Name history! I LOVE it!

So, I was in Sam’s Club the other say, and I bumped into some old friends of mine…Eileen and Doug.  Now when I say they’re old friends of mine…I mean we go waaaaay back!  I’ve actually known Doug since I was a toddler (maybe even a brand new baby, but I can’t remember that far back), and I’ve known Eileen since we were teenagers…before they were ever married…so it was fun to bump into them in Sam’s Club, you know?

Well, as we were standing in the aisle, Eileen (in her very excited, bright, beautiful, blue, wide-eyed, with super long eyelashes way, announced that she and Doug will soon be grandparents!  Awesome, right?!?!  Anyway, as Eileen and I are jabbering away like Chip ‘n’ Dale about the wonderfulnesses of being Grandmas, I glanced over to see Doug gazing off into space.  He had a smile on his face and it was obvious he was reminiscing about something.

So, I asked, “What are you thinking about, Doug?”

He smiled and said, “When my parents brought Tim home as a baby, Randy and I wanted to name him, Lassie.”

(I’ll pause for some background:  Tim is Doug’s little brother and also the member of Doug’s family that I knew best growing up.  He was the “hot guy” when I was a teenager and had a fabulous sense of humor!  Randy was the brother between Doug and Tim, and he passed away oh, so many years ago…Leukemia, I think…and I still remember how heartbreaking his loss was for everyone who knew him…especially his family…especially Doug.)

But back to the story:  So Doug says, “When my parents brought Tim home, Randy and I wanted to name him, Lassie.”

“How cute is that?!” I responded.

Doug then said, “My parents suggested, ‘How about we name him Timmy, instead?'”

Lassie and TimmyI again made some sappy, yet sincere, exclamation about how I loved that cute story!  I mean, what awesome parents…to let their sons name their little brother, Timmy, after Lassie’s best friend!

The three of us enjoyed a few more moments of pleasant conversation, and we parted ways.  But even though my visit with Doug and Eileen was brief, it stuck with me all day long…and for several reasons:

One reason was that I was just so delighted by the story behind Tim’s name that I giggled and smiled off and on all day about it!

Another reason was because it made me start thinking about how I got my own name, and how Kevin and I decided on the names for our three kids…as well as how our kids have chosen the names for their kids!  I LOVE name history!  I find it fascinating!

In truth, however, the biggest reason Doug’s story about how Tim (almost known as, Lassie) got his name stuck with me, was because of the expression of far off memory and love for his bothers that was on Doug’s face and reflected in his eyes when I glanced to him to see him slightly grinning as he reminisced.  I won’t go into my feelings on the matter…because I’ll start bawling if I think about Doug’s family and their loss of Randy AND Doug’s littlest brother, Sammy, some years later.  Therefore, I’ll just focus on the first two reasons I mentioned the brief, but fun, reunion with Doug and Eileen…NAME HISTORY!!!!

I just LOVE to hear how people got their names!  I read a Facebook post once where a lady was going off at people for naming their daughters Elsa after Frozen hit so big.  I couldn’t believe how critical she was about it, and kept thinking, “What’s the big deal?”  Needless to say, I nearly busted a gut when I read one of the comments:  “We named our son, Scott…because it was the name on the paper towels in the bathroom in the hospital when he was born.”  Excellent!  Ha ha!  I LOVE that!

Anyway, just for fun, I’ll share a couple of Name History things with you:

My name:  My mom wanted to name me Sabra…but my Dad won out, and this is what he wrote to me last week about my name:  “Marcia Shradle…she is the daughter of  a Milking Shorthorn breeder who is long gone now…She sent you a book when you were little. Your mother and I liked the name. Lynn is a name we both liked so both of you girls have the middle name.”

Kindess book inscriptionAnd it’s true!  Marcia (MAR-see-uh, or as I pronounce it, Mar-SEE-uh) DID give me a book…Kindness is a Lot of Things.  It’s a beautiful little book that I treasure to this day!  I can still hear my Mom reading it to me when I was little, little, little…and I really DO think it helped shape who I became…how I think about others and how I value kindness.  I just love this little book, and I don’t think it kindness book pagewas until just a few years ago that I connected the book with the woman who shares my name!  I mean, how cute are the illustrations?  ADORABLE!!!  And the message is priceless, timeless, and I wish every child could’ve grown up with this book and its, simple, but profound message!  I’ve always been thankful for Marcia Shradle for giving me this beautiful book!  I mean, really…how truly kind, right?  Like it could be a page in the book…“Kindness is giving a little baby girl a book that she will love her entire life.”

