Question of the Week: Who were you named after?

+17 votes
1.3k views

imageWere you named after someone? Tell us with an answer here, or on Facebook, or share the question image on social media for friends and family. 

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
I was named after some American actress whose name was Evelyn. My mom wasn't a fan of her or anything, but she liked the name. She and my dad decided to turn Evelyn into Evelina because they are both from the Soviet Union where female names generally ended with an A.

Turns out a lot of other Russian and Polish immigrants in Germany chose the same name for their daughters. There are two more Evelinas in our family and also one of my dad's acquaintances named his youngest daughter Evelina. Even though I was born and grew up in Germany, people regularly recognize that we're Eastern Europeans immigrants just because of my name (which is ironic considering that my mom wanted to change her own name to sound more German!)

edit: ugh, I constantly confuse the "comment" and "reply" functions. One day I'll learn.
Great answer, Evelina, and I might not have noticed it if it hadn't been a comment.
I was named Laura after my 2 times great grandmother as my mother knew her and loved her. My mom was 10 years old when her great grandmother passed away.

The funny thing is my dad thought I was named after the famous song of the era! But mom said, No, after my great grandmother.

I never liked the name Laura. My family usually called me Laurie, which my dad still does. I find Laura to be a formal name and I never thought it fit me.

When I moved to a new school at age 13, I introduced myself to those who would become my friends, and no matter how much I corrected them, they would call me Lori and write notes to me spelled this way. After a week or so I decided I liked this spelling and pronunciation better (my sister and cousins used this pronunciation) and so I began to adopt it for myself and would use that spelling on all my school work, even though my grade cards all had my birth name of Laura on them.

When I was 21 I wanted to change my name officially to Lori from Laura. Both of my parents were aghast, especially my mother who said I was disrespecting her grandmother's memory. To keep peace in the family, when I got married, I registered with the Social Security office as AKA as Lori so I can use this moniker legally on all official papers (work (paychecks), voting, driver's license, banking, etc)

I never paid to have my name changed and I can legally use my preferred name. I have never officially used the name Laura again since June of 1983 and never will. I detest the name and do not believe it fits me.

In no way am I trying to disrespect my mom (now deceased) or my dad (still living), or my two-times great grandmother. I am going with what I like and feel most comfortable with. My parents, grandparents and uncles all called me Laurie, and my grandma, aunts, cousins and siblings always pronounced my name as Lori (even before I was 13).

By changing the spelling of my name with Social Security and registering it as 'aka', I can use this preferred name and not change my official name on my birth certificate. Everyone is happy, and when I die my husband and children will bury me as Lori. It will not matter to anyone else, but it matters to me.
I was named after my father and his youngest brother.
I was named after both my grandfathers, Clayton Ray Bolick & Davis Anthony Martinez. My first name is Clayton, from my maternal grandfather. My middle name is Anthony, from my paternal grandfather.
My father named my first name - Carol after Carole Lombard the movie actress, and my mother gave me her middle name Audrey, she said because she disliked it so, she wanted to share it with someone - thanks MOM !!!
I was named Judith Wesley for my maternal grandfather, James Wesley Bonds.  During the World War II years, he worked as an itinerant plumber, serving all the families and farms in and around our rural town.  I was a small child then, and because my father was in the military and my mother was working in the ship yards (Rosie the Riveter), he often took me with him on service calls.  We became known as Big Wes and Little Wes.  I've always loved the name, and I am thrilled that my granddaughter has named her daugher, Wesley.  I hope the tradition continues.
I was named after my gr gr grandmother- Margaret McSwiggin and my grandmother Esther Henrietta ( Jensen) Snouffer, thus Margaret Esther. I did not know how to spell Esther when in 2 nd grade, I spelled it Easter from the bulletin board, my family call me Margaret Easter.
I was named after a lady who was kind to my parents. They married in 1946, when there was post-war rationing in England and people needed dockets to buy furniture. My parents didn’t have enough. When they bought their house, Maynessa was emigrating to Australia, so she sold them all her furniture without dockets.   My mother liked the name, so when I was born, I got it.

