Friday, October 3, 2008

What's in a Name?

Many people ask me where I came up with the name Anderson. Many people also try to clarify "first name" when I answer "Anderson." I explain, "No, the first name IS Anderson. Last name, King." Then I remind myself I will be dealing with this for the rest of his life. So will he. I know Anderson is a last name, but now it's a first name. And I LOVE the name.

It came to me in a dream. I was about 20 weeks pregnant, and Harley and I could not agree on names. In my dream I had a boy, we named him Anderson, and I loved the name. I knew I was dreaming, and I kept telling myself, "Remember this name when you wake up." I woke up and couldn't remember the name. I sat in bed for few minutes and then it hit me: Anderson! Immediately, I thought of this guy.

(Yep, he's so dead sexy, he gets TWO pictures on my blog.)

Anderson Cooper was the only Anderson I knew. I thought about it. I like the journalist and all his 360 ways, but I didn't necessarily want to name my child after him. It would be a little shout out to my (former) profession, which could be cool, but I wasn't convinced. I decided to see what Harley thought.

Harley liked it, but he didn't love it. Next was my Mom. She loved it. After that most people I talked to liked it. At least that's what they told me. And everyone had the same initial reaction: "Like Anderson Cooper?" The name continued to grow on me until I loved it, and Harley grew to like it enough to commit to it. First name Anderson. Middle name James (after Harley's dad). Anderson James King. After all, it is a strong name.

We had a few hesitations, mainly fear people would shorten Anderson to Andy or A.J. I also wished the name had a family connection. I love it when a maiden name can become a first name. Weiler doesn't really work that way. In the end, we loved the name enough to keep it, even though there was no Anderson on either family line...


A few weeks ago my Grandpa (who wasn't such a fan of the name Anderson... but really, can he talk? His name is Queed!) sent me a letter, a family history and a family tree showing there is an ANDERSEN in our ancestry! Yes, the spelling is off by one letter, but it sounds the same, right? It gets better. There is also an ANDERS in the family, and Anders is one of Anderson's nicknames. (Another is Anderson Pooper... after the anchor and well, you know.)

If you go back six generations you find Karen Andersen. Her father (seven generations) was Anders Andersen. He married Inger Andersen. (I know. It's getting a little complicated, so we'll stop here, but I wanted to point out an Andersen marrying an Andersen. Common name right? Common to marry someone with your same name back in those days... right? I hope so. It was an arranged marriage. Hmmmm, I hope they were distantly related. Otherwise, this could explain so much... ) Inger and Anders had four children, including one son whom they named Anders Andersen (junior, I guess). He died of scarlet fever when he was four years old. So we have TWO Anders Andersens in the family! Now back to their daughter Karen Andersen. If you follow her line long enough you reach OUR Anderson!

Confused yet? Still reading if you're not related to me? For posterity sake here is the breakdown:

Anders Andersen
Karen Andersen Holmgren
Nancy Hansen Holmgren
Octavo Holmgren Weiler
Queed Holmgren Weiler
Michael Reid Weiler
Wendy Weiler King
Anderson James King

Any resemblance?



So there you have it. Anderson is named after his great-great-great-great-great Grandpa. We can say Anderson IS a family name (even though we spell it differently... and we didn't know this when we named him). This also means Great-Grandpa Queed can finally come to terms with and use Anderson's name. In his letter he wrote "So I've decided that Anders is a very suitable nickname for my first great grandson. I repent!" Thanks Grandpa!


P.S. I thought we were being so original with Anderson's name. Then I talked to Amber Diva who was pregnant with me, and she said they were going to name their baby Andersen. It's a family name for her, AND she knew about it ahead of time. Amber ended up having a darling little girl, but we still get a good laugh out of that one. Hey Amber... maybe WE'RE related! Do your Andersens hail from Denmark? The connections continue. Amber's maiden name is King! Oh and she married a Snow, which is now my sister's married name. Amber may name a future baby Andersen, which I think is great -- clearly we are meant to share names!


Claudia said...

I love naming stories! It is so fun to find out how people came up with the names of their children. I love even more that you have an after-the-fact family name! Good for you, what a great story.

Joe said...

Well, I guess Queed is up for grabs then. Do you mind?

