As parents begin a family, they are faced with the dilemma of naming their children. This was especially difficult for my mom and dad as there were ten of us to name.
Some folks name their children after celebrities. Some name them after their favorite religious leaders. Some name them for characters in the Bible. Some folks want to be different and name their children outlandish names, such as Elvis, or after some Norse god or goddess. Some even go so far as to name their children after great military leaders. Could you imagine going through life with the first name Eisenhower or MacArthur? Stranger things have happened.
Before the Second World War, many Germans named their children after the Fuhrer, Adolph Hitler. I bet there were many red faces after he was brought to his final destination. A sure sign of being a follower of Hitler would have been the name Adolph after the war.
Male children born in America during World War Two ended up with the handles of Roosevelt, Truman, Dwight, Douglas, Patton, Bradley and a conglomeration of other names. Female children were blessed with the names of Eleanor, Mamie, Amelia, Ruby (for Ruby Bradley) or some other military leaderís wife. All wars have produced names for children as leaders gained prominence for acts of military bravado. Throughout history there have been many children named for presidents, presidentís wives, and such.
The first child in our family was a boy and was delivered by a midwife. I believe it was mom who decided to name him for her brother Raleigh. It is not known where the middle name of Donald came from. She may have seen it in a Grit magazine as she was a constant reader of the serials that ran in that particular magazine. The second child was a girl and she was named Frances Maxine, source unknown. Next came Lula Evelyn, she was named for Grandma Lula Davis Addison and Grandma Evelyn McGlothlin Shortt. A boy came next, and fortunately, or unfortunately, Wendell Wilkie was running for president against Franklin D. Roosevelt, thus Wendell got his first name there and for a second name, Edward after my father. I was next and I was delivered by the same midwife, Fawn Chambers, who delivered most of us Shortt children. She was given the honor of naming me so she chose the first names of both my grandfathers and named me Frank (who was an Addison) Jefferson (who was a Shortt) I must say that I only used a middle initial when signing any documents as time went on. The next child, a girl was named for two local cousins Ruth and Anne, thus Ruthanne. By the time the next boy came along, Fawn Chambers had run out of names for neighborhood children, so she took the first and middle initial of my father and named him simply E L. He ended up being known as El. He had a rough time in school as no one knew what E L meant. He was a source of much contemplation! Then came a girl, probably named for a movie star, Carol somebody, and using Dadís middle name, Lee, thus, Carol Lee! For the next boy, Robert was not a good name for him, so mom named him Bobby Allen, yes, his name is Bobby! Mom must have liked the poem about Lord Randall my son, so she named our youngest brother Randall and his middle name is Charles after an long line of Charles Shortt down through the years. In fact, Shortt Gap Virginia where we were all born and raised was named after my great, great, grandfather, Charles Shortt who owned most of the land around that area at one time.
As Johnny Cash once sang, you can call me Bill, or Fred, or Mike, or any other name, but donít call me Sue! I have decided that you can call me anything just as long as you donít call me late for dinner!
Parents, please be careful in choosing a name for your child and keep in mind that the poor thing will suffer the consequences of being named anything out of the ordinary!