As far as my middle name, Lynn…boy, oh, boy was it popular in 1965 (even earlier and later)!  Not only is my sister’s middle name, Lynn, as well…but two of my bridesmaids and very best IMG_0001 (7) - CopyBFFs to this day have the same middle name:  Alphabetically by first name, Amy Lynn and Bobbie Lynn!  So actually, in this snapshot from my wedding reception, 4 of the 5 of us share the middle name, Lynn!  AND my BFF Sandy, actually has a daughter with the same middle name, but spelled just a little differently.  My sister-in-law has the middle name, Lynn…Kristi Lynn!  My dear friend, Sheri, is Sheri Lynn!  And the list goes on!

Anyway, that’s the story of my name.  As for my kids’ names:

Marcia and Sandy 1988My daughter, Sandy Ann:  Sandy-named after my BFF (and bridesmaid), Sandy!  Ann-I hadn’t read Anne of Green Gables yet when she was born, or she would’ve had an  “e” on the end of “Ann”…but Kevin just popped out “Ann” on a whim and we loved it!  Everyone called her “Sandy Ann” for years, too!  But as she grew up, and we moved to the Pacific Northwest, it became shortened to, Sandy.  (Although her Aunt Kim still calls her, Sandy Ann, sometimes and I love it!)

Mitch Gaylord



My oldest son, Mitchel Lee:  Mitchel-Kevin and I were married the year Mitch Gaylord was part of the Olympics Men’s Gymnastics Team in 1984.  Then we saw him in a totally rad 80s movie entitled, American Anthem, and decided we liked the name, Mitchel or Mitch.  We spelled it with only one “l” at the end because his middle name is “Lee” and we thought three “l”s in a row looked weird when it was written out (not that he ever has written his full name, Mitchel Lee Meyers very often throughout his life, but still).  His middle name, Lee, is after…you got it, Robert E. Lee…a little family history thrown in because of Kevin’s southern birthplace and upbringing!

Trent Dimas1


My youngest son, Trent Adair:  Trent-The first few months we were married, I worked for a dentist as a receptionist.  One of our patients was a boy named, Trent Dimas. (He had really nice teeth!)  Ten years later, Trent Dimas won an Olympic Gold Medal on the high bar in men’s gymnastics.  Thus, Kevin suggested we name our second son after an Olympic medalist like we had our first (and I even KNEW this one)…and we both loved the name, Trent!  Adair was my contribution…being an ancestral name in my family…Sarah Ann Adair, Sarah Ann Adairmy maternal 3-greats grandmother, who was a baby when her mother was trudging along the gruesome Cherokee Trail of Tears.  So Trent’s middle name is very meaningful to my own family history.

Okay, I could go on and on and on about name history…but I know this blog is already 853 times longer than most blogs…so I’ll get to the contest stuff now!  FUN!

First, my last blog contest for the Georgette Heyer books had 5 winners (3 books each) and it was STILL hard for me to choose the winners!  Ugh!  Here are the 5 winners:  Jennifer H., Darlene W., Alysa L., Karen C., and Kelsie N.  I e-mailed all you winners and most of you have books on the way, but I haven’t received Kelsie N.’s shipping address yet…so if you’re out there, Kelsie N….e-mail me at so I can get your books shipped off to you, okay?

Our TreeAs for this week’s contest…yep!  You guessed it!  Post a comment here (preferably), or on Facebook, Goodreads or via e-mail at telling me the story of how you came to own YOUR name!  If you don’t have a story, make one up (and be sure to tell me you’re making it up)!  Either way, I’ll choose 2 winners next time I blog, to receive copies of this darling little children’s book I recently discovered:  Our Tree Named Steve!  It’s adorable!  A little bittersweet, but adorable!!!!  And I love the way the tree got his name, Steve!

Comment away, because I can’t wait to hear your name histories!  ESPECIALLY if you’re named after paper towels in the hospital bathroom or something!



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16 Responses to Name history! I LOVE it!

  1. Luanna says:

    What a fun post!!!

  2. Janette Skidmore says:

    I come from a large pack of kids!! JK, I love being from one of 11 kids. There are only 3 girls in that bunch. My poor mother! I am the only one that has a middle name. It is Marie. My mother and several grandmothers, great grandmothers, etc have that as a middle name as well. As for my first name, I truly do not know where my parents got it. I honestly (whenever I think about it), envision a French maid scandalously dressed with a feather duster! Definitely not what my parents would have been thinking!

  3. Katie Burt says:

    My mother wanted to name me Betsy for the Betsy Tacie books she loved as a kid. My dad grew up on a dairy and said Betsy is a cow name. His daughter would not be named after a cow. The settled on Kathryn. I’m not sure why but, knowing my parents, they probably thought it sounded pretty and professional. Everyone calls me Katie, unless I’m in trouble.

