Breaking Tradition on Family Name — The Bump
November 2015 Moms

Breaking Tradition on Family Name

My husband and I are not finding out our baby's gender, but for over 15 generations, his side has had alternating family names (baby is named after grandfather). If we have a boy, his name would be Lewis Aubrey.

I'm not totally sold on the name, but how do we break a tradition, that ultimately insults my FIL? I kind of hate that I have no say in it, but my husband doesn't want to offend or break tradition.

Thoughts? Help!

Re: Breaking Tradition on Family Name

  • mmk29mmk29 member
    This is a conversation to have with your husband. You need to find out exactly how he feels on the topic and why. My husband is a third, personally I HATE continuing those traditions. I want my child to have their own identity. I ultimately left it up to him, because it may have been important to him. Find out if your husband truly does not like the name and doesn't want to hurt someone, or if he really may want the name because it's important to him and he doesn't want to hurt you. Once you have his honest opinion it may be easier to work through. If he also hates the idea, it's your child and the two of you should name your children whatever you want. People will come around. If he actually wants it, you'll have to come to an arrangement that makes you both happy.
    manda816thefithuntress
  • I think if you're going to break tradition like that, your DH needs to be completely on board with it, or it could lead to resentment. Also, he should be the one to defend that decision to his own family, so he needs to actually feel that way.
    urby87thefithuntressbbiutmcph
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  • It's not a bad name but you do not have to go with it especially if you don't love it. You could chose a different name entirely or use one of the names as middle or first name.
  • Could you suggest a compromise?  For my husband and I that compromise is that he names the boy, I name the girl... but we both have veto power if the name is truly not going to work for you.  The reasoning behind veto power is... this is the name you are going to call your child forever.  If Lewis Aubrey doesn't work for you... is there a variation that might?  Or could you name a boy FIRST-NAME Lewis Aubrey? I'm terrified of all the compromises that come with parenting.. but as long as you are both committed to finding the way together it will be the perfect name in the end.
  • ash413ash413 member
    I personal hate name traditions like that, but you need to talk to your DH. If he is just wanting to do it for the sake of tradition or not to upset people, then maybe you can compromise. Perhaps make Lewis the middle name but choose a new first name.
    My MIL want us to name our LO after family, but I told her no because I want a name I like and I want him to have is own individual name (not be a Jr or third)
    magnolia0212
  • H's family has the same tradition, but with Dale and Richard. Personally I can't stand dale for a child, and my little boy will not be Richie or Dick. Our compromise was to pick a first name that was something we both liked, and middle name is Richard.


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  • At least his names not Leathel... I'm not even joking that's my grandpa, real dad, and little brothers name... It's pronounced lethal.. My mom didn't want to change tradition.. My brother goes by Lee or Bubba now but he has grown to not let his name bother him... But if it bothers you.. You should definitely have a conversation with your husband... But Lewis is actually not a bad name.. But if it bothers you just talk to him like PPs have said..
  • My family name tradition was the first born girl got two middle names... My married last name is 12 letters long, the tradition ended with my daughter because I cannot stand spelling out my entire name (two middle names included) with my new last name.
    I explained to my family that it just didn't work with our long last name so we were sticking to a shorter first name and only one middle name. We did keep her middle name one of my middle names as it was a family name.
    With that being said, I agree with above posters, you really need to discuss with your dh and find out where he stands on this, and it should be him to tell the family if you decide to break the tradition.
  • I agree with PPs to make sure DH is on board with breaking tradition.
    I like the idea of using the family name as 2 middle names or maybe just keep the initials LA.
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  • Dh definitely needs to be completely on board with breaking the tradition. I personally LOVE traditions like that because i feel the name comes with a story and is special for having a story but its not everyones cup of tea. But before i married DH we discussed it and ot was absolutely clear that he will not break that tradition. So i always knew our boy's first name will be George and he will go by his middle name that we are free to choose. Its very hard to break a tradition like that esp if it spans multiple generations. Did he ever indicate to you his position on this? Frankly if its wxtremely inportant to him i wouldnt go against him in that. You can always come with a nickname that you LO will go by to you and DH

    elbouPeony1982
  • I like what @abraleesy suggested and offer to name baby the first name of your choice and then "Lewis Aubrey".

