Whatever happened to good old-fashioned Christian names?

Katherine - posted on 04/26/2009 ( 44 moms have responded )

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I certainly don't want to offend anyone, as names are very personal and meaningful to those who choose them. I've kinda been out of the loop for awhile, as I've been living among French speakers for the last seven years (the big trend here these days is to give English names like Joey, Jessica, Mike, etc...instead of tradition French names). I am a bit shocked and disappointed to see that it is becoming rare among my fellow Americans of my generation to give Christian or saints names. It seems that in the effort to be different, everyone is really just the same making up names or using last names as first, etc.. Anyone still interested in honoring those great heros of the past? What are some of the more traditional names you are using?

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Mary - posted on 04/16/2010

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Luke Gallagher (St Luke and Gallagher is a family name)
Francis Gabriel (pretty self explanatory St Francis and the archangel Gabriel)
Morgan Joy (St Morgan and Joy is because it was a joyful time, but my mom thinks it's short for Joyce, her name)

Maria - posted on 04/30/2009

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My first-born is named Kevin Patrick (after his Dad) and my youngest is named Kristian Quintin (after my Dad). We still use versions of traditional Christian names. :)

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Amanda - posted on 12/21/2010

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My husband and I really wanted to name our son Noah Ignatius. Yes I'm serious. But my family isn't Catholic and I didn't want the comments. So we settled on James Patrick can't go wrong there!

Nelly - posted on 12/05/2010

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We have 4 children all named after Saints,Claudio, Catarina, Danielle, Alexander. They all enjoy reading and hearing about the Saints that they were named after

Desiree - posted on 10/05/2010

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My fathers name is Anthony, but living in south africa you hear of some very unusual choices in the way of names. Ezekiel is popular.my Daughters name although is unusual(not commonly used anymore) it is Irish for Cathrine her name is Cathlin.(ST Cathrine was a great lady.0 being of Porutguese decent Mary or Maria are still very popular. I wish you good luck. I have a personal lve for Joan (St Joan) and even Cecilia (patron saint of music) Gregory (Pope Gregory the great, saint of choirs, started the Gregorian chants as we know them or at least made them popular) Theresa (Little Flower). just do a google search for Patron Saints and you have Hundreds of ideas for name.

Bailey - posted on 09/16/2010

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Our children are all named after saints. Alexander Micheal, Benedict Joseph, Claire Lee-Ann, and Lucy Marie. We are expecting our 5th in March. If it's a boy it will be Finian Patrick. We are undecided on name for a girl, but I like Philomena. We live in a predominantly Traditional Catholic community, and there are many Philomena's in our town. Most parents here name their children after saints.

Donna - posted on 07/27/2010

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I would only use a saint's name. My son is William Christopher, and if we are ever blessed with another boy, we would lean towards Leo. For a girl, I like Audrey, although we would probably go with Aubrey (there is a St. Aubrey).

[deleted account]

It was important to my husband that our children had a saint name. Honestly I didn't care so much for that as for all of my girls having Anne in their name. St. Anne has been the patron saint of my family for quite some time. I want to honor her. Needless to say it isn't always with the exact spelling. I try to make it so that you hear Anne in the name when it is pronounced, for instance my daughter's name is Lilian.

I know that I want one of my girls to have the name Claire as well. Although thanks to a character in a graphic novel, my MIL and SIL will most likely make fun of it. But St. Claire is a great example of what a women should be. I also want to use the name Francis not only is it my husband's middle name and my FIL's first but St. Francis of Assisi is a wonder saint to look up to.

I do feel that often times it's better for a child to choose their saint name when they are conformed instead of using the one they are named after.

Karla - posted on 05/28/2010

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I totally agree with giving children names with a good meaning or better reason than "it's cute" or " "I like the way it sounds". It's important to give them plenty of people to look up to and their name is the very first step of that. My sons are Elijah Omar (Omar is my husbands middle name) and Jonah Antonio (Antonio was my dads middle name). We are expecting our third blessing and we don't know yet what the gender is. I have ideas for names, but I'm only 18 weeks so nothing is set in stone. For a girl I like Emma Mariana - Emma is the female version of Emmanuel which means God is with us and there is a St. Emma, but I haven't read up on her yet and Mariana because of the Blessed Virgin and my middle name is Maria and the Godmothers name is Ana. For a boy Isaiah Manuel - Isaiah for obvious reasons and Manuel because of Emmanuel and also my husbands grandfathers name is Manuel.

