6.18.2014

What's in a Name?

I had a completely different post planned but this came to me late last night when I couldn't sleep (thanks pregnancy insomnia!) so I had to write about it.  

When we were naming Miller I really didn't ever think to use a family name. I know this may shock some people but neither myself nor Kyle have family names so it wasn't something that was sentimental to us. Our names are just names our parents liked at the time we were born.  We threw around a lot of options with Miller and almost gave him a family name, for a fleeting moment, but they just didn't feel right.  
 
So where did Miller come from?  
We knew we wanted something different and not the traditional Matthew, George, Michael, etc but nothing too trendy either.  Miller was one of my first choices even before I knew it was a boy but it took Kyle until about 4 weeks before his due date to finally confirm a yes.  When I was a lifeguard one summer at a marina near my house I met the sweetest most adorable brown-haired blue-eyed little boy named Miller. I remember in that moment at 17 loving that name.  All these years and meeting countless kids later through lifeguarding and coaching I still remembered that little boy Miller.  For some reason the name stuck with me and I just couldn't shake it. I felt like I had to name a boy Miller.   Kyle on the other hand just wasn't sold.  Through out the whole naming process he kept saying "the name will just come to me one day."   I of course wanted to punch him for this statement but since he is the father I figured I had to let him come up with his own thoughts and names in his own time.   It wasn't until about 6 weeks until my due date when I was bringing up Miller with my sister and brother in law again, that my brother in law said he liked Miller as a name and then made a ridiculous joke about it. After that Kyle suddenly decided it could be back on the table.   Don't ask me why it took someone else suggesting the name and then joking about it for him to like it but it did.  The last week of May when I was 36 weeks pregnant is when we finally decided on his full name: 
Miller Davis 
 
 
Davis is my maiden name and since my dad is the last boy in his family and he had two daughters I felt that I had to carry the name on to the next generation.  I love Miller's name and I am so happy that I got to use it.   

Naming a baby the second time around is much harder than I anticipated and I've felt stumped.  Even before we knew it was a boy we had absolutely no names, nothing.  Not even one that either of us could say ohh that could work or oh I kind of like that.   Since we feel so stumped I decided to do something I never considered with Miller, I'm looking for family names.   Since we don't love any family names that we know off the top of our heads we decided to dig deeper and look at great grandparents, great uncles, grandmothers maiden names, etc.  
So far we have a lot of info from my side of the family but we're still digging deeper and we're working on Kyle's side of the family.   Nothing has jumped out at me yet as the "one" but I feel like we're making progress and it's been really interesting learning more about my family and the earlier generations.   Kyle has a lot of family from the south and I'm really loving a lot of the names for both men and women because they're unique and unisex.  

When naming your kids did you use family names, or did you just use a name you liked at the time?   Do you think family names are important?    Has anyone tried Ancestry.com and had any luck? 
 

19 comments :

  1. We went back through Matt's family history and there were some doozies. One of which, was Marmaduke. NOT KIDDING!! It was fun. I like family names, (Sarah Sterling is named for my sister and bro-in law) but choosing any name is so hard!!!

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  2. Hunter was pretty much the only boy name we could agree on, it wasn't my top choice if it had been my sole decision but it really was the only one we both liked and as much as I liked other names even better when I was carrying him I just felt like he was a Hunter and I think he fits his name. His middle name is Kristian after his father. It was really important to my husband to use that name (he actually wanted it to be his first name so we compromised) because it is also his father and grandfather's middle names (his dad goes by Kris though). We're hoping Hunter continues to carry the name down with his kids. I think if we ever have a girl or even another boy I will get more of say since I pretty much gave in on Hunter's name (though I love it now). I already have middle names picked out for both sexes and they are both family names.

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  3. I love Miller's name - it's so classic and seems to fit your cute little family!!

    I'm big into family names, and my sister-in-law is pregnant with a baby boy and just told me that they may be naming the baby the name that I had hoped to name my someday baby! It was SO sad!!!

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  4. Morgan and I both have family names, so it was really important to us to use family names. We were having trouble finding a girl name (good thing we had a boy!), and we did use ancestry.com to look up his family names since he did not know many. It was fun!

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  5. We had a similar situation as you when we named Brody. Both my husband and I were obsessed with the name Brody and never even had to fight over the name which was amazing, but then for the middle name we thought it would be nice to use a family name as well. We went with Charles which is on my husbands side several times and I loved the combination of a name like Brody with some really traditional like Charles. It's made for a fun-strong name at the same time. Now when the next child comes around...I think we're going to be stumped!!

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  6. Abbie sort of has a family name. Abigail isn't a family name in itself, but she's named for my grandfather, who was Abe. Her middle name is my mother-in-law's. I love family names as at least a middle name, and I think that's the combination we've settled on - a name we like for the first name, and a family name for the middle.

