Jr and III after my dad. I really like the maiden name as a middle name idea. I have thought about doing that again but with my mom’s maiden name as a middle name if we had another son.

I have also looked up names from our family tree for inspiration which has been super fun!

My husband’s grandma is Antoinette so I have thought about using Antonia for a girl. Kind of making it a little more modern.

I am also big into meanings so that could make a name connection for me too.

I will NEVER have a Jr! Makes things too confusing!

Elle Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 3:15 am

***Meant to say that my dad’s middle name is his mother’s maiden name not her middle name. Sorry :o)***

Rachaol Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 7:06 am

My son’s first name is for his great grandfather, Frederick (nn Freddy). I am expecting a second child in August. At this point, if it is a girl I want to use part of my grandmother’s name. Probably Dorothy, perhaps Dorothea. Grandma’s maiden name is Grace…I always planned to use that as a mn for a daughter. I don’t mind the super popularity for a mn.

Evie Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 7:46 am

I always thought giving the child the same initials a nice way to honor a loved one.

tarynkay Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 8:56 am

I do want to name after family members, the difficulty is that our favorite family members have very challenging names. For example, my husband’s grandfathes are Herman and Virgil. I know that there’s a trend towads more old-fashioned names, but I don’t think that Herman is really there yet, and going through middle school named Virgil would be rough.

The other difficulty is potentially offending those not honored- like many people these days, we have six parents between us, so we can’t name anyone after any of our parents without offending others.

kyemsma Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 9:17 am

My DH and I honored my mother’s side of the family by using the name Catherine as a mn for our daughter, which is a family name since the 17th century!

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Lola Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 9:40 am

I’d honor by using the names in the middle if I liked them but not a ton. Up front if I do (and did). I’d use family surnames in the middle (or at the end), and adamantly NEVER a Junior! Far too confusing overall and what a pain for the kid.
My kids got beloved family members names up front, my boys have more family names from his side in the middle and a surname on the end. My daughter has a beloved family member up front, a family surname in the middle and another family name on the end. It worked so well for us, if we have another (big if, we’re both just over 40 now), we’ll use the formula again!

katybug Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 10:22 am

Agree with pps on the pain of Jrs. My mother and I have the same first name with different spellings (Katherine and Kathryn–each of our names honor different Katherine/Kathryns in the family) and despite the different spelling, different nns, and different middle names, our financial and medical records have gotten co-mingled on more than one occasion. For girls, especially, no one is expecting parent and child to have the same name.

Nicole Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 10:55 am

Three of my four great-grandfathers were Isaacs, as well as an uncle and cousin, so it’s only natural for me to name my son Isaac. I don’t mind though; I love the name and knowing that it is such a strong family name makes me like it more. 🙂

sadiesadie Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:17 am

We are not using family names. My family is the type that would get really upset if we used a family name from my husbands family and not mine. Plus if I did use a name from my family there would be the issue of not using THEIR name. Not worth it at all.

Isabel Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:37 am

I definitely will! Some of my favorite names are in my family tree. I’m going to use a variation, hopefully- Rosalind to Rose.

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Sassy Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I like the idea of honouring a family member in the middle spots. I wouldn’t use it as a first as my child deserves his/her own name.
My in-laws did this with our nephews. The older one has both is Grandfather’s names as middles and the younger one has his father’s middle and my husband’s first as his middle names.
I also have to agree with the previous posters in regards to jrs. It is just confusing and the junior is expected to live up to someone else.
As well, I may use a name that means the same instead of the actual name. My Mum’s name is Susan but I’d probably use Lily as a way to honour her. I’m not a big fan of the name Susan and she was 1 of 7 in her neighbourhood growing up.

Kayt Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 12:50 pm

We love family names in the middle. My son’s middle name is Kenneth, which is my husband’s middle name, his dad’s and grandfather’s first name, his great grandfather and great great grandfather’s middle name, his great-great-great-grandfathers’ first name, etc. I haven’t sat down and counted them all, but there is something ridiculous like eight or nine generations of Kenneth. Plus, my sister-in-law (my husband’s sister) married a Ken, and I have an uncle that’s Kenny. So yeah, it kind of was inevitable.

If we ever have a daughter, her middle name will be Margaret. My sister is Amelia Margaret, my mother is Margo Lee, and her mother was Margaret Isobella.

