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

+7 votes
I was named for my second great grandmother, Ruth Rose.  My mother liked the name and it was to be her "stage name" when she became a famous ballerina.  When that didn't happen, she gave the name to me.
by Ruth McGettigan G2G1 (1.8k points)
+6 votes
My parents could not remember why they chose my first name.  My dad's favorite name was Susie, but because he'd already named his 1938 Dodge pickup Susie Belle and the bicycle he rode in England during WWII Susie, he decided it wouldn't be right to name a daughter "Susie."  My middle name, Lee, was chosen to honor my grandmothers--Leah and Leona--and my great-grandmother, Mary Lee.
by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (197k points)
+6 votes
I was named after my Great-uncle Kelly Grigsby.  Mom just changed the spelling slightly. What was always funny is my aunt would run through every female name in the family trying to get my attention.  I would finally look at her  and say "call your husband, I'll answer."
by Kellie Rhodes G2G6 Mach 1 (17.3k points)
+6 votes
My Mom decided on "Shanna" after several days of pressure from the Hospital. I was told that Shanna was a derivative of Shannon from my father's Irish side of the family. My middle name is the same as my Mom's--the Americanization of the Scandinavian Laurine (from my great grandmother) to Lorraine.
by Shanna Leeland G2G6 Mach 2 (25.8k points)
+7 votes
I was named Trudy Ann after a character  my mum liked in a book.  I have frequently had people insist my " real name" is Gertrude and Trudy Ann is a nick name.  Like I dont know my own name. Lol.  But it is Trudy Ann.  Not Trudy.
by Trudy Roach G2G6 Pilot (179k points)
My sister, who is named Kim, had a similar problem. People often insist that her name is Kimberly. But it isn't, she was named Kim with the beautiful middle name of Alicia (pronounced Aleesa).
I know the feeling...

My great-grandmother was named Kate.  I have seen her listed online as Katherine.  (Some family members did refer to her as Kathryn, not Katherine, but she was born Kate -- and family can call you what online strangers can not.)

She occasionally used "Kitty", but Kate she was born and Kate she died, despite the online insistence that Kate was short for Katherine.

+4 votes
I wasn't named after anyone. My father had the idea that a name should be unique, so he didn't want me named after a family member.
by Greg Webber G2G2 (2.1k points)
+5 votes
I'm named after the spider in "Charlotte's Web." Charles, the masculine form, appears several times in my paternal line.
by Charlotte Landis G2G Crew (510 points)
+5 votes
I was named after my mother's sister, Jean.
by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
+5 votes

I was given my mums name as my middle name, our daughters middle name was my husbands great aunts name, our eldest son was names for my husbands grandfather, father and brother, our youngest was named for my 2 grandfathers and my favourite uncle smileyheart xxx

by Karen Butler G2G6 Pilot (112k points)
+3 votes
I WAS NAMED MARY FOR MY PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, MARY JANE WILBAR TUTTLE, AND LULA FOR MY MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, LULA ALIEF LANGFORD FAMBROUGH, BOTH OF WHOM I DEARLY LOVED.        MARY LULA SINNOTT
by Lula Sinnott G2G Crew (540 points)
+2 votes
I have the same middle name as my father and paternal grandfather (and I was very nearly "III", my dad being a Junior); the last ancestor to bear my first name died over 200 years before I was born.
by C Handy G2G6 Mach 8 (85.7k points)
+3 votes
My family is big on naming after relatives. I got the whole female side of the family. Jennifer was my mother's first cousin and my godmother, middle name Ruth Anne- Ruth was both my grandmothers (Ruth Ella and Ruth Elizabeth - my sister got Elizabeth as a middle) Anne was my mom whose full name was Jessie Ruth Anne, but Jessie was her aunt and Ruth was her mom so she went by Anne. If I'd been a boy I would have been William (my dad, maternal grandpa, and multiple cousins on both sides of the family) Gordon (paternal grandfather).
by Jennifer Wilson-Pines G2G6 (6.9k points)
+3 votes

My father returned from the Dutch East Indies long enough to conceive me and see me born just before he would leave to fight in Korea. I am not sure, but I believe I was named after an officer he possibly knew personally from his previous assignment. Marinus Petrus Antonius den Ouden was the commander of the Dutch detachment in Korea. He died February 12, 1951 in an ambush and was prominent in the news in the days before I was born on March 13 of that year. He was called René by his men. I just noticed his second name is Petrus. My middle name, Pieter, kind of matches that as well but that is the name of my maternal grandfather. The Netherlands had limited their contribution to the Korea conflict to volunteers that had served in the Dutch East Indies, which bolsters my theory. My parents have passed along with that entire generation of my family so I cannot ask them.

by René Luijkenaar G2G Crew (660 points)
+4 votes
I was named after my grandfather's surname Petr. Fortunately, it is also common first name in Czech republic. My father got to choose the last name :))

Apparently in Cameroon, you can choose child last name from a set of family names.

In my case, he chose my last name the same the Czech authorities gave him which was his first surname. The second surname never got onto his documents because in Czech everyone has two names only (no middle names) and the form did not contain a field for the third name.

Therefore, in theory, my first name is my grandfather's surname and my surname is my father's middle name.
by Petr Nemg G2G Crew (790 points)
+3 votes
I was named after our two family doctors.  Dr. Gilbert Byron Kelley (who stopped at the gift shop to get a pack of gum and consequently totally missed my delivery), and Dr. Charles Dean Humberd, who was the previous family doctor.  His two claims to fame: he was one of the world's foremost authorities on giantism in his day, and he operated on himself to take out his own tonsils.
by Gilbert Nelson G2G6 (6.5k points)
+3 votes
Gary Cooper.  English mother married American father and wanted “a good American name”.  All she knew about this country was what they saw in movies, i.e., everybody was rich, dressed for all three meals, and had witty servants waiting on them day and night.  Boy, was she surprised!
by Gary Zang G2G Rookie (290 points)
+3 votes
I was named after my 3rd ggf Ludden Ingalls Romans (1775-1860.  The name Ludden has been in our family for 7 generations. My mother, wise as she was, knew she wouldn't have any boys and added an E on the end for a girl, It's becpme a drinking game.  3 tries to spell it and the you buy the next round.  I've never bought a round.  It's pronounced       Lud-Dean.  Lud as in Mud.
by Luddene Perry G2G Crew (820 points)
+3 votes
I was named after Judy Garland. In the spring of 1939, Mom was very pregnant and was standing outside the supermarket waiting for my dad to pick her up. There was a poster in the window announcing the new and upcoming movie, "The Wizard of Oz," starring my namesake. Mom saw it and I was named. Wish I had gotten Judy's talent too! My middle name is my maternal grandmother's, Jane. And so, I am Judith Jane.
by Judy Kilgore G2G Crew (360 points)
+4 votes
In 1940 when my father was on the train to his first duty station, he and another soldier saw a woman who was very ill, and she was having a hard time trying to care for her new born baby girl., so my Daddy and his friend took care of the baby during that trip.  Daddy said that when he had a daughter he was going to name her after that baby . So, my name is Sherrie Lynne.  I was born in 1943.
by Sherrie Buck G2G Crew (590 points)
+2 votes
I was adopted but my birth name was Loretta Lynn Morrison.  Yes after the country singer.  I thought it was weird choice when I first found out.  But my 1st cousin played in her band many years, and distantly related.
by Loretta Morrison G2G6 Mach 5 (56k points)
reshown by Loretta Morrison

Related questions

+22 votes
83 answers
+4 votes
15 answers
+53 votes
149 answers
+28 votes
65 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...