Baby Names from Family-Related Place Names

You’ve looked through all the names in your family tree and in your partner’s family tree. None of them stand out as being particularly great candidates for a baby name. Now what?

One thing you could try is place names. A location that’s significant to a certain family member (or, better, to your entire family) could make a good name. Go back through the tree and ask:

  • Where did this person’s major life events (birth, marriage, death) occur?
  • Where did this person live (streets, towns, counties)?
  • Where did this person learn (schools, colleges)?
  • Where did this person worship (churches, temples, mosques)?
  • Where did this person serve (bases, ships, battles)?
  • Where did this person have fun (parks, campsites, restaurants)?

Answer these questions by looking at written records, talking with relatives, flipping through photo albums, and recalling your own memories (i.e. stories people have told you, places you’ve gone with various family members).

For example, let’s say your father’s first and middle names are Gary and Walter. Neither of those will work for your baby girl. But he was baptized at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, and he grew up on Reagan Street, he was stationed for several years at Fort Lee in Virginia, and whenever you got straight A’s he took you Patty’s Diner down the street for waffles and ice cream. Could you use one of these names as a symbol of your father?

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