August 5, 2008

What's In A Name?

I’m often very curious about people’s names and I love a name with a story behind it. My sister, Dawn, for example, is named after our parents’ favorite song, “Dawn” by the Four Seasons. But in researching my family, I’ve come across some whoppers – Kinchon, Leander, Zilphia, etc. I wonder where these names came from and why their parents chose to bless or hinder their child with an unusual name.

I suspect my paternal grandfather, Neely, was named for a prominent local doctor whose last name was Neely. Perhaps he was even the doctor who delivered my grandfather. Or, maybe it was just that his parents were hard-up for a name, since Neely was the eighth of nine kids.

Then there’s my paternal grandmother, Lermond, who married Neely.
Neely and Lermond; now there’s a pair. I once asked my grandmother about her name and she had no idea where her parents got it. Why someone with a name as unusual as Lermond would never ask their parents about it is beyond me. One theory is that it is somehow a combination of Louis Edmond - her father. Just one of the many mysteries awaiting an answer in my genealogy.

Inspired by our family histories, my wife and I plan on passing family names down to our children. In fact, we’ve already picked out the names of our first child (we’re not expecting yet).

As for me, I’m proud to bare family names. My middle name is from both my maternal grandfather and great-grandfather. My first name is from my mother, Phyllis. Does that make me a “Momma’s boy?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope that when the time comes, my husband and I are able to use family names for our children. With my family alone, I've got a lot of good ones to choose from.