I have a question about middle name etiquette.
We had our first son November 2007, and named him Browen Montieth Binkle. The reason his middle name is "Monteith" is because it was my husbands Grandmothers maiden name, which was then passed onto my husbands father as a middle name, which was then passed on to my husband as his middle name. So, we only found it fit to keep the honour and tradition going and use it as our son's middle name. We are soon due with our 2nd son (July 23/10) and we weren't sure if we should give him the same middle name (Monteith) since he is also a "Binkle" boy, or if we should go another route and make his middle name after my father - which would be Michael?
I would LOVE to hear what you think of this particular situation.
Is there family protocol you can follow? That is, does your husband's father have any brothers and/or does your husband have any brothers, and if so, did those brothers get the same middle name?
If there's no precedent to follow, I suggest thinking about the precedent you'll be setting. Of course none of your descendants will HAVE to do it the same way, but with three generations doing it so far, there will be some not-insignificant pressure to continue it. It seems to me that it's best to make the tradition LIGHT, so that no one gets overwhelmed and says "Let's just forget the whole thing!" In which case I recommend making the tradition that the firstborn son gets the middle name Monteith, and that's all.
I like your idea of using another family name as the middle name: that doesn't put any pressure to continue it, especially since it isn't parallel to the other tradition (that is, you're not now going to use the mother's grandmother's maiden name), but it gives each child a significant family-meaning name.
What does everyone else think?