If we had two daughters, the choice is less simple, but we would probably go with Jane or Patricia in the middle. Those are family names on my husband’s side. If we have a second son, we’ll use something from my side. Problem being, my family is pretty girl-heavy, so there’s not a ton of boy names to pick from. We’ll probably use Brett, Al@an, or C@ld3r, my dad’s name, for a middle name.

We would never ever ever do a junior. For startes, both my husband’s and my name start with K, so we would be the KKK, and that just ain’t going to happen. Then, my husband and I both find it a bit egotistical and mroe than a little confusing. We personally prefer to give our children their own first name, and using a name in the middle to honor as many important people as possible.

Sheila Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I feel that names should have a deeper meaning than just, “I like the sound”. I am named after four women in my family. Leah Kaye. Leah- my paternal grandmother’s middle name was Leigh and my maternal grandmother’s first name was Martha. My parents combined Leigh and the ending of Martha to get Leah. My middle name is also the middle name of my dad’s sister and my mom’s brother’s wife. So, I’m named after my grandmothers and my aunts. I was always very proud of having such great namesakes, especially because they weren’t as obvious as being named directly after them.

Our daughter, Grace Patricia, is named after my mother, whose middle name is Ann, which means Grace, and DH’s paternal grandmother, Patricia.

The names we have picked out for a future, not yet conceived, child is either Meryl Amelia or Dexter Paul.
Meryl means “shining sea” and DH’s mother’s middle name is Lynn, which means “lake”. Amelia is after my paternal grandmother’s mother, Kathern Amelia- a wonderful woman whom I was pleased to know for four years and the woman I got my creative streak from.
Dexter is after my father, David. The only connection here is the initial, but we feel that it’s enough. Paul is for DH’s mother’s first name, Paula.

In the end of having two children, we will have honored all four sides of our family. However, the most important thing to us is to have a name that we love. Then comes the family tie. I also feel that it’s important to give children their own name. You can have a tie to family without it being as obvious as naming your kid George Jr.

Marcia Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I love family names – and in any spot too! I fully plan on using my grandmother’s maiden name for the first name of a future boy. I also fully plan on using my mother’s first name for the first name of a future girl. Picking up the middle names from other family members – like Dad’s middle name and my husband’s grandmother’s maiden name. He’s completely on board – especially because our families share a lot of names: Sarah, Katherine, Elizabeth, Andrew, Michael, etc.
My plan to change it up is in the nicknames and choose more obscure family names.

Lyndsay Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 1:46 pm

We love family names. Everyone in my family and my husband’s has a family name at least in the middle (not many in the first). My son has his own first name, and two family middles which honor my maternal grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle and brother as well as his father and brother. If we have another boy his middle name will honor my dad, paternal grandpa, uncle and his maternal grandpa. Middle name for a girl will honor my mom and grandma and several others in my family, and his grandma.

Several generations in his mother’s family had names starting with Mar, so we might bring that tradition back since there are a few Mar names we adore.

It’s more important to me to honor family members I know, or know a lot about. I didn’t know my mother’s grandmothers, but I’ve heard so many stories that I feel like I did, and I would like my daughters to have a connection to them. Also, I’ve read a lot into my family tree and know the histories of some people in it whom I would love to honor.

As for juniors, I actually like the idea of it, but it’s not for me, I guess. My husband’s name is Christopher which I think is a great name, but he goes by Chris and there aren’t any other nicknames in there that I like. And two people with the same name in one house is too much for me! If my husband were a junior though, I would have made my son a third and called him Tripp, I love Tripp!

wayland Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I have a large family, and so does my husband, and every name we pick turns out to have a family connection – a great aunt, a grandmother’s maiden name, or a lost-forgotten cousin. None of the connections are especially meaningful to us – we picked the names without knowing about them- but it makes all the relatives happy!

suzanne Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 2:02 pm

For me, first names are the starting point to creating an individual identity, so I would not name them after anyone. On the other hand, middle names are a place to honor family. I would chose either chose someone whom I know personally, a family surname, or an important family figure (1st to come to US, WWII vet, etc).