I travelled a lot, but never met anyone who had heard of my name. I googled it every now and then for years, and I was the only Maynessa that came up (now there are a few). One day, an obituary came up for Maynessa Molly Whyte, in Wodonga, Victoria. She was the same age as my mother.

It was obviously the lady that I was named after and I was very sorry that I never met her. By some strange coincidence,  we emigrated to Australia from the UK in 1985, so I could have visited her, if I had found her in time.
I was named for my mother, who was named for her maternal grandmother, but the "Elizabeth" part of my name was also that of my paternal grandmother and her maternal grandmother, a well as my maternal great-grandmother's mother.  So Lizabeth has been a tradition. However, it has now switched to "Margaret, for my mother; there must be half-a-dozen, including one of my grandchildren.
I wasn't named for anyone in particular, but my family has a namesake history for girls. Every second daughter - except in the case of my niece because she's the only daughter - is named Marian. Only one generation missed in the five generations before me. So, my 3x great grandmother (Marian Chandler who married Royal Hatch), 1x great grandmother (Marian Chandler Hatch who married Bernard Sykes), maternal grandmother (Marian Chandler Sykes who married Andrew Longacre), mother (Marian Longacre who married Bruce McCart), sister (Marian McCart who married Bill Motz), and niece (Marian Mattie Motz) are all Marians.
Lori, I have done the same thing - given name Teresa, but have used Teri most of my life, and got my social security account changed to Teri in 1993.

About 10 years ago I needed to get a copy of the birth certificate of my son who was born in 1988. I literally could NOT get it myself, because my name on his birth certificate is Teresa. We had to have my husband request it instead.

The records clerk was very sympathetic. She strongly advised me to get my name change to Teri on my birth certificate. She said when it's time to file for Social Security, if your name on your social security account doesn't match your name on your birth certificate that it can cause a lot of trouble.

Just a heads up!
I was named after my Father, John Charles Quigley, instead of Junior they stuck me with II (2nd). I asked my Dad why they did that, he said we are related to Irish royalty. I searched in all the records I could find, and thought that my Dad was wrong about that. Turns out he was only part wrong. I got a note from my wife's cousin who told me we were related and told me it was a Howard that was in my direct line. Turns out, she was right, and so was my Dad, sort of. Robert Howard was the son of Lord Thomas Howard and Lady Margaret Douglas, whose mother was Mary Queen of Scots, who later became Queen of Ireland and Scotland. She was related to King Henry the 5th. Margaret was 3rd or 4th in line to the English Throne. There is much intrigue in this story, but it is not relevant to this conversation.

65 Answers

+12 votes
by Lauren Conte G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
i was named after actress lana turners daughter  CHERYL
+9 votes
I don’t know and both of my parents are deceased so I can’t ask them.
by Tommy Buch G2G6 Mach 4 (41.3k points)
+16 votes

My full name is Dieter Martin Lewerenz.

Dieter is a short form of Theoderich and has the same meaning, so my parents decided to call me Dieter in memory of Theoderich the great (king of the Osthrogots).

My middle name was the first name of my lovely grandfather Martin Lewerenz.

