Honoring family traditions

First off, I’m not pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant for a few more years, but I’m absolutely obsessed with names! So, like most of you, I like picking and choosing, discarding, choosing again… But I have an issue with a family tradition. My great-great-great grandmother’s name was [name]Kathryn[/name], then my great grandmother was named [name]Kathryn[/name], and my mom was. My great-great grandmother’s name was [name]Edna[/name], grandma is [name]Jeanne[/name], me [name]Kristine[/name]. According to Grandma and Mom, I’m obligied to name my first daughter [name]Kathryn[/name]. Thing is, I HATE that name! I’ve never, ever liked it, or the nicknames. (I also knew a [name]Kathryn[/name] “[name]Katy[/name]” in school that I’m not too fond of anymore) Mom and I also don’t always get along; we’re great for a while and then awful for a while, okay, great, repeat! Am I “obligied” to honor this tradition, even if I hate the name? I have so many other names I adore and I really don’t want a lot of kids…middle name is out of the question, too, as I’m determined to have the middle names of my future kids be from [name]Harry[/name] [name]Potter[/name]… Please shed some light on the “honoring family traditions” thing!

I don’t have any naming traditions in my own family. I guess it would be nice, that is if I liked the name. [name]Marie[/name] was my great grandmothers middle name and that has been used by family a few times. Mirpah was her first so as you can see [name]Marie[/name] was a much prettier choice. All though [name]Marie[/name] really is a popular middle name so who is to say anyone one was really naming their child after her anyway.
I think it really is awful for you to be pressed by tradition or guilt to name your children anything other than what you want to name them. This is just my personal opinion.

Hello there.

Well, I agree, I don’t think you should ever be “obliged” to name a child something simply because of family tradition. Maybe when you get a little older, though (forgive me if I am assuming you are quite young at the moment?) you might feel differently, and you might also find that your tastes in names have changed. If I look back on names I would have used when I was 16 compared to names I actually did use when I started having children (I was a late starter, admittedly and had six children between the ages of 35 and 42!) those lists of names would have been completely different.

Incidentally, I love the name [name]Katharine[/name]/[name]Catherine[/name] so much I have used it twice - once on daughter No. 1 who is [name]Laura[/name] [name]Katharine[/name] [name]Francesca[/name], and then again on daughter No. 3 who is [name]Catherine[/name] [name]Julia[/name] [name]Felicity[/name], and in her case, it was after my great-grandmother [name]Catherine[/name] [name]Julia[/name]. HOWEVER, I would not have used a family name if I did not like it.

Talk to your mom (when you two are getting on well) and there may be other names in your family tree you can use instead, as a compromise? You might find some ancestors with some really cool names and be glad to use them for your children when the time comes. Good luck!


I think it’s a beautiful name, but if you don’t like it I don’t see why you should feel you have to. There are so many more names to choose from nowadays.
[name]Do[/name] you like any of the variations of [name]Catherine[/name]? [name]Kate[/name], [name]Kathleen[/name], [name]Catriona[/name], [name]Katerina[/name], etc. Or else, would you consider having a second middle name before or after the name you choose from [name]Harry[/name] [name]Potter[/name]? There may be compromises you can make to make your family happy, without losing out on the chance to name your child whatever you like.

Good luck!