Steph - posted on 05/27/2010

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I was also brought up to think using a saint's name (or variation thereof) is the norm and anything else is the exception. My daughter is Philomena Rose and we have a list of names enough for the next five siblings ;) We do tend towards more uncommon saints' names and end up pairing it with a more common one. We had no idea when we picked "Rose" that it would be one of the most popular middle names at the moment! But we're happy to honour St. Rose of Lima with it and probably wouldn't have changed it if we had known :)

Ellen - posted on 03/04/2010

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My girls are Christina Ann (St. Ann), Katie Marie (St. Bernadette (who was named Marie at birth)), and Nicole Renee (St. Rene Goupil). Ann is also my mom's middle name, Marie is my mother-in-laws middle name, and my grandmother is Rena (we took a bit of liberty here with Renee). My husband and I wanted our girls to be named after Saints as I was and my brothers (Keith Patrick, Michael Thomas, James Richard, Daniel Joseph). My full name is Mary Ellen and I grew up hearing "you must be Catholic". I went by "Mary Ellen" but now go by "Ellen" due to a job situation that I had and it stuck. Although there are still many people that call me "Mary Ellen" and it doesn't bother me in the least bit. Thanks for the question!

Michelle - posted on 02/23/2010

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My daughter is Sophia (wise) Maria (after both my husband and I's grandmothers as well as obviously Mary) Bernadette (it was the year of St. Bernadette one of my favorite saints so we added a second middle name). My son is Elijah (the prophet Elijah) Michael (after my husband and St. Michael). The practice is not entirely dead. There are definitely some different names out there now a days. As someone pointed out to me maybe any one of them will become saints someday and then their name will become common. My husband wanted to name one of our kids after St. Polycarp. That hasn't happened as of yet.

Susie - posted on 02/23/2010

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I had names picked out for my children since I was in junior high as well. Alexandra and Andrew both Christian names. However, when I became pregnant with my first child my husband came up with the names Dana (after his grandfather) Carter (a family name on my dad's side) for a girl and Johnathan (after my father-in-law) Charles (after my stepdad). With connections to our families pasts how could I not agree? My son's name is very christian but my daughter did have to choose another name when she was confirmed. I was a blessing to witness the time she spent researching various saints to find the perfect one. She settled on Francine for St. Francis of Assissi. She feels a connection to St. Francis and often prays to him for help when she needs it. My children now have a saint to look to for guidance, as well as, family members who exemplify the qualities and virtues of our faith. My stepdad passed away on December 30 and when I gave his eulogy it was my children's names that I focused on and how important it is to cement the connections that we have in our families and the examples that we all set for each new generation even when we don't realize it. I cherish my son's name even more now that he carries on his Papa's name, and my son is so proud that he goes by his middle name - Charlie. This was done to avoid confusion: Grandpa called John, Papa called Chuck, and he is Charlie - connected to the past but still with his very own identity.

Megan - posted on 02/20/2010

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I have always wanted to have a little girl because I have had a name picked out since I was in junior high. I fell in love with the name Daria after reading a book but could never find a middle name I liked. My husband only had one request, that the middle name start with an R. I searched long and hard for a name that started with R that would flow with Daria. One night by chance I happened across St. Rene Goupil. So our daughter is Daria Rene.

Dollia - posted on 02/20/2010

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Antonio (St. Anthony) Emile, and Mateo (St, Matthew) Jose (St. Joseph) are my 2 boys first and middle names. My husband is Mexican , so we kept the names Spanish. Well, almost Emile is after my paternal grandfather!

Catherine - posted on 01/15/2010

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Thomas Charles & William Maurice...
Doesn't get much more "old school" than these

Mehgan - posted on 09/19/2009

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My step-daughter is named Cecilia Yvette. Cecilia is what my Mom-i-Law goes by, but her legal name is Maria Isidra.
My son is Jose Luis V. My husband and I did not want to name him Jose, but my inlaws kept reminding us how it is such an important name, and that it would be a shame for it to stop with my husband. My son is seven now and I love his name.
My daughter is Ysidra Tanysha Gabryelle. Ysidra is for my in law, and Gabryelle is for my sister who was born premature and died.
Our youngest is named Kendra Lyn. Kendra because my husband liked it and Lyn is my middle name.
I hadn't realized that they were Christian names, until I entered the RCIA program last year. Now that I am a proud Catholic I sometimes want to change Kendra's name to Kendra Maria de Guadalupe.

Angie - posted on 09/13/2009

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I couldn't agree more. I am most Mexican my husband is mostly German so we decided that our daughters would have Mexican names and our sons German. We only had one son his name is Frederick John Karl. We had two daughters: Maria Marcelina and Amalia (a form of Maria) Louisa. All Christian names but we still kept our heritage alive.