by Dieter Lewerenz G2G6 Mach 2 (27.5k points)
+21 votes
A hospital cart used to move bodies around.  I like to tell people that every crime show starts with me at a murder scene.
by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (152k points)
I've always thought your name's an interesting one, Gurney, because it's also a surname and one that I'm related to.
So now it’s time to fess up. Gurney is a middle name with Francis as a first name. There are Francis Gurney’s with various surname in the family Back to the 1600’s.  Rumor has it that the original was a family friend who was a sea captain operating in the Cape May, New Jersey area but I’ve not found him.
Nothing wrong with Francis, isn't that something like Franklin, or we both could be called for Frank?
+11 votes
For shame, for shame, my mother was determined to give me a French name. My father was dead against it. So they named me after Sir Maryon Wilson, Chief Superintedent of Scotland Yard. Mum won by insisting on the slight change of spelling, dad won because he was a Bobby. And I lost! Saving grace I got mum’s middle name Irene
by Marion Poole G2G6 Pilot (859k points)
Marion,  My grandmother was Florence Marion and her mother was Marian Frances, I know cause I went back and checked and found, I wrote them in.......don't know where the names came from, but really like them. While writing this it occurred to me, Marian's mother is unknown and maybe these names are a clue......."nothing gained....nothing ventured".    Jack
+10 votes
My father was born in Akyab Burma, in 1899, when his father was Superintendent of Burma Police, returning, after a five year term, to Cheltenham, where he was left, to be raised, with grandparents for 5 years. My father spoke. fondly, of that period, and as he explained, named me, (Jack) John Alexander, after his Grandfather, (Jack) John Alexander William Thompson, Surgeon General.
by John Thompson G2G6 Mach 2 (28.9k points)
John, I see we have Alexander in common. My mother wanted to name me Alexandria, but she decided to make it shorter.
Yes Alexis.....it was partly in my subconscious and partly in my conscious mind until this topic came up today.........Alexander
+12 votes

My brother was five years old when I was born and he got to give me my middle name.  At the time, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans was his focus, so I am Kitty Dale.  Lucky I didn't get Trigger or Bullet. laugh

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (522k points)
Cool name origin.
+10 votes
After nobody. Mum chose a name that was not existing in our family. After my birth my cousin married a Jelena and a second cousin named her daughter Jelena. So I was the first of some.

If I had become a boy, I would have been named after my paternal greatgrandfather. Many people were happy I didn't become a boy though....
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (462k points)
+11 votes
My first name Robyn is not after anyone. It was just a name my parents liked.

My middle name is the female version of my then maternal  grandfathers name. My mother was adopted so he was not my biological grandfather.  He does have a twig here on wikitree, but is not connected to my mother in anyway.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (790k points)
+10 votes
I wasn't named after anyone. My aunt chose my name. Toni was not a popular female name in the 50s ,but that is what I got.
by Toni Boone G2G3 (3.7k points)
I've known several Tonis.  It may have been more popular than you realize.
+14 votes

I have always known that I was named after my father Clare Alexander Lovelace Jr. My maiden name is Alexis Clare Lovelace, but doing these questions makes one think. Since my father was name after his father Clare Alexander Lovelace Sr, I actually was named after both my father and grandfather. Honestly, I never thought of that before.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (227k points)
I think I just had a moment, somewhat similar, but different,  with my grandmothers.
John, thank you for your comment. Hope you will write more about your grandmothers.
Alexis.....I inherited over three boxes of documents and photos that I am learning how to enter, and I must start with Marian's father, Cornwallis, the missing link in the boxes......I figured out who he would be and he held an unnamed spot on well known trees, but, because of no known wife it was probably overlooked that he left a very wealthy heiress, Marian.     Jack
That is wonderful John, know you will do a good job of getting it all together.
By the way, Alexis, did you know that our common ancestor, Thomas Fleetwood's grandaughter, Alice, was dropped off a bridge?
John, is Alice (Osborne) Wandesford our ancestor that was dropped off the bridge?
Yes Alexis.......London Bridge .......I, once, found the story on the internet, but don't know how to bring it here.     Jack
+10 votes
My first name, Virginia, came from my mother's youngest maternal aunt - she was Sarah Virginia and called Virgie. My Dad also had a couple of Virginia's in his family. My middle name, Leigh, came from my maternal grandmother - a variation on her middle name of Arlee. And I do not know where her parents came up with that as it is not in any of her family!!
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (383k points)
+9 votes
I was named after my grandfather for my first name ie. Frederick ( He was Fred Kimball Rogers, a Mayflower descendant) and my father for my Middle name ie. Wendell( he was Otis Wendell Rogers).The Otis also comes from an ancestor. (Timothy Otis Rogers).
by Frederick Rogers G2G5 (5.4k points)
+11 votes
My middle name is Ried. I was named for an Alp — the Riederalp in Canton Valais, Switzerland.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (125k points)
+12 votes
My mother read a book with a character in it that she liked named David Robin.  She decided she would name her first born after this character.  Well, I wasn't a boy so I got named Robin, thankfully without the David.  But I made her happy when I married my husband, David.  In a way, she finally got her David Robin.
by Robin Shaules G2G6 Pilot (743k points)
What a coincidence, Robin, I just finished commenting on Alice getting dropped off a bridge and find out Alice is the great grand daughter of our common ancestor Richard  Osborne III.   Jack
+10 votes
My parents weren't planning to have children right away, my Dad was in Seminary and it wasn't a great time to start a family. But when they found out Mom was pregnant they both felt strongly their baby was a girl. One day they were going for a walk near the water & saw a sailboat. My Dad saw the name of it & immediately knew it was going to be my name. Loralee. I think that was the day they started to feel okay about having an unexpected baby.

