When we were a newly married couple, we frequently discussed what we would name our children.
- We wanted our children to have names that had meaning to us.
- We wanted the etymology (original literal meaning) of their names to be powerful.
- We wanted family names that represented strong individuals with a teachable heritage.
Let me introduce you to my children.
Emma = Complete or Whole
Patience = Calm Endurance
It took seven years of infertility struggles to finally get our little Emma. They were years of trying to learn how to have patience during long suffering. And still today as we are raising children trying to remember to have patience in the process.
Emma Margaretha Friederike Boldt Ohms is my great-grandmother. She died 15 years before I was born. I do not have any stories about her. What I know about her I have learned from newspapers, Census, and other records. She immigrated from Germany when she was two years old with her parents and grandparents. As an adult, she was the family care giver. As a young mother, with four of her own children, she also cared for her youngest sibling (a half sister). Later in life she cared for a widowed sister and she continually cared for an unmarried son until her death. She is an example of compassion and love.
Patience Sibyl Groves Davies Harris is my 3rd great-grandmother. She inspires me to have patience. Her first husband died four years into their marriage; leaving her with two children aged three and under and pregnant with their third. For three years she raised these children alone. She married my 3rd great-grandfather, Llewellyn, in 1865 and they had six children. Llewellyn was a pathfinder missionary for the LDS Church for over 30 years. He traveled throughout the American South West and Mexico blazing new roads and teaching and healing others. Patience took care of the homestead and raised the children. She is a great example of a strong individual with a teachable heritage.
Matthew = Gift of God
Thayne = Follower
After struggling with infertility for years before the birth of our first child, we just resigned ourselves to another struggle. We were amazed to have Matthew less than three years later. He truly was our "Gift from God".
Thayne Leavitt Archibald is my husband's father; Matthew's grandfather. Thayne died nearly four years before we were married; and as such, I never knew him. He was a hard working man. He could fix anything and if he didn't have the tools, he would create them. He was a loving, sacrificing, frugal, inventive, patient, and quiet man. I hope my son will follow in his grandfather's footsteps. Oh, and they both have red hair!
Our children's "family" names help them to know their identity and heritage. We can share with them stories and photos about their namesakes.
Here are some helpful websites to help you in identifying the meaning of names:
This site is a great source for learning how to pronounce names:
This is a great site to learn the frequency of names:
The following are screen shots from Baby Name Voyager showing the frequency of my children's names.
I learned about this site last year from a news story that said that children named "Emma" today were named after their mother's great-grandmother. Wow! How did they know my story? And then I saw this graphic. You should check out the frequency of your name.
Are you named after someone? Were you named after any family members (first or middle name)? How did that make you feel as a child? And now as an adult? What special meanings do these names have for you? What about your children? Did you name them after someone? Please share your family name stories and experiences in the comments.