Lisa - posted on 08/20/2009

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My husband and I wanted biblical/saints names, but different ones also. Nothing too common. Our oldest is Eli Peter (Eli was the high priest who trained the prophet Samuel and Peter of course St. Peter. But Peter is also my husband and father in law's name) Our younger son is named Moises Manuel (Moises is of course Moses in Spanish. We were going to name him Moses but my hubby liked Moises better. And Manuel is my dad's name and Emmanuel means God is with us.) Our daughter was more difficult to name, we had her middle name way before we had her first name. Her name is Leila Maryann. Leila is not biblical or a saints name but we liked that it is of Hebrew origin, it means dark beauty or night. Mary is of course Jesus' mother and Ann is his grandmother.) I love the name Sarai and I read somewhere that that was Sarah's name before God changed it to Sarah. If we would have had another one (which we can't) I would have named her if it would have been a girl Sarai Emilia (Emilia is my husbands great grandmother's name). If it would have been a boy his name would have been Abraham Edward (Edward is my husbands grandfather's name).

Laura - posted on 08/14/2009

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We had a baby girl in january and named her Mary Margaret. I can't tell you how many people have asked "is that a family name?" as if we wouldn't just chose that name because we like it! Other people ask if she is going to be a nun- as if that would be a bad thing! Our oldest daughter is Kathryn which is pretty popular so I had no idea how to deal with the strange reactions people had to Mary's name!

[deleted account]

I have tried to give my children first and middle names after my favorite saints so far : Anthony Thomas (of Padua and Aquinas), Andrew Joseph (the apostle and foster father of Jesus), Timothy John (the martyr and the beloved Apostle), Catherine Elizabeth (of Sienna and Mary's cousin), Noah Josef (my husband's pick LOL), and Emma Clare (love the name Emma and St.Clare of Assisi).

Debbie - posted on 07/16/2009

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All my kids have at least one saint name, Katherine Lynn, Lisa Marie, Andrew John, Peter Daniel, Simon Glen, Anna Rose, Christopher James, Mary Justina, David Albert

Most of them,one of the names is after a grandparent, parent or aunt or uncle.

Lisa - posted on 07/14/2009

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Kara Ann Cecilia (Ann and Cecilia are both saints names - Cecilia is her confirmation name)

Michael Anthony (Both Saints names)

Elizabeth Ann (Both Saints names on their own, but also for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)



They are all family names too, so we lucked out in that respect. With the exception of Kara's first name.

Nicole - posted on 06/11/2009

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Colin Joseph, (Colin is a derivative of Nicholas)
Justin Francis
Genevieve Yvonne
Andrew Christian
and our angels in heaven
Anastasia Marie
Alexandra Nicole
Frank Christian

Bobbie - posted on 06/10/2009

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I too like having a saints name for my boys. I also went with family names and names that are not heard to often. My boys are:

Sebastian Dan

Waylan Jake (St. Jacob)

Ivan Leo

Dorian Gregory

Ivan and Dorian both have great saint middle names. They are twins. One has his paternal grandpa's name, Leo. The other has his maternal grandpa's name, Gregory.

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I tend to agree. I know people think traditional names are just that plain and traditional. However, there are no Ted's at school!

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I agree. We plan to name our 5th Cecilia because she is due near the Feast Day of St. Cecilia. Or if it is a boy: Benedict after the saint and our Pope. We'll call him Ben though.



I like the rarer version of Cecilia-Cecily. So, we will see. Our kids have either an OT name or saint name.



Abigail Rebecca

Allison Grace

Elizabeth Marie

Theodore Joseph

Tammy - posted on 05/27/2009

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My daughter is ELizabeth Ann. she is named after my mom and his grandma. We have Allison Rose for the next whenever that is. I totally agree with going with more traditional names. I work for the girls scouts, and I can't pronounce half the kids names that I work with. We have one little girl whose name is Timbre Wolfe. I kid you not. I was talking with one the teachers I work with today, and his cousin name is Brian Bryan. I don't know what people think when they name thier children.

Paula - posted on 05/22/2009

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I like old fashioned names. I have a Maxwell, an Elenore (Greek form of Helen) and an Edward. I like naming my children after our ancestors. I think if we have a girl next she'll be named for our grandmothers.

Sabrina - posted on 05/21/2009

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We decided on Audrey for our little girl but if she had been a boy we'd have chosen Michael. Traditional names are the "alternative" now. You can tell by going to a little league gaming and looking at the jersey's on all the kids. You can down the bench and see two Tristan's, four Baylie's and an Apple but not one Joseph!