  4. Melody says:

    I was the second hardest kid for my parents to name. Mostly because they thought I was going to be a boy. My mom had had two girls in a row and then two boys in a row. Then a girl. Years later my mom had my older brother. She just thought here’s the pattern again. I will have two boys then two girls, and a boy as she always wanted ten kids.
    But no, I was a girl! She did not want to be named Benjamin Stephen, and so she just said she looked at me and held me and they tried literally every name in the book. My dad really wanted to name me Fiona. Gag! Luckily my mom thought the same thing. She said I looked at my sweet new baby girl and thought no way. Then my dad said how about Melody? She tried the name out and said she loved it. Then she said to me dad okay now for a middle name and he was like oh no we have to go through this again??? My mom didn’t have a middle name and always wanted one. So they started the process again but this time my dad had an idea. Why not joy from the scripture 2 nephi 2:25. “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” That way no matter what happens to us in life, whatever hardships come, in the midst of it all, we will always have joy. He explained.
    My mom tried the name out, Melody Joy. And loved it. Makes me feel all sorts of emotional as I write out this probably too long story!
    But losing my mom a few years back makes me all the more appreciative of this story she always told with such love she had for me. She wanted my name to be perfect.
    To this day my dad calls me Joy. He never had called me Melody. He’s the only one allowed to, just the way I like it.
    BTW, my mom went on to have two boys after me. She was ready with girls names for my younger brother. Instead he was named Benjamin Stephen. And she lost the 10th baby, coming one kid shy of her goal of ten.
    I remained her baby girl. A position I loved, along with a name I absolutely adore!! And a great name story. 🙂 I too, love a story behind a name.

  5. Jennifer H says:

    I don’t know precisely how I got my name, but I remember looking at my Dad’s photo slides from his mission to the Philippines and I always thought it was really funny that one of them is a picture of this little mini bus with a sign on it that says “Jennifer” so that’s a fun childhood memory.
    And my middle name just so happens to be Lynn also… I have lost count how many Jennifer Lynn’s I have met in my life, but it has been so many that I literally can not remember how many anymore!
    My kids all have a story as to how we came up with their names, they are pretty special, but too long to write here. I am going to have to make sure I have them written down for them so some day when they want to know, I can show them.
    Huh, maybe I should ask my parent’s if they have a story for my name… ideas!! 😉

  6. Tracy says:

    My twin sister and I were both suppose to be boys named after great uncles that were war heroes. My sister was was going to be Stacy Lamar and I was to be named Tracy Grant. Imagine the shock when we were both girls. My parents decided that Stacy and Tracy worked for boys or girls so they kept the first names and added new middle names that were more girlie. My sister became Stacy Fay and My name became Tracy May. We were child 7 and 8 of ten children.

  7. Michelle Z says:

    I was the last out of 7 so Mom literally went with the only names she had left (There were five of us girls). When we had our first we new his middle name would be Allen because it is a family name on my husbands side. We had to decide on a first name faster than we had planned because he decided to arrive 3 months early! I wanted to name him Everett after my husbands grandfather who had recently passed, but my husband wanted Luke. He had always liked the name. We went with Luke and the Star Wars quotes haven’t stopped 13 years later! My daughter’s name is a little more poignant. My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer while I was pregnant. We chose to giver her a middle name after her grandmothers, Janis and Arline. So we named her Kyra Janine.She iis the best of them both!

  8. JAN SMITH says:

    I will tell you about my Son , Bart, and how we decided on his name. He was adorable lil guy and at the time we thought of a famous football star who had an awesome name. this guy was none other than “Bart Star” who played quarterback for the greenbay packers. So , then my son was named Bart Trenton.

  9. Misti says:

    My parents were artists and named me Misti Dawn (picturesque right?). I always hated my name and would complain –until one day my Dad told me that I needed to be thankful I wasn’t a boy because if I had been he would have named me Foggy Morning!