When I was 15 years old I met some people who commented on my name. I told them the sailboat story and their mouths dropped. They had a daughter 10 years before I was born and named her Loralee. Then, they named their sailboat after their daughter!

There are lots of Loralee's out there. Not as many with this spelling, but still a lot more than when I was a little kid. I can't help wondering how many of us were named after that one little girl and the sailboat that was named after her.

Great question!!
by Loralee Hutton G2G2 (2.4k points)
A great story
+8 votes
My parents didn't name me after anyone, actually. Whilst the name Thomas, as well as my middle name, both come up rather regularly (not for any of my ancestors but with distant cousins), there isn't anyone in the immediate family they would've been aware of with either of my names.

I actually have a funny story about my name which is that my mum wanted to call me John Thomas Dowding. My dad was massively against this for reasons you'll understand if you Google the phrase "john thomas", if you don't already know what it means. The names got swapped around and then my middle name was changed to something else.

My mum says she likes names beginning with J and wanted to call my brother Jack but didn't get her wish with him either. There aren't any Jacks in her family but one of her paternal ancestors was a John, although it was a great-grandparent died years before she was born and I don't think she would've known about him.

There are instances of people being named after one another in other parts of my family tree including the many different Sidney Dowdings.

My great-grandmother, Elsie May Mimms (known by family as May) was the only great grandparent I met (the others had all died before I was born, with the exception of one that died the year after my birth) and she lived to 106. She was lighthearted, kind and thoughtful but had an astonishing sense of determination and would not give up on what she liked doing. I've thought in the past that if I ever have a daughter the middle name's going to be May.
by Thomas Dowding G2G6 Mach 1 (13.3k points)
+9 votes
Lothar is an old German or Franconian name known as the Franconian noble name, Lothar II. King of Lotharingen (now Lorraine). In the old German form Chlothar it means hlut = loud, famous (Old High German); heri = the army, the warrior (Old High German). So the name means famous warrior or military leader.

My second name is my father's first name. In the family tradition, he has his father's first name as a second name, etc.
by Lothar Wolf G2G6 Mach 3 (35.5k points)
+9 votes
Eowyn posted this question on the 85th birthday of the person I was named after!

My aunt Carrie Joyce (Lowe) Wingo celebrated her birthday yesterday. I'm celebrating my own birthday today.

I've always thought that my name Karen Joyce Lowe was a sort of phonetic compromise between Carrie and Carolyn, my late mother's name. I'll have to ask my Aunt Joyce what she knows about that.
by Karen Lowe G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
Happy Birthday Karen, hope you have a wonderful birthday!
+9 votes

I was named after both my paternal grandmother Dorothy Carswell Jones and my mother's best friend.  Each believed I was named in her honor and since they were never in the same place at the same time after I was born, Mom never had to explain.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 2 (27.3k points)

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