Monday, November 21, 2011

What's in a Name?

I have been chuffed to discover that some of our younger generation have consulted the family tree in addition to books of baby names when considering names for their new bubs.

Whether by coincidence or design I was delighted when  family names have been bestowed on some of our grandchildren. My eldest granddaughter bears the name of her great-grandmother, my husband's name and his father's name have been used as middle names, my mother's surname has been used as a forename and two grandsons have their maternal grandfathers' names as middle names.  My baby granddaughter has the same name as her paternal great-grandmother and maternal great-great-grandmother.

Because of the confusion that can arise from having two people in the same house with the same name I would not let my husband bestow his name on our sons. He did, however, manage to get his and his father's names used as the boys' second names. It was a coincidence that our youngest daughter bears the name of a few female ancestors on both sides of the family.

When I was teaching I always felt sorry for those poor kids whose parents had given them unique names or popular names with unique spellings. I now realise that these parents must have been genealogists wanting to make them easy to find for future descendants researching their ancestry.

I notice today the Swinburne University are seeking Australians to answer an online survey: "What's in a name?" where they ask about  "How did you name your children? What does your surname mean to you?"  

If you have some spare time how about helping the researchers out? 

1 comment:

Celia Lewis said...

Sometimes ancestors' names seem to slide through our unconsciousness into the open. My sister & I (now almost 70) were named the same names as my maternal Grandfather's youngest sister - who died at 3 years of age, and never talked about again. Unusual names, but we were named with her first and second name: Letitia, and Celia, 70 years after her death and 5 years after my Grandfather's death. Naming children is so fascinating as a process. Enjoyed your post. - Celia


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