Di - posted on 05/18/2009

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John Andrew and Robert Francis.....all family names. John is grandad and uncle, Andrew is dad, Robert and Francis are uncles. I hardly hear of another John but know a few Roberts. When I was growing up John was fairly common. Its amazing that so many ppl ask me how to spell it....lol

Kate - posted on 05/14/2009

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My son Pascal had an Easter due date, and we had the name picked out months in advance because of that! But he was premature, so his name isn't as date-specific as we'd planned. :-)

Elizabeth - posted on 05/14/2009

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Quoting Kate:

We like unusual names, but we want them to be saint names and have some tradition and heft to them. Plus, my husband has french heritage and french names sound best with our last name. So our sons are Guillame Samuel and Pascal Johannes. Guillame is a form of William, which is my father's name, and Johannes is the name of my (dutch) maternal grandfather, who died when my mom was young. I love that my sons will probably never have the same name as anyone else in the room, but that there is a story to each name more meaningful than just "we liked the sound".

And Guillame, who is 4, already loves to hear stories of his name-saint, St. Guillaume de Bourges, who was a monk, bishop, ascetic, and preacher against the Albigensian heresy who used to travel his diocese on horseback or on foot bringing food and clothing to the needy and shoring up the faithful. He was so conspicuously holy that he was canonised within 5 years of his death. And he's practically unknown outside of France!



I agree that the kids should know about the Saint they are named after. I heard that back in the day, when a baby was born they were named after the Saint of that day.

Kate - posted on 05/14/2009

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We like unusual names, but we want them to be saint names and have some tradition and heft to them. Plus, my husband has french heritage and french names sound best with our last name. So our sons are Guillame Samuel and Pascal Johannes. Guillame is a form of William, which is my father's name, and Johannes is the name of my (dutch) maternal grandfather, who died when my mom was young. I love that my sons will probably never have the same name as anyone else in the room, but that there is a story to each name more meaningful than just "we liked the sound".

And Guillame, who is 4, already loves to hear stories of his name-saint, St. Guillaume de Bourges, who was a monk, bishop, ascetic, and preacher against the Albigensian heresy who used to travel his diocese on horseback or on foot bringing food and clothing to the needy and shoring up the faithful. He was so conspicuously holy that he was canonised within 5 years of his death. And he's practically unknown outside of France!

Elizabeth - posted on 05/14/2009

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I agree. We have three and we chose these names, Rafe Ozias, Trinity Rose, and Brigid Ann. Their first name are ones we pick out, and the middle are after some one in the family. Yet we hear all the time how we have different names. Although Trinity is becomming a big name! My husband and I look to the Saint to find our rare and different names! :)

Katherine - posted on 04/29/2009

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I love that Frances seems to be back in style! I love the Fennch version of this: Francoise or Francine even France or Marie-France.

Courtney - posted on 04/28/2009

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I was taught that you named your kids after saints....I have Joseph, Michael, and Frances....still lovin our christian names.

Amber - posted on 04/28/2009

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Those are beautiful names. Its also a Mexican tradition: boys are Jose and girls Maria.

Katherine - posted on 04/28/2009

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Elizabeth, Charles, and Madeleine. Because my husband is French, we kept the French tradition of not giving just a middle name, but instead giving several names at baptism (which are all legal names). All girls have Marie (the French of Mary), and all boys have Joseph. Our oldest "Elizabeth" is Marie Élizabeth Dorotheé Ginette, "Charles" is Joseph Charles Michael Louis, and "Madeleine" is Marie Madeleine Anne Marguerite.

Amber - posted on 04/27/2009

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I plan to name my kids after saints. my 4 month old is named after 2 great saints: St. Mark and St. Anthony. my mom always said my patron saints were St. Ambrose and St. Nicholas because my name is Amber Nicole. someone once commented that my parents conversion can be seen in their childrens names: Amber, Adam and then John Paul. What are your kids names?

[deleted account]

I personally LOVE names that are a little out of the ordinary. Traditional names are beautiful in their place, but I grew up surrounded by kids who all had the same name. It's frustrating being the 5th David in your class, you know? That being said, both of my daughters have a Saint's name as their middle name...kind of a blending of the contemporary with the traditional. My 13 year old is Maddison Quinn (St. Quentin) and my 9 year old is Ellery Grace (Our Lady of Grace). When they get confirmed they will each choose a Saint's name of a Saint they truly admired, and I wholly encourage them to research and choose wisely!

Sarah - posted on 04/27/2009

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My oldest sons middle name is Daniel (after his father) and my youngest sons name in Jonathan William (after his grandfathers).

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