  10. Kachina says:

    Hey Marcia!
    So fun stories left and right.
    My grandmother was going to call my dad Joshua but my grandfather didn’t like it, when he got up to gave my dad a name & a blessing my grandfather just called him “J.” My grandmother was fuming, haha (but I would be too).
    My grandfather on my mothers side served a mission among multiple Native American tribes (Zuni, Navajo, Apache, etc.) and even was adopted into the Apache…so my family has a respect for Indian culture. My parents ran across the name Kachina (although Hopi; Navajo, Apache, & other tribes have Kachinas too) and they thought it was pretty. It is kind of funny, it is namely considered a girls name even though only men were allowed to dress up as the sacred dancers/messengers of god. My middle name, Marie, was my paternal grandmother’s middle name and I adore it because of that reason alone (that and my dad used to sing “Maria” from West Side Story to me despite the slight difference).
    My little sister Audra will never live down her name. My mom just really liked the name but my dad would always tease my mom that she named my sister “after that blonde bimbo on Happy Valley” lol. Do you know the one? Audra’s nickname has place among old tv as well. At first her nickname was Audi, but then that reminded us of the war hero and movie star Audie Murphy. So…my sister has the awesome nickname of Murphy, which tends to confuse everyone too.
    I just about died at the beginning of this blog when you said your mother wanted to name you Sabra because that was almost my other sister’s name. My mom originally wanted to call her Hannah because its cute and is a family name, but baby name almanacs for the year my sister was born were slating Hannah to be the #1 girls name. My mother just would NOT have one of her daughters suffering from not knowing who the teacher was talking to just because someone else had the same name. (This was not a problem though in a community where strange names can reside safely; for instance, a girl in one of my sisters’ classes was born into the Davids family and her parents decided to name her Harley…Harley Davids, not Harley Davidson but still.) Two days out and my sister still didn’t have a name. My mom ran across the name Sabra, in the end she wasn’t completely in love with it so she tweaked it to Sadra.
    Now you know a little too much about my family I’m sure. 😀

  11. Amy says:

    My mom had a list of names that she made as a teenager and Amy was on there. My dad liked the name too. My middle name is Lynn and that is my dads middle name. My parents were going to do Amylynn but my mom didn’t like the way it looked. The funny thing is most of my family calls me Amy Lynn.

  12. Anita Wears says:

    My mom’s grandmother didn’t like her middle name and had it changed to Anita. She had dream when mom was pregnant with me, and said I saw her, she has black eyes and black hair and said I was beautiful. She died in her 50’s of heart disease when I was just a few months old and the last thing she said to my mom was I never got my good out of that black haired, blacked eyed girl <3 This has always made me feel I was special to her and God. I believe it was truly meant to be that she changed her name, my mom named me after her and that she dreamed about me. With my first name Anita and my middle name Diane it means Grace divine. I believe it was a divine thing that she would change her name just for me and that's what I truly feel, that is was meant to be 🙂

  13. Marilee Bird says:

    I was born 3 months early. I weighed 2 lbs 11 oz and then went down to 1lb 10oz. My parents didn’t think I would survive. They even had a casket picked out for me. They named me Marilee because it was the closest to the word miracle that they could come up with. I have always loved that story and since I am now 47, I guess you can say I am a fighter.
    My son was named Trevin, after his dad had a dream before he was born that we had a son and named him Trevin.
    I have twin boys one named Kellan (my husband and I liked the name after a boy in one of my husbands classes had it) and one named Kyler. We thought we were going to have a girl for sure and had the name Ashlyn picked out. When we found out it was twin boys that we were having it took us awhile to find a name we liked. My husband finally found the name Kyler in a name book and it meant Archer. I loved it immediately.
    My daughter arrived 7 years after my twins and was a miracle, but we knew we finally had our “Ashlyn” that we were sure we were having 7 years previously.
    Names are awesome things!! 🙂

  14. Nichelle says:

    My first name is Nichelle. Here’s the story for that I was given by my parents. I was originally meant to be born in December, so my parents were considering naming me Noelle in honor of that season. However, I ended up popping out a month early! (Mom said I had a really big head so it was good I came out early or I wouldn’t have fit…) So Noelle no longer had the same significance. They considered several other names, including Michelle, but wanted something unique so took the “N” from Noelle and stuck it on instead of the M. Thus “Nichelle” was created.

    My middle name is Ann, and it was after my grandmother. My grandparents on my father’s side were both killed in a car accident when he was 6, and he was left orphaned. That was their tribute to my dad’s parents.

    My mom’s name is rather interesting. Her name is Trelene. (Pronounced Tray-lean) My grandma apparently had a dream of a tree leaning to the side. Tree lean. It then became Trelene.

    Since I always grew up with and around unique names in my family, it made me into a name collector. All kinds of interesting or fun names I like, for example Aria, Saskia, Jax, Giulia, Matisse (after the artist, but it makes a lovely girls’ name!) Brandt (After Rembrandt!) Arlo, Valerian, Eira (means Snow in another language)… things like that. I keep lists of names! My husband however? Hopes we have a little girl so he can name her Talya. After a woman in a Batman comic. I told him if the name fits, we’ll do it. So there it is.

  15. Lori A. says:

    You pronounce your name Mar SEE uh? I’ve been calling you Marsha all these years! Good to know ?

  16. Lori A. says:

    I meant to say…Good to know!

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