Names: Choosing one for your child


Recently we posted about interesting birth stories. As a follow-up, we’ve been thinking about our children’s names and how we choose them.

There are several reasons why parents select a particular name for a child. Some choose to name after a deceased relative, or to honor a living person. Some simply like a certain name or its meaning.

Other factors are important when selecting a name. What will the child’s initials spell? Would a name result in an embarrassing nickname?

Some countries prohibit using certain names and won’t allow the registration of such names. Parents may want to avoid names that might get them in trouble with the law!

Many families use recurring names in each generation, as they name children after those in the previous one. This is very helpful in tracing some families, as an unusual given name can provide clues if the surname is common. Of course, in some families, it can offer another challenge as some given names are used so commonly that researchers may have trouble separating each generation from another.

How did your parents select your first name? Who were you named after? Do you have a story about your name? Share your story in the comments below.

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  • Timothy Allen Monroe

    April 25, 2012

    I really cannot remember why my name was chosen the way it was; although I know it is biblical and that Timothy in Greek or Hebrew means “Honoring God”. But mother’s father’s name was George Schmuck; my father’s name is George Alfred Monroe, Junior and my grandfather’s name was George Edward Monroe, Senior.

  • Peter C D Cathery

    April 26, 2012

    Sadly today’s trends in name selection for our current generation of children places more importance on unusual or unique names rather than their historic connection to former family Christian names that were used.

    In my family, I discovered the usage of a recurring Christian name Desborough, also spelt as Desbro, Desbrow and Desbroue, dating as far back as I could trace (about 1630). I say discovered because neither my father nor grandfather were made aware of this or other family history facts, due to my great grandfather having been killed in a mining accident when my grandfather was just a young boy, making speaking anything about the past in the family somewhat taboo.

    Having over the years researched my family’s history and discovered numerous individuals with the name Desborough; I still have no clue as to why this Christian name was so popular and why the name became so entrenched in the CATHERY families past. I would dearly love to one day discover its importance.

    I quickly recognised that this was an important Christian name, having been used in our family for at least for 300+ years, so I was inspired to change my own name to include Desborough as an extra Christian name. In addition, I named one of my sons Desborough CATHERY and another son also has Desborough as his middle name.

    Clearly the continued selection of the name Desborough in the future is out of my hands and it’s now up to CATHERY family descendants to decide, however the irony is not lost to me that Desborough is both an unusual and unique name, hence perhaps in vogue and therefore may qualify for consideration.

    I live in hope.