Also, did you know about Octavo before you named Anderson? That might have given "Anderson" a run for its money. My family name bank isn't nearly as rich, except for my great great grandpa Cyril Methodius Plicka. Slavic Catholics all the way baby.

Codi said...

I love family names. I love the name Anderson. It is a my mom's maiden name. Years ago I found out that the actress Andy Mcdowell's name is Anderson and I like it for a girl or a boy. So long story short Anderson is a great name and that it is family makes it even better! I am always asked if Iris and Willa are my grandma's names. I wish, but then we would have Edna and Hilda!

Julie Broadbent said...

For the record, I love the name Anderson. And, I totally feel for you! I get the "Is that his first name?" thing all the time. But we are not the only ones to use Smith as a first name either. Nate's Grandpa is Smith Broadbent. Yeah for family names.

Ali Snow said...

Wow - that was confusing, but cool. A guess that's a shout out to genelogy work.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason Anderson Cooper is so sexy: he's gay, you know.

Sarah S said...

cool story!! how neat that there IS a family connection after all.

Ming said...

You gotta love "anonymous'" remark. Who are you? anonymous peeps bug.

Anyway, so fabulous that it's a family name after all. Do you wish now you would've spelled it en?

Did you know that last names that end in en are from Sweden and on is from Norway? Although you mentioned yours are from Denmark, so I don't know where that fits in. But we have Peterson's and Gabrielsen's on my mom's side and the Peterson's (on) are from Norway and the Gabrielsen's (en) are from Sweden...or is it the other way around? No, I think that's right. Anyway, not that you care so much, I just think it's interesting how spelling it en or on means such different things. Genealogy is pretty awesome.

Ryan and Cheryl Harris said...

Gramps is so funny. You gotta love the Quizzle. Who knew? Cool story and Anders is so cute in that pic. I can't wait to babysit him at work on Friday while you get your massage!!

becky said...

I love it -- you're amazing.

And Mr. Cooper is dead sexy (gay or no). And with your kid's awesome genes, he sure to be at least that awesome!

Lauren said...

I LOVE the name Anderson, All of my sisters have had it in the back of their minds as a first name since it is our maiden name. I agree that it is Strong sounding. I love it.

anna banana said...

Fun history, you know I have an Anders Andersen in my genealogy as well, but I think that happens a lot when you are from Denmark. Christensen and Rasmussen hail from there...maybe we are related! :)

Joshua said...

When we were pregnant with Theo I kept the name a complete secret from everyone but Claudia. I didn't want anyone second guessing my choices. Funny thing is that we needed to call him something so we picked "Gustav" as a funny name to call him until he was born and got another name. Claudia's mom found out that their is a real Gustav in Claudia's family tree. Thankfully, neither one of us ever became attached to the name.

lys said...

It had to be inspired if it came to you in a dream. That is so incredible. What a wonderful story. I think I'll start searching my family history for a Britain & a Stratton.

Amanda said...

Wendy, I love reading your blog, you always have such fun stories and interesting things to say =). plus, pics of anderson are always fun to look at!

Also, I tagged you! check out my blog to find out more =).

p.s. you're great!

Kelly Durham said...

I need to hire Grandpa Queed to find a Piper in our line. We get questioned about that name FAR too often to have "we liked it" as our answer. "She's named after my great, great, great, great grandmother who invented sliced bread" would sound WAY better. I might just start saying that anyway. Who cares if it's not true?

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

Amber Snow said...

I had no idea your sister is a Snow now. This name sharing thing is starting to get a little out of control! That's so great that yall found family heritage in the "Anderson" name...even if it is technically "Andersen". That was one thing we were definitely going to struggle with - the spelling with the "en" . . . the whole point was it was a family name but the kid would have his name misspelled for life!

Anderson James King is such a great name. I'm so glad yall used it. It's funny how we were all about "Andersen" and then having a girl we chose Sydney which has hardly any family connection (Sydney has a Great Great Great Grandfather Sidney and Stephen's hoopty car in college which caught on fire (literally!) was named "Sid" after Sid Bream a really slow baseball player for the ATL Braves). Hence, Stephen hates it whenever I call Sydney "Sid".

Thanks for the shout out!