Rules about using family names?

The name [name_m]Wheeler[/name_m] is a family name on my husbands side. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband would really like to use this name if our 3rd child due in [name_f]October[/name_f] is a boy.

The name is the middle name to both his grandfather (who he was very close to) and his younger brother.

I’m don’t mind the name, it’s cool and different. The fact that it is part of my brother in laws name and the thought that he may someday want to use it for a child of his own makes me hesitate.

Are there any rules about using family names? Is it a first come first serve kind of thing?

Any thoughts? Thank you in advance!

I don’t think there are any rules. Family names are fair game for everyone in the family, and I think repeats are fine.

I feel like communication is key here. Maybe you could talk to your BIL, let him know that you are considering it and see if he has any plans on using it in the future. If it’s for a mn, then your son and his cousin could have the same middle, or one could have it as a first and the other as a middle. [name_f]Hope[/name_f] that made sense!


Let your BIL know that you plan to use this name in the future. [name_m]Just[/name_m] an idea. Not saying you have to.

I think it woukd be worth discussing it and if it’s going to be a middle, you could always have repeats in the family since it’s a honour name

I’d definitely talk to BIL. [name_f]My[/name_f] SO was really keen on [name_u]James[/name_u] or [name_m]Robert[/name_m] as a middle name, but I shot him down as they are either taken or on somebody’s list. In the end we found [name_m]Hamish[/name_m] (Scottish version of [name_u]James[/name_u]) and [name_m]Rupert[/name_m] ([name_m]German[/name_m] version of [name_m]Robert[/name_m]) to go on the list instead. Maybe international versions or similar meanings are an option for you?

My sister and I were due 2 weeks apart. She found out she was having a little girl and immediately announced the name they picked. One of the middle names they picked was my middle name , my moms middle name and my great grandma’s middle name. It’s actually a cousins middle name as well.

I was a little devastated at first because she had never mentioned it, and I have always considered it when naming a daughter. But now I see it as a cool way to link cousins.

But I was team green and ended up having a boy. So it was not an issue.

I would still consider it if we are ever lucky enough to have more kids. But I would probably tell her I’m planning on using my middle name, just as a courtesy.

At the end of the day it’s only weird if you make it weird. I have 2 cousins who both have daughters named [name_f]Lily[/name_f]. They have never met and probably won’t ever meet- as geographically it’s a long shot. We call one of them [name_f]Lily[/name_f] [name_u]Lou[/name_u].

Hope that’s helpful

I’ve never discussed with my siblings which family names they want to use. I always assumed family names were a “first come, first served” kind of thing. Especially if you’re considering it as a middle name rather than a first name.

Here are the kind of rules that I would consider for family names:
-Generally I wouldn’t want to give the same first name to multiple kids of the same generation (don’t give your daughter the name [name_f]Emma[/name_f] if her cousin has it, but it is fine after Grandma [name_f]Emma[/name_f]).
-Middle names could be repeats, but it might be nice to discuss it with the parents of kids who already have it.
-It’s nice to talk to people whose names you want to honor. Communication can keep most things from becoming a problem.

Thank you for all your input!

It is a name that he would like to use as a first name.

I would definitely feel more comfortable asking him first, if were serious about wanting to use it I’d feel more at ease if we checked with him first.

I’ll have to see if there are any other names that have the same meaning.

Thanks again!