Iowa Septuplets: Kenneth, Alexis, Natalie, Kelsey…

children

I’ve posted about sextuplets and octuplets before, but never septuplets!

A set of seven — four boys and three girls — was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey on November 19, 1997. The McCaughey septuplets are the world’s first surviving set of septuplets.

What are the names of all seven? Here are their firsts and middles:

  1. Kenneth Robert
  2. Alexis May
  3. Natalie Sue
  4. Kelsey Ann
  5. Nathan Roy
  6. Brandon James
  7. Joel Steven

The McCaugheys also have an older daughter named Mikayla Marie (b. 1996).

What are your thoughts on the names? If you were having a set of seven (same mix of genders), which names would you choose?

Sources: McCaughey septuplets – Wikipedia, Happy birthday x 7! McCaughey septuplets turn 23

The Judd Family of Hawaii

The Judd family of Hawaii on the 1940 U.S. Census
The Judd family on 1940 U.S. Census

Hawaiian couple Raymond and Anna Judd had at least 8 children during the 1920s and 1930s.

On the 1940 U.S. Census, their children are listed as Raymond Jr., Louise, James, Maxwell, Lydia, Lehua, Reginald, and Nayland.

But their full names were really…

  • Raymond Murray Laniolaikapikoihiihilauakea (b. 1922)
  • Louise Julia Kalaninuiahilepalepa (b. 1923)
  • James Haulukaokeahienaena (b. 1924)
  • Maxwell Winfred Kuuleimamoulukapaehuokalani (b. 1927)
  • Lydia Anna Haleakala (b. 1928)
  • Marvelle Pauline Kaualililehua “Lehua” (b. 1930)
  • Reginald Wilhelm Kananinoheaokuuhomeopuukaimanaalohilohinokeaweaweulamakaokalani (b. 1936)
  • Nayland Clayton Kaleinaonalani (b. 1938)

At least two of these names ended up making the news.

The one that popped up in papers worldwide was Reginald’s Hawaiian name, which had 63 letters and was said to mean “the beautiful aroma of my home at sparkling diamond hill is carried to the eyes of heaven.” I don’t know how accurate this definition is, but I could find some of the corresponding Hawaiian words — like pu’u (meaning “hill”), kaimana (“diamond”), ‘alohilohi (“sparkling”), and maka (“eyes”) — in the name.

Clipping from the Daily Examiner in Australia (Oct. 12, 1936).
Daily Examiner (Australia), 1936

A decade earlier, Maxwell’s Hawaiian name was also in the news — at least locally.

Clipping from the Honolulu Advertiser (Jan. 12, 1927).
Honolulu Advertiser, 1927

I couldn’t find a translation of Maxwell’s Hawaiian name, or translations for any of the other Hawaiian names. (In fact, I’m not even 100% sure about the spellings of those names.) Regardless, here are some observations…

  • Raymond’s Hawaiian name, Laniolaikapikoihiihilauakea, seems to refer to the ‘ihi’ihilauakea — a fern endemic to Hawaii.
  • James’s Hawaiian name, Haulukaokeahienaena, seems to refer to a raging fire: ke (“the”), ahi (“fire”), ‘ena’ena (“glowing, red-hot, raging”).
  • Lydia’s Hawaiian name, Haleakala, was the middle name of her grandmother (Louise Haleakala, b. 1879) and the first name of her great-grandmother (Haleaka, b. 1847). The word means “house of the sun” and refers to the volcano on Maui.
  • Marvelle’s nickname, Lehua, from her Hawaiian name Kaualililehua, refers to the Lehua plant.

What are your thoughts on these names?

Sources:

The Lamar Family of Georgia

Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar I (b. 1797)
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar I

John and Rebecca Lamar married in the mid-1790s and lived on a 1,000-acre cotton plantation near Milledgeville, Georgia. They welcomed a total of nine children, four sons and five daughters, whose names were…

  1. Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus (b. 1797)
  2. Mirabeau Buonaparte (b. 1798)
  3. Thomas Randolph (b. 1800)
  4. Evalina (b. 1803)
  5. Jefferson Jackson (b. 1804)
  6. Amelia (b. 1807)
  7. Louisa Elizabeth (b. 1807)
  8. Mary Ann (b. 1814)
  9. Loretto Rebecca (b. 1818)

The boys were named by their paternal uncle, Zachariah — a self-taught bachelor who also lived on the plantation and who,

like many of the men in the old plantation times, gave himself up to the ideal world of literature and history […] So when son after son was born to the head of the house this bookish enthusiast claimed the privilege of naming his infant nephews after his favorite of the moment, and the amiable and doubtless amused parents consented. Thus Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, Mirabeau Buonparte, Jefferson Jackson, Thomas Randolph, and Lavoisier Legrand (a grandchild) indicate how his interest shifted from history to politics, and from politics to chemistry.