If I used a name I found on my family tree that I liked, I would no more consider my child named after that person than I would if I used a name I saw on movie credits, in a book, or a celebrity. It would just be a name I liked.

celina Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 2:43 pm

We just named our son Bruno, which was my husband’s Grandmother’s maiden name. I love the name and I love that it is “namesake”- he is tied to his roots and it is a way to keep the memory of loved ones alive.

leah_9 Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I love family names. Infact I always felt a little cheated that my name didnt honor anyone. We plan to name our son Andreas Peter. Andreas is grandpas middle name and Peter is for my maiden name. For a girl I love Maren, Elizabeth/Isabel, Teresa, and Lily, all of which honor family members. Other important family names include Edgar, Conrad, Sebastian, James, and John.

rachelmarie Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I think I have a very different way of honoring people.
My parents don’t like the whole me giving my kids one of their names, so I’ve kind of gotten around it.
My brother’s name is Jake, and my mom’s middle name is Jo. Both one syllable J-names, and right now my favorite boy’s name is Jack. Plus the hard K sound relates to my mom’s first name, Kelly. So Jack gets around the whole issue.
And my dad is David Lawrence. I really love his name, and I would love to use David as a middle name. Jack David is one of my favorites, but I’m not sure if it’ll fly. So, a favorite girl’s name of mine is Laura, which would honor Lawrence (and also is the name of a very important person in my life).

But, one of my favorite secret name honors is yet to come….
There is a teacher who I had last year who helped me survive high school, and is still helping me. He was there when no one else was, when I had no friends and no one to relate to. I’m not the biggest fan of his name, but he is from Georgia, which he loves… So, right now, I love Georgiana (jor-jay-na) as a middle name. Claire Georgiana Marie. He may never know that one day I might honor him in my child’s name, but it’s important for me to do it.

So, I guess my way of honoring people is a bit unconventional. I say if you don’t love the names of someone you want to honor, you honor them with something you love about them, or is important to them. I think it’s a good personal touch.

heidi Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I am fortunate to have some lovely family names that I intend on using to honor those who mean so much to me (Antonia, Eleonore, Rose, Louella, Lydia, Leo).

As for naming after an ancestor we never knew – my boyfriend’s great uncle Harold died in WW II at 23. Through some research I was able to find out that Harold died in France while saving his platoon just a few months before the end of the war.

Neither one of us were terribly fond of the name Harold, but after finding out his story and not being able to shake the feeling of just how sad it was that he was never able to marry or have a family or grow old…well, the name means so much to us now. We hope to be able to honor him some day by using Harold as a middle name.

Carlie Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I plan to honor my mother (Caroline, goes by Carol) with the name Carys (she is 100 percent Welsh). I plan on honoring my aunt Joyce Anita with the name Jacinta or Jacinda.

Amanda Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 5:32 pm

We recently used my mom’s name (Elizabeth) as my daughter’s middle name. Her full name is Isla Elizabeth. My mom passed away suddenly in April 2008 (3 weeks after my son, Finn Patrick, was born). Since then, I knew if I ever had a daughter I wanted to honor my mother by using her name. This way my daughter will have a special connection with my mom whom I miss dearly.

Sara Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Coming from the south there are lots of Jr, III, IVs and so forth – and parents are still doing it, I have the announcements. In particular the maiden names are given to girls as the sons will be IIIs or IVs. Oh, and the way around the dad and son with the same name in the house – nickname the son. Buddy or Bud or even J.R. for juniors or if dad was Bud the son is then Dub. I went thru school with boys named Trey – thinking that was their name until something official happened and you found out they were Dewey Scupper Harris, III. Okay, some were named Trey, but once you found out about the Trey=III, they seemed a bit lame. I guess if the baby’s name is going to be thrust upon him you get your way around it with the nickname. I currently know baby boys being called Max and Gus and there is no way you get that from their numbered generational name. Bow to the family pressure – strike back with Jack or Ty when the baby is named Amon Melville, IV or Elmer Wray, III.

christena Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 8:05 pm

My husband and I haven’t had a baby yet, but he comes from a long side of boys (there isn’t a single girl on his whole side of his family going back three generations), so we’re expecting to have at least one boy. When we do, we are going to name him Julian. My mother in law is named Julie and my mother’s mn is Judy.

My family has a tradition of having the father’s first name as their first born son’s middle name. My husband isn’t a fan of that.

