The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99077   Message #1972156
Posted By: Rowan
18-Feb-07 - 10:26 PM
Thread Name: BS: Were you named after anyone?
Subject: RE: BS: Were you named after anyone?
My mother was pregnant with me while my father was away in the army (WWII) and had had a bit of a set-to with his family so I was never sure why I ended up with a Scottish name (and Robert Graves, already mentioned above, had a lot to say about "Rowan") as the first of my two Given names; I scored my father's for my second. It was many years later, when I received a letter, apparently addressed to me but really intended for an academic medico I had known about at university, that I found out a possible connection. I rang him up to tell him of this letter and he recalled meeting my mother during her pregnancy. I suspect she liked the sound of it and just went with it while my father was away. My brother and sister (both younger) acquired similarly Scottish names so I guess she just continued the thread. It was only when I was 40 or so that she discovered that some of her ancestry was, in fact, Scottish. Her mother's maiden name was Aston and, apparently, related to the Aston's of Aston Martin; I thought I might inherit a wheelnut or so until I found out the severance had been in the 1930s.

When my wife and I were researching our respective genealogies for suitable names to give our first (well before birth and without interest in gender) we couldn't discern the naming patterns described above but a couple of other aspects were quite striking. Boys' names were extremely conservatively selected (a dozen would cover 90% of the known list) whereas girls' names (for the same period; 1790s to 1940) number in the 4 score or more. In Oz, we don't do the "Fred Nurk, Fred Nurk Jr., Fred Nurk III" routine (as far as I've noticed) and it's rare for someone to be routinely called by their 'full' name. Even when kids are in the parental poo I rarely hear them called by more than their first given name. But yes, it's ALWAYS their birth name and not any diminutive or nickname.

Cheers, Rowan