What’s in a Name, Preface

March 18, 2015

I knew I wanted to use family names, whether I had a boy or a girl.  Picking a boy’s name was pretty easy:  Edward Matthias.  My dad’s dad died when I was five, and his mom died before I was born.  My great-aunt and -uncle filled their shoes. Since my brother didn’t have a boy, it was easy to decide I wanted to name a boy after Uncle Ed.  Edward was also my mom’s grandpa’s name; the two of them were very close.  (I recently learned he even took her to the World’s Fair in New York.)  Why Matthias?  Mathias is an old family name.  Generations of men have been named Mathias, including my brother.  (My parents used the alternate spelling with two Ts.)

But a girl’s name was harder.  I’d always liked Sofia because it means wisdom.  I settled on Bernice because it was both my dad’s mom’s name and my mom’s aunt’s name.

You see, I wanted the name to reflect both sides of my family.  Edward and Bernice both reflected both sides of my family.  Since Sofia was a girl, I still had a boy’s name.  But I needed to come up with a new girl’s name.

Instead of Sofia, I’d considered Hannah Genevieve.  Hannah for one of my mom’s great-great-grandmothers and Genevieve for my dad’s mom.  And I considered that again.  Except I’d already named Sofia after my dad’s mom, so I really wanted to name this baby after my mom’s mom.  I settled on Eva Lillian.  Eva for my dad’s grandmother, Lillian for my mom’s mom.

And then the inevitable happened.  You may recall the massive number of pregnancies going around.  Two of the women I work with had girls.  One named her daughter Lilian.  The other?  That’s right.  Ava.  Now, I know that my daughter will rarely, if ever, meet these girls.  But still…

As you know, I finally settled on Anna Gertrude.  More on that to come.


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