Friday, October 8, 2010

Naming Traditions

When I began working on researching family history about 9 years ago, my mother asked me to research her father's family. No one in our family knew much about that side of our family, and my grandfather, William Theodore Morgan (1916-1983) didn't ever speak much about his family background. I began writing up names and dates that my mother and grandmother remembered, and started putting the tree together:

William Theodore Morgan 1916-1983 and his brother David Nant Morgan
---Their parents were: Florence Evelyn Nant and Theodore William Morgan (1887-1934)

We knew that name swapping took place for a few generations in my grandfather's family: He was born William Theodore, his father was Theodore William, and Theodore's father was William Theodore again. Or at least that's how the legend goes. I have yet to prove or disprove the middle name of William Theodore "the elder." How ironic then, that I married my husband, Ted. His full name? Theodore William!

My mother named me Elizabeth Morgan, after her maiden name, since that had been a tradition in her family. Looking back, I found a few instances of this:

David Nant Morgan (Mother: Florence Evelyn Nant)
William Hilber Morgan (Mother: Amelia Hilber)

I, in turn, named my daughter Katherine Elizabeth, after my name. I didn't feel that my maiden name would be a suitable middle name for a girl. Katherine Fuchs Kehl? Well, it just doesn't sound that great, so I chose to break with the literal tradition. I did try to keep the spirit of the tradition though!

1 comment:

  1. My mom did something similar with me: her first name was Grace, so I was given a name starting with G, and my middle name is the same as hers was. It was only after I started doing genealogy that I realized why some of her siblings had names that seemed strange to me (family names Floyd, Matlock, etc.)