Question of the Week: Who were you named after?

+54 votes

And if you weren't named after anyone, is anyone else in your family? Do you have a name that has been carried through the generations?

(This question comes to us courtesy of Liz Shifflet!)

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in The Tree House by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (405k points)
retagged by Abby Glann
My middle name is Ashley, my father chose it. It was the name of a little girl who passed away. The daughter of his close friend.
My husband believes he has a recurring name theme of Patrick & Thomas on his fathers side.
Me and my brother named after my dad, Donald=Donna and Donnie
I was named after my Uncle William Howard Wightman and my father Charles Edward Thompson.

-William Charles Thompson
I was named after my dad (Joseph) and my dad's mom family name (Bryan) -- Joseph Bryan McConnell.  Although was born almost the exact moment that Astronaut John Glenn was first American to orbit the earth - so they almost named me John Glenn.
My birth  name is Evelyn Jean Murray.  I was the 5th child and my mother was short on names, however, the fact that I was born with a full head of snow white hair was a help. It was 1934 and the nurses named me "little Jean Harlow" so my Mother used that for my middle name.   My first name came from the current bestseller book that she was reading.  "The girl on the Red Velvet Swing",  which was the story of Evelyn Nesbit who was the hot topic of the day in the murder trial of Stanford White. (White-23281)...    Being named after two such famous women gave me a big pair of shoes to fill.
I was named after 2 songs. "I get Misty Holding Your Hand" by Frank Sinatra and "Míchelle My Belle" by the Beatles. Thank goodness because originally I was supposed to be Pansy Asher. You would have thought my mom was a hippie. Although she has long hair to her rear and sometimes wears headbands, she has never touch a drug in her life and was very much a military supporter. Lol
Let's hear the cheer for the unpredictable Moms!!!!!
My mother knew she would only have one child because she had married so late in life. Her father had died when she was 6 yrs old and his brother, Henry, became the father figure in her life. She was very fond him and when he asked her to name her baby after him, she agreed. He died just before I was born and she kept her word, calling me Henrietta. When my eldest grandson was born, my son and his wife asked if I would mind the baby having Henry as a middle name. I was delighted and only wished my mother had still been around to see the name being bestowed on a boy instead of a girl!

I was named after my father's step (adoptive) father. He was Robert Gustav Hilse, and I'm so glad my parents didn't choose Gustave instead of Robert.  

I could have been an Anna (Robert's wife and my direct line relative) but my father was not going to do that. My suspicion is that she ( his mother) was very strict/stern in that German way (it was the early 1900s), and though I never met her till very late in her life, I'm pretty sure he didn't want me to become like her.  (I didn't.)

149 Answers

+25 votes
Best answer
I had conflicting stories from my parents. Mom said I was named after I nun she knew, but dad said I was named for Natalie Wood. I have always gone with dad's pick. ;-).
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (862k points)
selected by Kimberly McCullars
Did Natalie Wood ever play a nun? :p
I don't think so!
I believe She did play a nun.
She never played a nun, although her demeanor in West Side Story sure made her appear as if she could have played one very well.
+23 votes
I was named for my maternal grandmother Caryl Ellen Pruett (Showalter) Pruett-445.  I have always loved that I was named for her.  She was a beautiful person and we had an incredibly close relationship.  I think of her every day.
by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (191k points)
You are her living legacy.
Caryl is a great name.
How nice Caryl.
What a lovely comment.  Thanks!
+18 votes
My middle name is the female version of my maternal (Adopted) grandfathers name. I was never terribly keen on this name - mostly due to my grandfather. My mother says he was very strict. To me he was abusive. He died in 1974 so I didnt have much to do with him, thank goodness..

I thought my first name of Robyn was unique, but I do have a first cousin also named Robyn, although her maiden name is not Thompson. She is 14 years older than me, so I might have been named after her.

OK so my mother says that my name of Robyn (my legal spelling) comes from her friend whose name was Robynne legally spelled that way. I grew up knowing this lady as a family friend, and I loved the way she spelled her name so I started using it when I was a teenager and have been using it ever since. My mother likes me using this spelling as well.

I think my mother wanted this speilling - Robynne - but my father preferred the les flashy spelling of Robyn. Not that it really halped.

