11 Ways to Honor Your Family When Naming Your Kids

baby nameNaming your baby is sometimes one of the hardest things to do. You can go the traditional or unique baby naming route, or even name your baby after a rock star or a member of your family.

You can scan baby books and lists for all but family names -- for those you have to do some family research. There are ways to honor your family when naming your kids without choosing the first name of your loved one. Here are some ideas.


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1. Check your ancestry records. There may be a great great great great grandmother who has a name that's perfect for your little girl. It's a great way to honor the past and even find a name that may have been common then, but original now.

2. Choose a maiden name. Many maiden names are beautiful and would make a fantastic first name. Perhaps it's your own or your mother's or anyone in your child's lineage.

3. Try names with the same first letter as the name of the person you want to honor. Perhaps baby's grandmother's name is Anna but you wanted something similar but different, then you could go with Annabelle or Anya.

4. Combine names. My daughter's grandmothers' names are Josephine and Lena. For her middle name, we honored both and merged the beginning of both names to create Jolene. You might be surprised how well this could work for some. Lena Jo would have been cute, too.

5. Call your child Junior. You can still go with giving your child the same name as grandpa or your favorite uncle but to avoid the two of them looking when their name is called you can call your child by their middle name or Junior.

6. Make the name of a family member the middle name. Bet you that relative will always refer to them by both names.

7. Take a look at other versions of the same name. Maybe someday my son would want to name his daughter after me. (A mom can dream!) Instead of choosing Michele, he could name her Micaela.

8. Look up name meaning and find inspiration there. The name Connor means "lover of wolves," so if your grandfather's name was Connor but you wanted something a little different, you could choose Wolf.

9. Don't forget to include nicknames. My great aunt's name was Catherine but she went by Tina. Many nicknames make fantastic first names, too.

10. Include the state or country where the relative is from when deciding. There are some beautiful names of places that are lovely for first names. Grandpa could be from India or China, California or Montana and they would all make a great moniker.

11. Include something that person is known for when thinking about a name. Maybe your uncle was a mason -- Mason is a great name. Maybe grandma loved her pearls -- Pearl is a beautiful name. It honors the family member in a unique way.

Are you naming your child after a loved one? How did you choose the name? Have your tried any of these ways or another?

Image via kaatjevervoort/Flickr

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