Using family names for some and not others

Would you do it?

My brain is arguing with itself that if I were to give SOME children family names, I should go ahead and give them ALL family names (at least in the middle spot). Issue is my list of family names I like is very VERY limited, which makes it difficult to find more than one or two names for each gender that I actually enjoy.

So, would you give your first children family names and not later children? Or would you attempt to find a family name that you could live with?

My youngest sister and I each have family names in the middle, but our other sisters do not. Truthfully, none of us cared. We never gave it a second thought. There was no jealousy on either part. Middle names are rarely used anyway, so nobody outside the family has ever commented on it either. I’m a huge fan of naming each child as an individual rather than as part of a group…meaning that if you like a family name as part of a combo for one child, use it, and if you don’t have a family name that you like for your next child, don’t force yourself to find one. Use names that you love for each child. It will probably be more important to your children that they have names that you love rather than family names. That said, I [name]DO[/name] have this idea in my head that if I honor one parent in a name, I have to honor ALL the parents in subsequent names so that none of the parents feel left out. I think honoring a living relative is different than using a family name of a deceased ancestor in that you have to take THEIR feelings into consideration, not just your children’s feelings. Does that make sense?

I had a similar issue with naming my kids. I always knew I wanted my first born son’s middle name to be [name]Michael[/name], after a cousin of mine who died when I was a teen. Then when I got pregnant for my second child, I realized that I don’t actually like a lot of our family names. After a while we decided that it was okay that our oldest son had a family name because it had been to honour someone special and we would just not give family names to any other children. As it turned out, my second son’s first name is DH’s grandmother’s maiden name (oops). Now that I am pregnant with my third, I struggled again to decide if we should choose a family name. We decided not to, because it was more important that we like the name than that it honour someone random just for the sake of having a family name (I dug fairly far back into my family tree before I came across any names that I thought would be somewhat usable).

I think it’s okay for some children to have a family name if it’s a family member that is very important to you, but that others just have names that you truly love and want to use.

I don’t think it’s a big deal to use them with some children but not all of them. I did it this way. My oldest two daughters have family names. My oldest daughter has the same middle name as me and my second daughter is named after her grandmother and great-grandmother. My other two daughters have no family names, but I have special stories that I can share if they ever want to know more about why I chose their particular names.

I have no personal experience with this whatsoever (because my mum decided to be totally uncreative and give my sister and I the same middle name), but I’m feeling quite ambivalent about this too. Normally I would say that it’s not that big a deal, but on the other hand, if my sister had been the only one named after our great-grandmother and I was named after no one, I don’t know if I’d be particularly pleased. Also, in addition to my middle name, I have a family surname as a second middle (that I never use so it’s absolutely pointless but whatever, it’s the thought that counts) and my sister don’t, and I don’t know how she’ll will feel about not having that family surname in her name when she gets older. On the other hand, if you only have a few gems in your family tree, I don’t think you should feel forced to use a name you don’t like [name]JUST[/name] to give all of your kids family names. I think that a name that has a lot of meaning to you (and/or your partner), can mean just as much as a family name.

I don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s something I might do. I know a few families where this occurred and it never seemed to bother anyone.

I also know two families where multiple children have the SAME name included in their names, because it’s a family name, which seems way weirder to me. My cousins (twins) have the same middle name, their father’s first name. My baby’s Dad has the same middle name as his brother’s first name (a grandfather’s, I believe). That to me is a bit stranger than one child being named for someone and the others not.

Yes, I would do it. I do kind of obsess that combos I come up with must have some kind of meaning rather than just being plucked out of thin air, so I intend to use the meaningful & family names I like (fortunately there are a lot). However, I’m quite lax with using family names- there are other, more tenuous ways of honouring relatives, e.g. one combo I’m liking at the moment uses the same initials as my dad’s name, and sometimes just using a biblical name in a combo is good for me, as my brothers and I all have biblical names. So there are ways of making other children’s names special.

But I really don’t think it matters that one would have a family name and others don’t. I know plenty of siblings where the eldest has recieved a ‘special’ name and the younger sibs haven’t- and they don’t hate each other or their parents! [name]Just[/name] go with what you love and don’t feel you have to use names you don’t like! :slight_smile:

We intentionally use family names in the middle. However, with our second child, we used family names for the first name and the middle. She isn’t too happy about not having her “own” name. :frowning: Says she will change it as soon as she is an adult. But she is only 7, so maybe she will outgrow it! :slight_smile: That’s actually why we are considering trying to use two family names for baby #4, so she won’t be the only one named after two family members.

I wouldn’t use family names for some children and not others, but I’m just a really picky namer!

I used family names for one of my daughters (my 4th child) but not for my other kids. I would warn you that if you use family names it sets the expectations among other family member that they or their parents will be honored next. In retrospect I wish I had skipped it all together, because now that my daughter has my mom’s name my dad would really, really like us to use his name.

I can’t imagine not giving all my children a name that honors my family traditions.
Everyone in my family has a mn (usually 2nd) that honors the heritage of one particular great-great-great grandmother.

I also think if I gave no kid a name derived from a particular family member I would do it for all of them.
I’m not saying that it has a be a direct honoring but I’d want something derived from someone - same meaning, same initials, variant etc.
I don’t think I’d restrict myself to people I’ve meet but would consider the first family member to have come to the US or be born in the US (in my case that would be silly since I’m first generation american but you know what I mean). Someone who shaped what your family considers to be “family” or etc.

If my SO and I stay together our kids (ideally if it were up to me) would have their “own” FN 1MN (to honor his family) 2MN (to honor my family) LN.
And, obviously I’d choose them all… <wink>

My parents gave some of us family names, and some did not. Same with DH’s family. All my 3 kids do have a family member’s name, and I will continue (if not a family name, then another name that honors someone we admire)