I need help. My son was born 3 months ago. His name is William George Karsten V. We are calling him Will or William. My husband is the 4th and goes by Bill. Neither of us felt strongly about the name, just didn't think of anything else and decided it would be nice to carry on. He was born on May 9, 2010. This was a nice date because it was mother's day and also my paternal grandfather's birthday. His name was Fagan Smith and he passed away 16 years ago. My father's middle name is Fagan. He had only daughters . From the first week I came home from the hospital I have wanted to add Fagan to Will's name making it William George Fagan Karsten. This would honor both my husband's father who is the 3rd and still living and my grandfather with whom Will shares a birthday. But...it would take away the honor of being the V. I don't want to hurt my father in law's feelings. I just really would love to honor my grandfather that way. He would still have the whole name, just a little extra. Add to this the fact that my husband's parents divorced when he was a toddler. We have wonderful relationships with both his mother's and father's families and mine too. Should I add Fagan as a second middle name? I have thought about it so much it's all muddled! I kind of think I would also like Will to have something that distinguishes him from the others with his name.
Thank you for your help! I need to move on and spend my time loving this sweet baby boy!!!!
I think you should leave his name as it is. Adding Fagan would remove the V---and while I wish families wouldn't start naming traditions like this, once they HAVE, and once you've agreed to do it, I think messing with it will cause problems. And particularly if you change it now, after the child has already been named and everyone has breathed a sigh of relief that the tradition has been continued.
While it would be nice to honor your grandfather, he is not alive to receive the honor, and the name is not a strong tradition in your family: it's your father's MIDDLE name, and you haven't mentioned any tradition of passing it down. And as a name to be passed down, it's an awkward one for a boy. If you have more children, you can honor a name (or even two names) from your side of the family then---and in fact Fagan might work better for a girl, reminiscent of both Fay and Maegan. Smith, too, would make a good first name for a boy, and would honor that whole branch of your family.
It may help to remember that although naming a child after a relative IS an honor, it's not the only way to honor someone you love---and it doesn't convey DIShonor to NOT use a name. It would have been fun to use the coincidence of your son being born on your grandfather's birthday, but it's also fun just that he WAS born on the birthday, even if you don't commemorate that by using your grandfather's name. It's common to have some Namer's Uncertainty after a baby is born, but you have given your son a wonderful solid name that will serve him well his whole life as well as pleasing your husband's family. My advice is to leave it.