Vicky Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 9:48 pm

In my immediate family, we have a tradition of using family names for middle names, and I have carried that on with my children. Honestly, I don’t see much point to middle names unless they have some meaning like that. We are in the process of naming our 3rd girl (due in a month!), and there are really only 2 female names left- mine and my mother’s. Sadly, my mother’s name is Jean, which just doesn’t sound nice with any of our chosen first names. Makes them all sound Southern, which is not our style. So though I would love to honor my mom in that way, our little girl will likely end up with her own mama’s name (mine) as her middle. My sister is also pregnant with a little girl, and is thinking of tweaking Jean and using Jeanine as a middle to honor my mother. I guess I am too much of a purist when it comes to this particular issue, as that just doesn’t sit right with me. I guess because my 4 siblings and I all have the pure version of the person we’re named after, I want to follow that too.

http://www.namestory.wordpress.com

Stefanie Says:

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:22 pm

My brother and sister in law recently used my mom’s first name as my niece’s middle name. if it was a boy, they would have used my uncle’s and dad’s names in one combination or another (fn or mn of both). My parents died more than 20 years ago and my uncle 10 years ago, so it’s a really nice remembrance. If I had kids (which I don’t plan to) I would name a daughter after my grandmother and mother with a variation of their names, and I would like include my dad’s and/or uncle’s name(s) for a son.

kalstin Says:

February 3rd, 2011 at 1:44 pm

My grandmother’s name was Mary Henrietta Anna Augusta Weiland Teagle. It seemed a bit of a mouthful so we shortened it to Mary Anna Augusta when naming our first daughter. (She has since told me that she prefers the name Henrietta – the one we didn’t use. *sigh*) My other children all have family names too – Lydia Margaret, Thomas Edward, George Lewis and August Wild. We lost August in utero before we knew his/her sex and it was quite a challenge to come up with a unisex name from the family tree. But then I thought of my great grandfather’s middle name August and since the baby was due in August it seemed the perfect choice for our precious little one. I always wanted to name a girl after my mother but since her name is Doris everyone (including my mother herself) vetoed this idea!

Susanna Says:

February 4th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Me and my boyfriend talked about this topic a month ago. We both love family names and wanna carry on our family’s traditions ( if the name doesn’t sound too weird or too old ) So we ended up with

First boy – Alexander James ( James, Charles and Alfred are his granddad’s names and every boys in his family would have one of those as middle name. His middle name is James and his dad’s Charles )

Second boy ( if we have ) – Taimer Liam ( Taimer is one of his ancestor, never heard of this name before and I think it sounds cool. Liam is a boy I was nanny, he’s the best of the best )

First girl – Penelope Rose ( Penelope reminds me of a strong gold heart lady and Rose to join his flowery gangster ; his nieces Jasmine Ann and Megan Lilly )

Emmy Jo Says:

February 6th, 2011 at 2:51 am

I love the idea of using family names. My husband and I agree that we want out children’s first names to be distinctive — so we’ll either choose non-family names or choose more distant family tree names. Middle names are to honor close relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and such) — either by using their names directly or by adapting their names a bit.

I think if you’re adapting a family name, there has to be an obvious connection — if you get too far away from the original name, it hardly feels like you’re honoring anymore. Adaptations we’ve considered are using Bennett instead of Ben (after my husband’s father) and Marigold instead of Floris Marie (after my husband’s grandfather).

I would only give my child a name I really liked — and if a family member did not have a name that I could adapt to anything acceptable to me, I’d find someone else’s name to use. For example, my grandmother is Barbara Jean, and I really can’t find any related names I like.

The reason I want to use family names is actually more for the benefit of the child than the honoree. I want my children to feel that their names mean something — I always loved sharing a middle name with my grandmother, and I want my children to feel that same connection to our family’s history.

DeeCohenSmith Says:

February 6th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I didn’t want a jr. so I mixed up my husband’s name a bit. He’s William Winston Henry and my son is Henry Winston William.

Teice Says:

February 7th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

With my son we wanted to honor my husband’s grandfather Louis Ray. He goes by Ray so we picked a”R”name and Louis as a middle name. For this baby, that formula is not working so well as I can’t find and “L” name we can agree on the honors my grandfather Les. If this baby is a girl her name will be Aveta. It is a combo of Avanel and Leta both of our grandmothers.

smismar Says:

February 9th, 2011 at 11:03 am

I actually love combining names to honor people. My daughter’s mn is Caron – after my mother Carol and MIL Sharon. I could potentially do the same for a boy Rodger + Donald => Ronald, but I’m not a huge fan of that particular name. I’ve thought about using the Czech name Fiala (means “violet”) to honor my grandmother Florence. I don’t think you have to use exact names to honor people.

