What do you and your readers think of re-using or repeating a name within a generation? We, and DH's siblings and parents strongly prefer what I'll call classic names (others would call boring). When we discuss baby names, DH will suggest names of our nephews. Now, the cousins would be pretty far apart in age (specifically, 17 years apart) and live in different (but neighboring states). We see them several times a year, and in fact, the father of the nephew (our child's uncle in this case) is the godfather of our other children. Last name would be the same too. I say, no way. DH sees no problem. ??? (This is actually getting close to being one of those ridiculous recurring fights in our marriage like your recent post on your other blog. It doesn't get me to 11 yet, but man, it will soon!)
Related, but different issue, DH keeps throwing his father's name out there as an option. We already have a son, whom we did not name after his father (or any family member for his first name, although it is the name of one of DH's uncles, but come on, large catholic family, it was bound to be somebody's name!). DS, DH, and DH's father all have the same middle name, a family name, it was maiden name of DH's great great or great great great grandmother or something. I think it seems weird to use his dad's name for a second son, and I wouldn't want to use the middle name again, so then he's not a Jr or the second (whatever it would be anyway), he's just another _____.
In answer to the first question, I don't mind repeating names within a generation, as long as everyone's okay with it (that is, as long as it's not going to lead to silly feuds about someone "stealing" someone else's name). I think even in groups that see each other frequently, the confusion is minimal/negligible and can even lead to fun in-jokes and nicknames, and to additional bonding between the people sharing a name.
But this seems to me like the kind of issue where it doesn't matter one bit what _I_ think: if it bothers you to name your children the same names as your nephews, those names should be out of the running.
In answer to your second question, I think there are ways in which it's BETTER to give an important namesake name to a non-firstborn child. For example, a friend of mine had twin boys in a family where passing on the father's first name was a tradition---so she gave the father's name to the secondborn twin. That way they each had something: one was the firstborn, one had the family name.
And although we feel it to be the case, the firstborn child isn't any more special or important than the other children. I think the reason it feels that way with names is that it shows that you used the name at the very first opportunity---but that doesn't mean using it later on is meaningless or silly, and I like the way it decreases the "firstborn takes all" feeling.
But again, this is a situation where it doesn't matter what I think about it: if it bothers you, the name should be out. One parent can certainly try to talk the other parent around, and can even try it a few times---but if the other parent continues to be opposed, the issue should be over.
Nevertheless, it is fun to discuss. So what does everyone else think about the two questions? How do you feel about duplicating a name within a generation? And how do you feel about using a namesake name for a non-firstborn child? And polls are fun, too, so let's put two polls over to the right. [Polls closed; see results below.]