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  7. We always knew we would use the family name of James (my father and father in law's name) when we had kids. Each sibling on my husband's side has used it in their 2nd child's name. We used Andrew as a middle name for our 1st son's middle name (from my brother who passed in 2011). Now pregnant w/ #2, we are using James as the middle name for either a girl or boy. We're slightly hoping for a girl, just because it will be different.

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  8. It took awhile to get David on board with our name. Especially because he decided to google it and found it generally unliked by people. To which I say "who cares"! We then found out the meaning of it is "priest's meadow" and we are both not religious. But I still loved it so much none of that mattered.
    The hard part is the middle name because he wants a family name and I don't. For instance he wanted Presley Ann to which I responded "everyone and their mother's middle name is Ann!" and he replied "yeah, like my mom!" OOPS!! :) Let's be real I am gonna win this battle :)

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  9. I love talking about baby names! Fun post.

    When we were naming Blaire, I really wanted to give her my sister's name for a middle name - Jillian. I was talked out of it on account of it may hurt his sister's feelings and he didn't want our daughter to have the initials BJ. I still think both reasons are lame, but I do love the name we chose for her. This time, we are STUMPED on a boy name. We've both rejected so many of the other's suggestions. The only two contenders we currently have are both family names. I swear I think we'll end up using both on account of we can't come up with anything else we like and agree on! I'm also struggling with the problem of I really prefer less common names. One of our family names is pretty common. I'm trying not to let that bother me but for now it does.

    I hadn't thought of Ancestry.com - that's a fun idea! I did ask my mom about a few names I didn't know in our family history but didn't find too many keepers. And my husband actually vetoed a name I liked and didn't know was a family name because there's a family member on his side that was not a favorite of certain other family members. (Oh the joy of divorced in-laws.)

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  10. nope we didn't use family names either, well his niece and his uncle are named caleb andrew (both father and son are caleb andrew) but they go by a nickname of their middle name plus that is the uncle's side of the family that does that not the henning side. so yes technically three calebs but this is caleb michael and he is caleb not nickname or use of his middle name

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  11. I love this! I've always loved strong last name like first names! Too cute! (with my monogramming obsession I doubt I could hold out like ya'll haha) xoxo

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  12. Love love the name miller!!! Waverlys middle name is after my grandmother, we also wanted something not traditional but not too, too crazy!!

    And Joe wasn't sold on waverly until literally when I was pushing - I was in labor for two days and he decided I deserved to be the one to pick! ;)

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  13. I love Miller's name and the strong feelings that you had behind it. We also uncovered some interesting family names while playing the baby name game. Since we didn't know the sex of either baby we didn't finalize our decisions until minutes before they each were born. We chose family middle names and Ginny's named after my mom's godmother and dear family friend, but we just liked Abigail. If we ever have a son, he'll be the 4th so that's easy!

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  14. If you're looking for a family name, I've got some of my family names I could suggest ;) Now tell me... I need to know what the joke was that your brother-in-law said. It must have been a good one!

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  15. What a sweet story of how you decided on Miller's name (it's funny how sweet kids can make such an impression). We use family names as middle names but that is mainly because our kids have crazy first names (my husband and I are Chris and Kristen - the two most popular names of our birth time). For our first son, my husband and his family really wanted us to name him Newlin which was his grandfathers name. I just couldn't do it but we changed it a bit once finding out how the name had changed through generations. So instead he's Neland (which is also prounounced like the UT stadium, which works for Chris' family as they are all UT fans). Maybe if you don't find something you like you could change it just a bit ;)

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  16. Oooh, I love Miller's name!! I'm a big fan of family names...keep digging- you'll find a great one!

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  17. I LOVE family names. My son's name is Ford and people keep saying, oh you being trendy and I'm like um NO, that was my middle name, my grandmother's middle name, my great aunt's name....etc. I'm lucky b/c we have a book from my mom's side with ALL of the names. They are pretty crazy but fun to look through. I'm sure you will pick something cute!

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  18. I'm not one for family names either! I love that you chose Miller though! That's my last name and I love it as a little boys first!

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  19. HI Nat..I am a new follower from BC, Canada!! Anyway..I don't have kids (can't due to medical reasons), but when I think of naming any of our kids we would have, I go with names we like...that aren't SUPER trendy, but aren't weird, either. For middle names, we would have gone with family names. My parents named us names they liked, and had our middle names family names. My little brother's middle name is Ramero (Romero? Can't remember the spelling), which is the only one that isn't a family name, cause I think they had run out (he is #6), of names they liked, and they liked that one. The youngest brothers middle name is my dads first name, which my dad always jokes that it took 7 kids (5 boys) to get his name one/one of his sons'. Miller is different, and I wouldn't use it, but I like it. I can see why you would use Davis as a middle name, since it is your maiden name. Good luck on naming boy #2!!

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