Greer Says:

February 9th, 2011 at 10:45 pm

My maternal grandmother’s name is Lois, which I can’t really get behind (it’s almost a so-out-it’s-in name, but really, it just makes me think of old ladies.) However, if we ever have a girl, I’d like to honor her in some way, so I’m thinking of changing it up a bit, to either Louise or Eloise, and using it as a middle name.

Greer Says:

February 9th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Also, my son’s middle name is my DH’s mother’s maiden name.

peach Says:

February 17th, 2011 at 1:06 am

I have no family names but my husband had a long-standing family first. We are both only children so incorporating family names for us has significant meaning but we are careful to use family names in personal ways:
* Using the name verbatim as a first name? No.
* Modernizing or modifying it in some way? Yes. Finding another name with a similar meaning? Yes.
* Using it as a middle name? Yes.
* Considering the honoree’s middle or last name if you didn’t love their first? Yes.
* Would you ever consider making your son a Junior or a II or a III? No,
* Would you use the name of an ancestor you never knew? Yes.
* Would you consider the name of a personal hero? Yes.
Our favorite girl’s name contains our mom’s middle names (one version and one verbatim) and our favorite boy’s name includes my husband’s middle (after a significant family friend) in the middle spot as well.

K Says:

February 25th, 2011 at 11:59 am

I do love my grandmother’s first name, Isabelle. But it seems to be becoming quite popular again, and while I’m not trying to be the “cool mom” and give my daughter a name no one’s heard of, I also don’t want her to have to go through all the Ashleys and Katies and Michaels had when I was growing up. Plus, my uncle already modified it to Isabella for his daughter’s middle name, and it would be an obvious copycat. So she’ll be getting my grandmother’s middle name, Mae–although I am worried it’s going to become the next “Lynn” or “Anne” or “Marie” etc. But at least it will actually have meaning, not just be a syllable smooshed in there because it flows nicely.

Em Says:

May 5th, 2011 at 10:44 pm

We picked our future son’s name before we married, over 7 years ago. He will be named using my dh’s grandfather’s first name and my grandfather’s middle name. I love that our son will be named after two amazing, smart, honorable people. If they hadn’t been such wonderful people, we wouldn’t have even considered using their names. I do not agree with using random family names just to have a family name. I feel that it needs to mean something to you personally.
As for a Junior, not sure that I would do that. It’s a bit confusing. My dad is a Junior and searched for his own name/identity for years before he finally settled on “J.R.”
I would love to use a family name for a girl, if dh and I could find one that we agreed on and that honored someone great. We have considered versions of our mothers’ middle names.
We would be open to using a maiden name if we had any that sounded remotely like names instead of made-up words.

Leigh Says:

June 9th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Family names are big with us. Especially the girls. Rosina or Rose and Patricia. I had a great sunt whose name was Rosina Patricia. Her immediate family has went on to use the name Rose as a middle name. Her oldest daughter is Sherree Rosina. My grandmother, younger sister of great aunt, is Patricia. My mother and I both have that as our middle name and if I have a daughter I plan on giving her the middle name as well.

My sisters middle name is Hope after close friend who is like family. And her first daughters middle name is my first. If I were to have a second daughter, Hope would be her middle name.

And finally but not least my sons middle name is my step paternal grandmothers maiden name.

Stephanie Says:

June 17th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

My great-grandfather died in a hunting accident at the age of 33 when my grandmother was 3 months old. Overcome with grief, my great-grandmother changed my grandma’s name to Stephen Lawrence in honour of the husband she loved. When my gran was 26, she changed Stephen to Stephanie and dropped Lawrence (which is how I got my name).

My grandma never knew her father, but through the accounts past on by her mother and people who knew him, his legacy lives on to this day. My boys are named Etienne and Laurent (French versions in tribute to my great-grandmother’s heritage) in honour of my grandmother, who is my favourite person in the world, her mother (my great-gran) who I feel like I know through my gran’s stories and my great-grandad who by all accounts lived up to the meaning of his names.

