Using Family Names as Baby Names – A Dilemma

Let’s say you’re pregnant with your first child–a baby girl. You intend to have one more baby after this one.

You also have two family names you’d like to pass down. Both are girl names, and both are equally significant to you. You can give either one or both of these names to baby #1.

If you give her just one of the names, and baby #2 is a boy, you’ll be forced to leave that other important girl name behind.

But if you give her both of the names, and baby #2 is a girl, your older daughter gets two family names while the younger one gets zilch.

Which option would you choose? (Please tell me why in the comments.)

I would give:

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7 thoughts on “Using Family Names as Baby Names – A Dilemma

  1. Are there really only 2 women in that entire family whose names they’d want to use?

    You could always name the first one, say, Chloe Marie, and if you get another daughter, name her Marie Chloe. But that would be cruel.

  2. We faced this dilemma with our son. Our original plan was to call him Alexander Eric, after both of his grandfathers. But if we had a second boy, we thought we might use Eric as a first name.

    If we’d given it some thought, we could’ve come up with The Perfect Middle Name – Alexander Matteo, as Matteo/Mathieusz is a family name on BOTH sides, but not one we’d ever use in the first spot.

    Instead, he ended up Alexander Arthur. Also fine – Aly and I share initials, and Arthur is my husband’s name AND my maternal grandfather’s name.

    We realized later that we probably wouldn’t have named a second son Eric, as it is also my brother’s name. But at the time, we really did worry that we’d be out of family names.

    Of course our second child was a girl!

  3. This happened to us, although notjust with a family name. We were pregnant with #3 and knew it was a boy–we also have two girls. His first name had to be Edward (my husband is Edward Michael, goes by Mike, his father is Edward jeffrey, goes by Jeff, and etc). We fell in love with Leo as the middle name, which was a family name on both sides and a great choice. But I always wanted to give a boy the name Cassidy from the gRateful Dead song….and this was most likely our only boy and last child.

    We tossed and turned about it–break the Edward tradition was my vote since nobody went by it anyway. We didn’t like Edward Cassidy–Mike liked Edward Leo and I liked Leo Cassidy. And then about 2 months before he was born, I suggested to Mike that perhaps Edward Leo Cassidy would be a great choice. And there he is and everyone is happy.

  4. You could just wait until they’ve been born before deciding on the names. So have your two girl names, and pick two extra, then once they’ve been born, if there’s one girl then you can give both names to the same baby, or if there’s two then share the names.

  5. I would give only 1 family name to the first daughter and reserve one for the second. If the second child is a boy, I’d try to find a masculine varriation of the name.

  6. I was given a family name for my first name but my parents also had another family name which they wanted to use if the had a second daughter.
    However, they had two sons and they realised they weren’t going to have another daughter to use the name on so we added the name as an extra middle name for me.

  7. hmm. For our daughter we really only had one girls name we were able (or wanted) to pass down. We chose a female name from my husbands side for our first, so when we became pregnant with a second child I knew I wanted to use one of 2 male names from my family. Luckily I would have been able to use a female version of either of these names if we had a girl.

    So, if I was in the situation that you describe, I would think if any of the names can be honored in both sexes (George/Georgia, Victor/Victoria, Christina/Christian, Phillip/Phillipa…), if so then save that name for the next child.

    There is no “for certains” but if you want all children to get family names, you need to leave some family names to give.

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