    We have a tradition on my side of the family that the first born son has the middle name "Dirk". It's literally been going on since the late 1700's and we have really cool original documents with our family history and these old paintings that get handed down to each "dirk". My grandfather passed last year so my father has them now. My brother will eventually inherit them. I think it's a neat tradition but I don't think my mom would have enjoyed naming my brother Dirk as a first name.

    Maybe bring up using the names as the middle names and see how that goes over?
    YCSWU
    abraleesy
  • I agree. Really you need to talk to your husband. You have to really understand where he stands on this. If we have a boy we're probably going to be using a family middle name. It's not one I'm thrilled with, but it's important to DH. So middle name DeLynn, here we go.
    mmk29thefithuntress
  • Bit of a lurker here, but we have a similar situation so I thought I'd chime in. :) I wanted to break DH's family's generational name--and really my DH would also like to, but knows he'd regret hurting his dad and grandpa--so we're going with it. As other posters have said, I recommend talking to your DH about it in depth and asking him his true feelings on the matter. If it's important to him, I would take one for the team, as hard as it is.
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  • jscasherjscasher member
    edited June 2015
    My best friend named her son Mark Kevin the III, but they call him Trace because he's the third. It's a cute compromise and still carries the tradition officially. Her husband goes by Kevin. So you CAN make it work. But like the PP's said talk to your DH!
    kmkrushi
  • elbouelbou member
    olga1311 said:
    Dh definitely needs to be completely on board with breaking the tradition. I personally LOVE traditions like that because i feel the name comes with a story and is special for having a story but its not everyones cup of tea. But before i married DH we discussed it and ot was absolutely clear that he will not break that tradition. So i always knew our boy's first name will be George and he will go by his middle name that we are free to choose. Its very hard to break a tradition like that esp if it spans multiple generations. Did he ever indicate to you his position on this? Frankly if its wxtremely inportant to him i wouldnt go against him in that. You can always come with a nickname that you LO will go by to you and DH

    My husbands family has a tradition like this as well, which goes back 7 generations (that I know of). I don't remember if MH had strong feelings about it or not, but even though it wasn't a name I love, I was excited when we had our son that we would be able to carry on the tradition. DS shares his first name with his dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa. (They all go by their middle names to differentiate who you're talking to!) We have a photograph of the 4 of them on DS's first or second Father's Day, and I just love it.

    With that tradition, we are free to pick whatever middle name we like. I see some other posters have suggested you use the name in question as a middle name, and add your own first name, but I just wanted to throw it out there that you might also be able to do the opposite: i.e. Lewis Aubrey - middle name of your choosing. It might go over a little better if YH family objects to a new first name. GL!


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  • kwaldykwaldy member
    My husband's family tradition is that every first born boy has the first name robert with different middle names. I hate it and thank god DH hates it too and wants his son to have his own identity.
  • kwaldy said:

    My husband's family tradition is that every first born boy has the first name robert with different middle names. I hate it and thank god DH hates it too and wants his son to have his own identity.

    My step dads family is the same except their names are Paul with a different middle name.. Except family reunions are fun lol you yell "Paul" and everybody looks lol
    kwaldyelbou
  • My bf's family all the first born sons are William.  We're splitting the difference and naming our son (If we have one.  We won't know until the 17th.)  William, but calling him Liam. 
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  • kwaldykwaldy member

    kwaldy said:

    My husband's family tradition is that every first born boy has the first name robert with different middle names. I hate it and thank god DH hates it too and wants his son to have his own identity.

    My step dads family is the same except their names are Paul with a different middle name.. Except family reunions are fun lol you yell "Paul" and everybody looks lol
    This cracked me up... I haven't tried that one yet. I must do it now, lol.
    oorl11052015elbou
  • kwaldy said:

    kwaldy said:

    My husband's family tradition is that every first born boy has the first name robert with different middle names. I hate it and thank god DH hates it too and wants his son to have his own identity.

    My step dads family is the same except their names are Paul with a different middle name.. Except family reunions are fun lol you yell "Paul" and everybody looks lol
    This cracked me up... I haven't tried that one yet. I must do it now, lol.
    It's pretty funny lol they go by middle names until they are older but my little brother doesn't answer by Paul he goes by his middle name but he's actually the one who came up with it lol
    elbou
  • My husband comes from a long line of " James Brown's". Thank god for the 60's and "Hot pants" because my husband was teased in middle school and now has No desire to continue the tradition. Crisis averted!
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