I grew up being called all kinds of names - Christopher Robin was the worst - especially since he was a boy and I was a girl. I was also called Robin Hood, Robin Redbreast, and Cock Robin.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (963k points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
My mothers name is Robbin, spelled with 2 B's.....and she too also told me about how horrible kids were about teasing her about her name. She told me once she wore a red vest to school and the kids kept teasing her saying "Robin red vest"
Oh, my! My daughter uses her very unique middle name. When she started middle school, I said, "You know, if you wanted to change to your first name Robyn, now would be a good time."

"Oh, no," she said. "People would call me 'Batman and Robin...'"

I guess kids are going to find ways to tease no matter what we're named.
"Rocking Robin" was the one that irritated me the most!
"Rockin' Robin"

Actually I never heard of that name until I saw that short lived Rags to Riches TV series.

I LOVE that song so that one doesn't bother me at all!!
I'm RobIN. I never minded those nicknames that you listed. My maine nicknames though were Robie and Reuben, as in Reuben Kincaid from the Patridge Family!
Karen , people called me Tutie frutie ca ca roach when I was little and roach clip in the 60s.  I did not like either name.  Later I was the Ice Queen.  No one could make me cry.  They said I didn't have a heart.  Lassie and Black Beauty and Old Yeller do it to me every time. Throw in the Dog of Flaunders and Where the Red Fern Crews and I cry rivers.
+19 votes

My mother had a fondness for Deborah Kerr. ;)

It's my middle name that has the story though. My great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, myself, my eldest daughter, and my eldest granddaughter have all had the name, Louise.

by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
Deb , that's great she was a most elegant lady.
+20 votes
I was not named after anyone in my family, however I was named after a person in a passage of the bible. Acts 9:36.
by Anonymous Ramey G2G Crew (950 points)
+20 votes
My first name is the Anglicized form of my paternal grandmother's father's first name.  I knew him as Grégoire Chilo when I was growing up.  My grandmother, who was born and raised in France, told me many stories about him but was unable or unwilling to share details regarding his origins.  It turns out his name at birth was Gregorius Szyło and he had been a Ukrainian immigrant from Galicia.  I've since been able to chart back his ancestry a few generations using Ukrainian Greek Catholic records available at the local Family History Center.
by Greg Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (328k points)
+18 votes
Growing up I was grateful that my parents did not bend to family pressure to name me after my grandmothers, Florence and Ottilia. My middle name comes from great grandmother Jane, and my elder first cousin got her name Mary from both sides of the family. My father liked the nickname Kay (of course, he didn't have to answer anytime out in a crowd where someone said OKAY.)

We do have a lot of George, however. My father George, grandson of George married my mother, daughter of George.
by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (436k points)
I understand the lots of George's Kay. My 2nd Great Grandfathers middle name was George, 3rd 4th and 5th Great Grandfathers on the same line were named George and there are several other George's scatterted in the line. It caused me a lot of headaches when I was first starting out and still does occasionally.
Amanda, the ones that got me were living in the same town at the same time... Ephraim Sr and his sons Samuel and Ephraim Jr plus Samuel’s son Ephraim called 3rd and Ephraim Jr’s son Ephraim called 4th. Good luck figuring out that 1800 census. Then Ephraim 3rd had sons he named Samuel and Ephraim.
+18 votes
Well - I wasn't named after anyone. Though my mom says she was disgruntled to find out that, not long after I was born, the character in the TV show "Dallas" had my name (I think maybe the one who actually shot JR?) So there were a lot of "Kristen"s in the 80s.

My husband, though, is Greek Cypriote and they always name their children after their parents. So he is named after his maternal grandmother (the masculine version of the name, of course.) That is why they have that joke in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" about all those cousins named "Nick" or some version of it - they are all named after the same person!

I think the Scottish people did this, too, to some extent but perhaps in a different fashion. There are a lot of recycled names on the Scottish part of my lineage.
by Kristen Louca G2G6 Mach 2 (29.2k points)
You mention all the Scots with the same names...yes, that is a problem I am encountering. I think the Welsh did that too! Aarrghhh!
and the irish done that as well my grandfather, father and brother are all michael and yes it frustrating
Reagan I love your name.
+20 votes
My First name was derived from my Father. My middle name was derived from my maternal Grandfather's last name. And with theses names, I carry the honesty and morals of them both, a very proud heritage to sustain. I named my first son after me to carry on that heritage.
by Anonymous Crum G2G6 Mach 2 (20.6k points)
+17 votes

My grandfather James.

by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (396k points)
+19 votes
I think my first name John is just a name my mother liked, and my second name Robert was after a family friend, who was one of my godfathers.

