Family names...cuz you know I love 'em!

I talk about names quite a bit in this blog, just because it's such an important part of family history. Names can actually be quite useful hints when you're researching a tree or branch - it can tell you where a person came from, it can tell you what a parent or grandparent was named, if the child was named after a family member, the repetition of a name can tell you you're on the right track when you're trying to narrow down potential relatives.

So now that I'm expecting my first child, names are again foremost in my mind. My family, especially the Gorry side, is very into name traditions, and I am the prime example, as I cannot even tell you what # Mary Ellen Gorry I am in a long line of them. While in one regard my name lacks originality, I love that it makes me feel more connected to this line of women who came before me - I definitely feel like a part of an important chain, and it definitely makes them feel more real to me. But aside from the name Mary Ellen, Mary and Ellen/Helen are important names that crop up by themselves in every generation of my family - my Aunt Ellen, my grandmother Mary (Elizabeth Cronin Raynor), my grandmother Helen (Meta Stutzmann Gorry), my great-grandmothers Ellen (Marie Casey Cronin) and Helen (Meta Haase Stutzmann), and my great-great grandmothers Ellen (Prendergast Tormey) and Mary (Agnes Enright Casey). Even my mother's middle name was Mary. And not to mention my aunt, my great-grandmother, my great-great grandmother, and my 3rd great grandmother who are all named Mary Ellen Gorry.

So, naming traditions are important to me. But equally as important is the cultural and ethnic background that my fiance brings to the table - both his parents were born in Honduras, and they speak Spanish. I would love my daughter to be bilingual, and am encouraging that side of the family to speak Spanish to her. And so I would also like something about her name to reflect her Latina heritage - her father's last name, even though it comes from Honduras, is very Anglo sounding, since it actually comes down from his Scottish ancestor, so it will have to be reflected in her first/middle name. So the trick is to meld my family name traditions with his Latin roots, and so far I think we've done a good job mixing the two together...but for now how we've done it will remain a secret! :)