Thursday, July 31, 2014

Family Names

I love the art of matching a first and middle name together. I ADORE double names. I have to admit that I have some pretty talented friends when it comes to naming their children and when they announce the name at birth I am always so tickled and want to hear the background/history of where the names originated from.

 We have quite the vast assortment of family names to choose from when it comes to our kids. My mother-in-law is Guatemalan and has all the exotic beautiful Latin names in her family tree. She has openly admitted to me she doesn't love them but she would adore a girl named Alexandria Victoria Fuchs. She says it sounds powerful and I agree that it does!

My father-in-law is Swiss and carries the bold strong Swiss/German names. Beyeler was a favorite for us for a boy first or middle name. Although a first name like Beyeler paired with Fuchs and I'm not sure what they would think in Kindergarten. 
A sidenote about Switzerland ancestors. When we visited Suhr in 2009 I was blown away at the cemeteries. 
They celebrate the lives of their loved ones by keeping beautiful gardens over their graves. How gorgeous is this? I will have dedicate an entire post one day to our trip to Switzerland as I had no idea how much I would fall in love that country.

And then you have the French Crazies in Louisiana from both my mother and father. 

I used my former middle and last name for my son and although I don't usually share it here I guess there is no point to keep it hidden. Maybe I used that as my last wall of privacy from a mom that doesn't keep things so private so why not?

My father's family tomb in Metairie Cemetery

My parents named me Katharine Ford Boylan after my paternal Grandmother, Katharine Ford Braselman. She married my grandfather, Robert Ambrose Boylan, and became Katharine Braselman Boylan. My son's name is Ford Boylan Fuchs. I was really happy to be able to hand down both the Ford and Boylan.....and sure enough, that kid looks all Braselman.

I tease my husband that if I'm pairing with Fuchs I get dibs on the first and middle names but in truth we try to have one picked out and agreed upon before our kids arrive. Names aren't as important to him. He and his brother's don't have middle names and all have the initial MF. I kind of love it and you better believe MF is emblazoned on all our glassware from our wedding registry. He got a kick out of that. "Yes Williams Sonoma, I just wan MF on all the glasses". 

The Fuchs men are Michel, Marcel, and Maximilian all hailing from father Peter. If this baby had been a boy Peter was the boy name I had picked out as a nod to my father-in-law.

My mother's family tomb in Metairie Cemetery

(McGehee was a contender for a middle name if this baby had been a boy. Peter McGehee Fuchs? I like it)

My mother's family has a book called the De La Barre Family, Life of a French Creole Family in Louisiana that lists every family name dating back to the 1700's
Yours truly barley made the cut!

I have had people ask me if I am going to name my daughter after my mother and while I know she would be honored she has admitted that Barbara is not her first pick for her granddaughter. Instead I think we will pick something from her family tree and I already know she loves it. ;)

Let's look at some of those crazy Creole names...

Valcour. Wininng. I am still a 12 year old and picture Falcor the flying luck dragon. Anybody?

Booty Boudreaux Fuchs. Done. That was easy.

Francois Duffossard Volant De La Barre. Hell yes. Would you like a Pledge Pin?

Interesting right?! I do have my girl name picked out and the first name is from my mother's family and the middle is from my father's. I'm not sure Max is completely sold on it but since he isn't quite sold on the idea of a girl in the first place I'm pulling rank. 

 How do you pick names for your children? Do you use names you like or feel compelled to be traditional/historical?

An ancestor of a guy with 900 bottles of wine and a serious love for organization,


  1. When we found out we were expecting we already had names in mind. Our boy name was compiled of names we liked but the girl name was all family. So Mary Tilman Adelle is comprised of both sides of the family and we will call her Mary Tilman.

  2. We did family names for SS. It is so hard. When looking through Perk's genealogy we found he has an ancestor named Marmaduke. I was sold.

  3. Miss Anne Caswell was supposed to be a double name. Anne is my mother's middle name and my confirmation name and Anne Caswell was my great grandmother's sister. Of course once Matthew mentioned calling her Wells for short as a special nickname it kind of stuck permanently.

    Tagg is really Edward Taggart after Matthew's great grandfather. He is Matthew Edward after him. Matthew informed me on our second date that he always loved his great-grandfather's name and would one day have a son name Tagg in his honor. I'm down with that.

    It's pretty special to have such classic and meaningful names with a modern twist for nicknames. Growing up in Virginia you can't just be named something and called that too ;)

  4. We chose John Fletcher. John is my father-in-laws name and we just loved the name Fletcher. After he was born, my husband's grandfather did some research and it turns out there was a great-great-great Uncle Fletcher on the family tree!

  5. Both my boys are named after family. Henry is WAY back on my husband's side, as is Woodson (his middle name). My Dad (who is a living saint) and Bryan's Dad are Darryle and Melvin so we had to dig a little deeper to find something we wanted to pass on. Goerge is actually William St. George. William was my Dad's father's name and also my husband's great-grandfather's name. St. George is a family name on Bryan's side too. We had settled on it IF he was a boy about 90% and once we found out about the baby's heart defect and remembered the story of St. George, we knew if it was a boy, that's what he would be. My girl name has been the same since I was in 8th grade. My maternal grandmother was Eloise. I can't wait to hear what name your baby girl ends up with!

  6. My grandfather is one of the last names on the tree in the front of this book. Oscar P. LaBarre, Jr