Emily Says:

June 17th, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I like to name my children after saints, which I guess falls into the category of “personal heroes”… If this post is true in its claim that choosing a name bestows the namesake’s most admirable qualities on the baby, then I think saints’ names are the way to go! 🙂 My kids are Theodore, Bernadette, Adelaide, and Teresa after some of my favorite saints. I am pregnant with the fifth and I think it will be Veronica, Magdalena, Peter or Gregory. I actually prefer that the names aren’t already in the family, because I grew up in a family chock-full of Johns, Michaels, Marys, and Elizabeths… It gets rather confusing!

aunt_ning Says:

October 12th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

My name is Jeannie Marie…my sister was almost 10 and she named me because she liked the names. However…I do have a Great Aunt Jeanne and a Great aunt Rose Marie who have always believed I was named after them (though my sister didnt remembe they existed at the time) and we have never told them otherwise. My Boyfriend..his name is Robert (goes by Bob)he, his father, grandfather, great grandfather and so on are all named Robert with the middle name rotating..like bob has his grandfathers middle name of william, which was his great great grandfathers middle name…and so on. He really wants a son named Robert, and while I always loved the name as its my Pappap and my uncles name and goes back in my family too, I think a child deserves his own Identity…I mean Bob is Little Bob in his family, his dad is Big Bob and his grandfather is Old Bob…no way am I gonna think of bringing a Baby Bob into that family. Funnily enough though, we both love the first name Eli…not even close to thinking of Kids but it just popped out of my mouth one day and he was like Its my favorite name!

OliviaJayne Says:

October 25th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I love the idea of naming children after family member. My middle name Jayne is very common in the english side of my family so I love having it. I am the oldest of 5 children and my 2 younger brothers and sisters all have a first or middle name with some sort of family significance, especially my youngest sister. paternal great-grandmother (an Italian) was called Leila and the name of my maternal french grandmother was Rose. My parents could not decide between them so I, 8 at the time, suggested that they combine them, which they agreed to. Leila-Rose is 14 years old now and loves the fact that she is names after 2 great women in out family.

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

June 8th, 2013 at 12:50 am

I’ve always loved the idea of naming a child after a relative, but I’ve since grown into the thought that if I’m going to name my child after someone, it’s going to be someone I’m close to, otherwise, I’m just going to choose a name that I love and has no familial associations.

For the longest time, I had decided on the name Elena Aurelia, after my maternal grandparents’ mothers. (My grandma was upset that her mother’s name, Aurelia, wasn’t first but Aurelia Elena doesn’t have the same ring to it.) But, my great grandma Elena died when my grandpa was about 15, and though I’d met my great grandma Aurelia, I felt the connection wasn’t there for me that I would want to name my child after her. Though, I have to admit, I LOVE the name, possibly only because I’ve had it in my head since I was in the fifth grade, which was about 13 years ago.

The people I would be willing to name a child after? My mother, my grandpa and my grandma (both maternal since I’ve never met anyone on my paternal side). Well, my grandma has a child named after her, my cousin Petra (Pety for short). So, that leaves my mom and my grandpa.

After my grandfather’s death about three months ago, I decided that IF I ever have a kid (I’m not sure I want kids and only come on these types of sites because I’m an avid writer), boy or girl, it would have some association with my mother’s and grandfather’s names.

My mother’s name, Georgina, but with J’s in place of the G’s, has a variety of names to decide on for girl’s names, Georgia, Georgianne, Georgianna, Gina, and so on and only one, as far as I can tell, for a boy, George or Jorge, its Spanish version, neither of which I like.

My grandfather’s name has proven to be more difficult. His name, Jose, has very few names that can turn it into a girl’s name… Josephine, and the like. But I have an aunt named Josefina, the Spanish variant of Josephine. So I moved onto my grandpa’s middle name, Reyes. More people actually knew him by Rey anyway. That became my association.

I have since landed on a variety of names for a girl, Georgianne Mireya, Georgianna Mireille (which is pronounced like meer-AY), or Mireya Georgianne, though the first one is the likeliest contender, with the nickname being Gigi for names starting with Georgianna/e or Rey.

The boy’s name has proven to be much more difficult for me to fall in love with as I can’t get on board with George or Jorge. But George Reyes, Jorge Reyes (which may end up what I’d go with as it sounds similar to my grandpa’s name, Jose Reyes), or Reyes George. If George ends up the first name, I think I’d go with Geo as the nickname. Otherwise, it’d be Rey, just like my grandpa. (Though, I may decide on doing that whether Reyes is a middle name or first, just because I can’t fall in love with George/Jorge. I do like Geo, but I prefer names that can grow with a person, Geo feels too nickname-y.)

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