Advanced search

Family names. Why?

(21 Posts)
Rhubarbgarden Sat 08-Oct-11 10:07:47

I am under pressure from the other side to call this one Anton if it's a boy, because 'it's a family name'. I don't like Anton. I could just about stomach Antonius as a middle name, if I must, but I really don't get this 'family name' business at all. I'm constantly reading posts on here saying 'We're thinking about calling him Dogbreath because it's a family name' and everyone coos 'ooh yes lovely reasoning'. But why would you want to use a name that's been used time and time again? What about originality, and individuality? Wouldn't it be annoying to always be John junior or little John or John the umpteenth instead of owning your own name? I disliked One Hundred Years of Solitude but I think it made a very valid point about family names.

Any thoughts?

GuillotinedMaryLacey Sat 08-Oct-11 10:15:18

I'm a bit torn. I like a bit of tradition and can see why it's done. But, if this had been a boy then DH's family would expect first name John and middle name of your choice but use middle name so John Cedric known as Cedric. I think that's a pile of poo so it was never going to happen with my offspring. I was a bit disappointed not to have to fight the battle grin

So, I dunno. It's nice but only if all parties are in agreement <plucks splinters from arse>

gallicgirl Sat 08-Oct-11 10:15:39


It's your child so why should your family get to choose the name? What does your DP think? OTOH how often would the middle name be used - I think hardly ever so maybe it's not the end of the world as a middle name if DP really wants it.

I have a friend whose child's first name was chosen by mum and middle name by dad. Dad copped out and used the traditional family middle name. Unfortunately mum (who isn't from UK) chose another form of the same name so the child in effect has the same name twice. grin

neolara Sat 08-Oct-11 10:19:14

My ds has a family name. Two days before he was born, my FIL (called this name), showed me his family tree and pointed out every one of the "names" that had been born since 1715. There were a lot of them - basically eldest son of eldest son etc. It is a name that is unique to the family and my dh is also called the name. I gave in, even though I would never have chosen this name in a million years normally, mainly because my dh loves his name. However, I had a cunning plan. I said I thought it was completely weird calling my ds the same name as my dh and so gave him a nickname. DS is now exclusively knows by his nickname. Everyone is happy! Although I guess my ds might be annoyed later on when he has to fill in forms using his family name that he is never called.

Carrotsandcelery Sat 08-Oct-11 10:23:17

Both my dcs have family names incorporated in their names. It's not done in the traditional John and John Junior etc way but they are there.

For us it was one of many ways of connecting our dcs to the family they came from and of showing our love for the people in our family who those names were relevant to.

We were under no pressure or expectation to do this though and wouldn't have done it if we didn't like the names we incorporated into their names.

That said, both times the person in question cried when they realised the connections we were making and were very touched by the genuine affection it showed.

I would also say that, possibly coincidentally, both my dcs have particularly close relationships to those people they are named in honour of.

We have a tiny family on my side and because of the way things have gone our family surname is going to die out with my dbrother and myself. sad

At least this way my dcs still carry on some link to their heritage.

I do have to say that, if it was being even gently forced upon me, I would have rebelled and gone in completely the opposite direction - especially if the pressure had come from dh's side as the dcs already carry their surname.

I don't think you should be made to call your own child anything but what you want to call them and that you have the right to choose and love their name. I am simply explaining why we chose family names.

scarlettlips Sat 08-Oct-11 10:28:01

Family names are great but only if you and DH are in agreement!!!! My DD has a family name, lucky my DH loved it so it wasn't a problem.

If you don't like the name you need to stand your ground, but use Anton as a middle name.

pinkgirlythoughts Sat 08-Oct-11 11:05:46

For me, we chose a family name because, coincidentally, it's a family name in both of our families, so I like the fact that practically every man in DS's life has the same name, either as first or middle name. It's also the middle name I would have had if a boy. I like the fact that it creates a 'link' between DS and all of his male relatives.

rachel234 Sat 08-Oct-11 14:31:29

Our children both have names (either middle or first) that we loved and that also honoured family members - but if we hadn't liked the names we would not have used them (well, maybe as a second middle name).

Personally I love the name Anton/Antonius but if YOU don't love it, then I'd choose another name for your son. Good luck!

in my dad's family, the first born son was always named Elijah but known as Bob [boggle]

So you'd have Bob and his son Young Bob, both named Elijah.

My dad's mum said no and named my dad something else.

But to many who knew the family, he was still 'young bob'

I don't know why people do it. I think they do it without actually thinking. They just go with it. It's always been done therefore it must always be done.

A particularly brainless way of living, imo.

scaevola Sat 08-Oct-11 14:36:48

Is the pressure from "the other side" actually coming from your DH/DP?

Because, if so, then yes he should have equal say in the naming. And even if you think it's crazy, if this name does matter to him then it matters and there is nothing you can do about it.

Lonnie Sat 08-Oct-11 17:42:35

I havent read all the replies

All 4 of my children for their middle names have been named after family members dh and I loved. For me that is hugely important and I think that does give a sense of induviduality you cant run from your genes . I was named (middle) after an aunt a name neither ofmy parents much cared for but they both had loved my late aunt. I have always felt a sense of connection with this aunt even thugh I never met her and it certainly made me feel loved and a part of a large loving family.

