Family Ties

June 29, 2016

When my husband and I named our 3 daughters, we created “family ties” to our homelands. Our eldest daughter, Holland Grace, was named after my husband’s Dutch heritage and she was given her maternal grandmother’s middle name. Our second daughter, Madison Isabel, was named after Madison, Wisconsin, the capital of my home state of Wisconsin, USA, and she was given her paternal grandmother’s middle name. With our youngest daughter, we chose Adelaide Rose, to represent our life in Australasia, Adelaide being the capital city of the state of South Australia. Rose is just a pretty name that we liked since we had run out of grandmas’ middle names. PlaceNames

Many parents do something similar, naming their children after other family members, grandparents or aunts and uncles. Growing up, I didn’t know that my Mom’s sisters, my Aunt Rogene and my Aunt Roberta, were actually named Violet Roberta and Louise Rogene. They had both been named after relatives (my Grandmother, Harriet Louise and her sister, my Great Aunt Violet.) I only learned this when reading through the family history. And looking at it again closely while writing this post, I see that my Grandmother, Harriet Louise was named after her own Grandmother and my Great Great Grandmother, Harriet Beckwith.

Another of my Mom’s sisters, my Aunt Marietta was, as may be apparent, named after her Grandmother, Mary Etta, for whom this blog is named. She had a very peculiar and interesting middle name. It was created by my Grandfather and to me it shows an incredible desire on his part to strengthen and solidify the family ties in his own young family. Her middle name was “Vrlreu”. Here is an excerpt from the family history:


My own parents perhaps didn’t stick quite as closely to family names when naming their 7 children. My older sister got the name Mary Louise, which are both family names. My younger brother, Dwight David, was named after President Dwight David Eisenhower, who was elected the night my parents got engaged (so the story goes.)

As for my own name…Lisa Ann, I’ve been told I was named after the character “Lisa” from Green Acres, a show I’ve never really seen. They didn’t know I’d grow up to be a huge Ann”e” of Green Gables fan…but they did get it very close, didn’t they? 🙂

Lisa Anne

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  • Reply Jim Edstrom June 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    There are some very striking and interesting continuities in family names beyond the ones you’ve mentioned. Our grandmother, Harriet Louise Bone, was named, I believe, after her two grandmothers: Harriet Beckwith, who was Mary Etta Bone’s mother and who died when Mary Etta was quite young, and Louisa Caine, Fred Bone’s mother. Our grandfather, Eric Ultimus Edstrom, Sr., was named, I think, after two relatives: his Great-Grandfather Per Erik Edstrom and–possibly–his father’s first cousin, Carl Erik Edstrom, who went by his middle name and who was living with Grandpa’s parents at the time he was born. Grandpa’s older brother, Carl Axel Edstrom, was named after his great-uncle Carl and after his father’s house older brother, Axel Harald, who served in the Swedish Navy and died quite young–about 21, I think–from yellow fever and was buried at sea. And Grandpa’s middle name, Ultimus (which was also my dad’s as well) was an example of a common practice in Sweden–using Latin names. His grandfather’s name was Placidus. All those names tell an interesting story, don’t they?

  • Reply Lisa van Klaveren June 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    The Latin names used by the Swedish are very interesting. I worked once with a girl whose father still lived in Sweden and her name was Signe, Latin for “Victorious”.

  • Reply Sarah June 29, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Lisa, your stories on genealogy are so interesting!
    Greetings, Sarah

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