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Choosing Baby Names via Family Tree

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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