However the earliest male Atkinsons in my direct line I've been able to trace, the names in successive generations are  John > Robert > John > Robert > John (then other names in generations closer to me).

And in another line, there is a John Robert Barnard, at a time when two names were a bit of a rarity.

So I like to think I've ended up with family names.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (491k points)
+19 votes
My middle name is Vaughn, which is the same as my dad's first name.  I haven't the slightest idea of where the name David came from.  My brother Scott's first name, Robert, was also my grandfather's first name and my great-grandfather's first name.  Neither Scott nor my grandfather used the name Robert in their daily transactions.

My cousin Edna's first name is the same as my maternal grandmother's first name.
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
That seems to be traditional. My middle name Allen is my father's first name and the last name of a great grandmother on my father's side. My first name Glenn came from my dad's love of big band music and Glenn Miller his favorite. I followed suit with two songs to name my first daughter: Julie Denise. The songs were Julie, Julie, Julie and Denise, Denise.
+17 votes
Supposedly my father was intended to be given the name Christopher but when it came time for the christening his parents suddenly changed their minds. Never got a clear story as to why. So I got the name instead.
by Anonymous Hampson G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
+17 votes
I was named after a character in a theatre production!  My father was an usher and my mother came to see Oklahoma! so often she grew fond of the main character ...

They were breaking with tradition. In my family we have lots of name patterns. I found seven Joshua Pitman Trefry so far, and several other Joshua P. It makes for some interesting family tree puzzles.
by Laurie Giffin G2G6 Mach 8 (86.2k points)
+17 votes
Technically I'm Suzanne Elizabeth MacLeod III. Named after my granny and my aunt. Couldn't think of two finer ladies in whose footsteps to follow. Only difference is I've Anglicised "Susie" as they spell it with a z...
by Anon Anon G2G6 Pilot (246k points)
+16 votes
I was named after the Boston song "Amanda" and my mom's cousin named one of her daughter's Amanda for the same reason. Recently though I have noticed Amanda come up a couple times in my family tree. The one that always comes to mind would be my Great GrandAunt Amanda Eleanor Pedersen nee Ellingsen (Ellingsen-95). While I go by Amanda though she went by Eleanor, why I don't know.

We also have my GreatGrandmother's name Mila. We know her mom named her Mila after a character in a popular book at the time (1912) but we don't know the title of it. From what I understand my GG didn't really like her name Mila Francis but to me it's a beautiful one. If anybody by any chance would know the name book that lead to her name I would be very thankful. She was born in August of 1912 so it was before that.
by Amanda Frank G2G6 Mach 5 (50.9k points)
+16 votes
I was named after my grandfather whose family was the founder of The towns of Rubidoux and Riverside in California. I'm in the process of adding all my research to the tree (manually) so it's taking a while. There at at least 4 notables within 2 generations. I would love to create a project or sub project focusing on families with multiple notables if anyone is interested. I'm almost finished with my gggg grandfathers page and I have to say it's the best one I've created so far. Feel free to check him out.
If you can't tell, i am proud of him and the page so far :)
by Alex Elliott G2G6 Mach 4 (44.8k points)
Bravo!  I'm from So Cal, so I know how proud you must feel.
+13 votes
I was named my middle name, Mary, after both my grandmothers. On my Scottish side, it goes back many generations. My first name came from a novel my mother read while she was pregnant with me in 1958. I've looked over the years for its title, but can't find it. When naming my brother, my parents had a problem as my aunt had already used John, their chosen name so he became the Gaelic, Ian James after his grandfather and great grandfather. His own son went the other way and is Hamish John.
by Fiona McMichael G2G6 Pilot (169k points)
My nephew is called Hamish John as well!!
+13 votes
I was named after my paternal grandmother She passed away about 6 months before my birth. I was the first grandchild born after her passing. My middle name is the same as my father's, but a feminized spelling.
by NJ Penny G2G6 Pilot (146k points)
+14 votes
My brother was 5 years old when I was born, and Roy Rogers was a big deal in this young life.  He got to give me my middle name, so I was named Kitty Dale Cooper after Dale Evans.  I am lucky he didn't go for Trigger or Bullet.  :-)
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (563k points)
my middle names came from my mother susan(not sure where that name came from as have not really found another susan ) and joanne can from from my aunt, grandmother and great grandmother all name johanna

My first name came from a penpal , my mother took french in high school and in her french book there is a address and name of the lady i was named after , my middle name is different version of my dad's middle name his was Lee , mine is Leigh

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