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Choosing Baby Names via Family Tree

By mybottlesup |

Our son, Jackson Ray Stinkface Magoo

My husband, Paul, and I are very much in favor of passing along a little sense of family history when it comes to naming our kids. Our son, Jackson Ray, is named after both my grandfather and Paul’s grandfather. Though they never knew one another, both men were deeply loved, admired, and surprisingly similar.

Two photographs, one of Paul as a little one with his ‘Grandpa Jack’, and one of me with my ‘Poppy’ (middle name was Raymond) align Jackson’s bookshelves, serving as a constant reminder of who he is named after. It goes without saying that Paul and I are very proud of our son and the name he carries.

So, here we are, 4 years later, prepping to name another baby… and geeking out while making a family tree.

It all started with simple pen and paper at first. One side with Paul’s family and the other side with my family. We could barely get the info of three generations though before we found ourselves stumped. With the help of my folks who were here for Halloween this weekend, we were able to get more concrete info than just “I called him ‘Grampy.’”

Before we knew it, we had generation upon generation all family-treed out on a website, learning information and reminiscing together. It still astounds me how much one is able to find on the internet. I’m not sure if that novelty will ever wear off.

People name their children different names for all sorts of reasons. When we named Jackson, the intent was pure and special, meaning a lot to both me and my husband. I know in time that Jackson will come to know and love the people he was named after. I think, as this naming process continues, I am learning that regardless of the actual name the child ends up with, the process of choosing the name is precious in and of itself.

This family tree that Paul and I have created is a gift, not only of names for us to play with, modernize, twist and turn, and eventually choose from. It’s given us a lesson in family.

What is/was your baby naming process like?

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0 thoughts on “Choosing Baby Names via Family Tree

  1. jess says:

    Nolan’s naming process was easy: he’s named after my dad (Daniel) and carries my maiden name because Matt and i weren’t married and i saw it as a way for my maiden name to carry on (my dad has no sons and my other uncles didn’t have kids). Archer’s was harder. I wanted to name him after my papa and Matt, so his middle name, Joseph Edward , was easy enough. It was his first name that took a lot of arguing lol. We wanted our kids to have their own first names but carry family names as middle names. :)

  2. erniebufflo says:

    My grandmother is named LeaEtta after her two grandmothers. We always thought if we had a girl we’d name her Etta Laine or Etta Elaine after my grandmother and my husband’s grandmother. Now that it’s twins, I’m not sure I’d use the name for one of two girls, leaving the other to have a less special name (my other grandma is Glenda, a no-go) and I don’t want to do matching initials, so they can’t be Etta and Elaine. I hope we get one of each and I can still use my favorite name.

  3. Amanda says:

    We picked first names that we liked and then with our first son Caleb his middle name was named after his dad, Michael. Now with this son we picked Liam for the first name and then took my father’s middle name which also happens to be the middle name of brother who passed away when he was just a baby (waaay before my time). I like saving the middle name for the family stuff that way the kids first name can be unique and their own.

  4. Nadia says:

    I love family names! We chose my daughter’s name (Daphne) just because we like it, but her middle name is a twist on a family name. My mom’s middle name is Elisabeth. A nickname for Elisabeth in German is Elise, so that is what we chose for Daphne’s middle name! I think it flows nicely. Daphne Elise.

  5. mybottlesup says:

    i love these stories that you all shared. thank you all so much! names are fascinating to me and the stories behind them are fabulous.

  6. Taz says:

    i love the idea of using a baby’s name to honor family! it’s also a great added bonus that a lot of these older names sound so new and cute today.

  7. Zoë says:

    My son’s middle name is a family name from my husband’s side of the family. It’s actually a last name that works as a first name. Our eldest daughter does not have a family name, but my MIL pointed out that her middle name, Inez, honors me with the shared “z”. That was completely unintentional on our part. Our youngest girl has my maternal grandmother’s name as her middle name. It is also my mum’s middle name, and my niece’s middle name. I love that family connection.

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