My dd2 is named after my late grandmother and my mil (the name is Danish but the English version is Mils middle name so was perfect)

dd2 is named after dh's sister as it just went so beautifully with her first name

ds named after dh's late brother (was always a given a boy would have this middle name - dh didnt wish it as a first name as He doesnt like the name as such but he loved his brother)

dd3 is named after my step grandfather (the femine version of his name)

when we speak of it the children (8-13) all love that they were named after someone we loved and whom were a part of their family. They each have a first name given because dh and I liked it but with their middlename they have a sense of belonging and of love and family values

To me that is worth way more than I am able to put into words. I know I for certain wouldnt have been able to become the person I am today unique induvidual without the love of my family.

Carrotsandcelery Sat 08-Oct-11 19:31:08

Lonnie what a lovely post. I am even more glad my dcs have family names now.

ragged Sat 08-Oct-11 19:37:57

Maybe we live in a society that is TOO individualistic, that forgets about our origins and treats everyone like an unconnected complete unit.
I like names with a bit of history to them, not just something I impulsively (childishly?) fancied around the time my child was born.
tbh, I've done both; DS's have middle names and DD has a first name all from other relatives.

Anton is not one I would warm to, must admit. But Anthony is cool. Perfect for a middle name.

LunaticFringe Sat 08-Oct-11 19:56:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CultureMix Sat 08-Oct-11 20:39:48

DS1 has the family name, same as his father and grandfather. Though it turns out DH has always been called by his middle name so doesn't really cause confusion at home. Actually DH has always found it's a pain to go by his middle name, causes all kind of admin problems, so was clear the first name would stick. It is odd when we visit the grandparents and my MIL refers to my FIL with my son's name - I always do a double-take.

That said I did accept this, it was hugely important to my DH and while this name wouldn't have been my first choice it was fine (and I can't imagine another name now). We also agreed to give DS1 my father's name as a middle name and that was important to me. We did discuss this naming business early on so it's not something that DH sprung on me in the last few months of pregnancy - meant we spent zero time looking at boy names and lots on selecting girl names!

For DS2 we had much more leeway and DH gave me first choice smile. We found a first name we both liked and chose a middle one to honour my grandfather.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 09-Oct-11 20:01:21

I should clarify that I was talking about family names as in when the same name is repeated generation after generation. I think naming your child after a particular person, in their honour, is a very different thing and in fact quite the opposite - it is personal and means something, whereas using the same name just because that's what all the first born males are called in a particular family seems to me distinctly impersonal, and that's what I dislike about it. Naming your child after a much loved granny (for example) is a lovely thing to do.

Thanks for all the responses. Interesting.

2marys Mon 10-Oct-11 23:19:08


i went along with DH's family name - where there are two that alternate down the generations - and also gave DS one from my side, where the names die out in my generation. DS is proud, funnily enough, of the fact that he is continuing the name and that's how it works, although who knows whether he will want to continue the tradition should it come to that. it is certianly helped by the fact that both names are very usual in england and don't lead to teasing.

But is there another possibility - Anton is as you say, another form of Antonius, but also of Anthony/Antony/Antoine - and the first two you could plead as leading to less teasing at school.

nooka Tue 11-Oct-11 06:19:37

I think that naming should be done by the new baby's parents with no constraints or heavy suggestions from family. so if you want to use a family name that's great, and if you don't that's great too. If it is a name you like you are probably more inclined to include it but if you don't then you should not be under any pressure to do so.

My dd is named after two great grandparents. My mother and dh's father were both a bit surprised (and my mother was strangely actually quite upset) when we told them (after dd was born as I don't think names should be shared until they belong to the baby). ds is named after a great king of England with another name that we thought sounded good with it. Both children love their names.

One of my middle names I share with all my paternal aunts. I think it's a bit weird to be honest, and I'm not sure why my parents used it really (it might have nothing to do with my aunts at all).

Give your child great names that you and your dh love. I'd stop (if you can) talking about names with the wider family, and then when he is born just say here is 'the names you have chosen'.

snailoon Tue 11-Oct-11 06:27:21

I figure most children still have their dad's surname, so first names could have some significance in Mum's family, if both parents like the name. My kids really like having (or is it being) a namesake,

IvyAndGold Tue 11-Oct-11 06:57:13

I do think it's weird when names of family members are used when that family member is still alive. To be honest, I'd personally not do it at all. I remember reading an article in a newspaper and there were a couple called something like John and Sally, and they had a DD and a DS... called John and Sally. Why why why?! confused

I do like the idea of a DC having a middle name after a family member - if DD had been a boy, she would have had DP's dad's name as her middle name; he died 9 months before she was born. Also, on my side of the family, boys have their dad's names as middle names, which is quite nice I think.

kelly2000 Tue 11-Oct-11 15:28:04

I agree, having family names is silly. besides it is not as if they all got to choose their names so how is it honouring someone. You are basicly saying to your child we chose your name because someone else a few generations ago liked it, oh and by the way you have to name your child the same.

I am named after a family member and not only do I hate the name, I loath the person so perhaps I am bias.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now