Oldest son Lucius (named for Roman statesman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus) went on to become a judge. Two of his own sons — Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II and Jefferson Mirabeau Lamar — had careers in law as well. In fact, Lucius II served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1888 to 1893.

Second son Mirabeau (named for the Comte de Mirabeau and Napoleon) also went into law initially. Later he got into politics, and ended up becoming the second president of the Republic of Texas. (He was also the first vice president, under Sam Houston.)

I couldn’t find anyone in the family’s third generation named “Lavoisier Legrand,” but one of Mary’s sons was named Lucius Lavoisier (middle name in honor of French chemist Antoine Lavoisier).

Sources:

Baby same story: Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios

An ancient statue likely depicting the twins Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios.
Ancient statue of Cleopatra’s twins

In 40 B.C., Cleopatra VII (ruler of Egypt) and Mark Antony (co-ruler of the Roman Republic) welcomed fraternal twins, a boy and a girl.

The twins were named Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios — selene and helios being the Ancient Greek words for “moon” and “sun,” respectively — though their second names may not have been bestowed until they were around three, when they met their father for the first time (and he officially recognized them as his own).

Her surname (“the Moon”) — and that of her twin brother Alexander Helios (“the Sun”) — represents prophetic and allegorical concepts of the era in which she was born as well as her parents’ ambitious plans to create a new world order.

Both Cleopatra and Mark Antony committed suicide in 30 B.C. We don’t know what became of Alexander Helios after this, but Cleopatra Selene married Juba II of Mauretania and thereby became the queen of Mauretania until her death (circa 5 B.C.) — which, ironically, may have occurred right around the time of a lunar eclipse.

Sources:

  • Lorenzi, Rossella. “Faces of Cleopatra and Antony’s Twin Babies Revealed.” Live Science 21 Apr. 2012.
  • Roller, Duane W. “Cleopatra Selene.” Dictionary of African Biography, Vol. 2, ed. by Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 104-105.
  • Roller, Duane W. Cleopatra: A Biography. NY: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Roller, Duane W. Cleopatra’s Daughter: And Other Royal Women of the Augustan Era. NY: Oxford University Press, 2018.

The 16 children of William of Orange

William of Orange

Sixteenth-century Dutch nobleman William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was the primary leader of the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).

William had a total of 16 children with five different women (four wives, one mistress). All 16 received traditional first names, but four of his daughters were given location-inspired middle names — symbols of the political alliances between William and “the lands for which he fought.”

Here are the names of all 16:

  1. Maria (born in 1553)
  2. Philip William, (b. 1554)
  3. Maria (b. 1556)
  4. Justinus (b. 1559)
  5. Anna (b. 1562)
  6. Anna (b. 1563)
  7. Maurice August Philip (b. 1564)
  8. Maurice (b. 1567)
  9. Emilia (b. 1569)
  10. Louise Juliana (b. 1576)
  11. Elisabeth (b. 1577)
  12. Catharina Belgica (b. 1578)
  13. Charlotte Flandrina (b. 1579)
  14. Charlotte Brabantina (b. 1580)
  15. Emilia Antwerpiana (b. 1581)
  16. Frederick Henry (b. 1584)

Each of the regions/locations honored with a name responded by “bestow[ing] pensions upon the children”:

This inspired other parents with connections to the House of Orange-Nassau to adopt similar naming practices. For instance, Ernst Casimir I — the Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe — named his daughter Elisabeth Friso (b. 1620). And Henri Charles de Le Trémoille — a direct descendant of William of Orange via Charlotte Brabantina — named his son Charles Belgique Hollande (b. 1655).

Sources:

  • Broomhall, Susan and Jacqueline Van Gent. Gender, Power and Identity in the Early Modern House of Orange-Nassau. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Steen, Jasper van der. Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
  • William the Silent – Wikipedia