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What's Your Name...'s Story?

Everyone has a name. Some names have a stories behind them. At GMC, there are many people with interesting stories behind how they got their name. Here at The Forge, a survey was sent out to document these interesting stories from freshman to staff members. Here are some of the best ones we got. Keep in mind, some of these stories are pretty lengthy, but are worth your time to read.


Ethan Elijah McCarson: "My first name was given to me because my mom thought that Ethan was not a common name at the time and after the actor Ethan Hawke. My middle name was given to me after Elijah Wood who played Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings."

Kaileigh Anne Stoia: "My mom wanted to name me Kaileigh since she was a little girl. I never believed her, so one day I was staying at my Grandparent's house and I went through her old diaries. In them, I found pages and pages where she decided to scribble my name on them. Also, she said she always wanted me to have [two I's] in my name so I could put two hearts over them. My parents agreed right away that that would be my name. My middle name is Anne because of my mom's love of Anne of Green Gables, and I remember spending every birthday until 10 rewatching the series with her and eating barbecue chips, haha."

Grace Elizabeth Short: "When my mom was pregnant with me the doctors were scared that there maybe complications with my health. My mom was put on bed rest the majority of her pregnancy with me. My parents had always wanted a girl, and when they found out when [I] was born that I was completely healthy and beautiful, the decided that my name should be Grace because I was a gift from God."

Arden Lee Montjoy: "My mom named me after the Arden Forest from Shakespeare"

Dylan Michael Wood: "My dad wanted to name me 'Mustafa', and when I heard about this years later I didn't bat an eye because my dad is weird like that. If he had the chance he would've named me the most ridiculous stuff, because that's how he rolls."

Sydney Brooke Fletcher: "Sydney- My mom used to be a kindergarten teacher and she had a very sweet little girl who's name was Sydney.

Brooke- My sister chose my middle name, because she loved it and i was not expected"

Reagan Lee Cox: "I am named after president Ronald Reagan"

Alexa (Lexie) Rhys Walker: "My great grandfather fought in WWII and my Mom wanted to name me after him. She chose to give me his name for my middle name."

Haydn Mason Grant Thomas: "my first name in technically after the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn."

Makaja Jade Downs: "My mom had worked with this lady whose name was Kaja and my mom thought her name was really pretty and liked it, but my dad wanted to name me Makayla. My mom wasn't the biggest fan of the name so they compromised and came up with Makaja."


Susan Ansley Mason: "My nana was named Susan and she died right before I was born. Even though I never met her my mom says I favor her in some ways and weird ways like eating Wendy's frostys with fries"

Kate Elise Turner: "My middle name is the middle name of my mom's best friend and my first name was the middle name of her stillborn baby. Although I never met her, it is a way to remember her, for my mom and her friend."

Mackenzie Mae Joyce: "My middle name goes back many generations in my family. I'm the 8th generation to have the middle name Mae. My middle name also is originally from Italy."


Jayden Leigh Schading: "I was named after a man named Jason. He and my mom were really good friends. He was driving home with his girlfriend and his baby in the car when he hit black ice. There was no way of avoiding spinning out and crashing. There were two options he could have done, though. He could crash into the pond killing everyone in the car, or crash into a tree killing himself but saving his girlfriend and his baby. He did the latter, saving everyone else. My mom was devastated. When I came along, she named me after him. My middle name is a family name 'Lee', but my mom wanted it more feminine."

Dakota Rhayne Eubanks: "My parents really like the elements so almost all of our middle names are connected to an element. My middle name is Rhayne like rain/water. My sisters have sky and ember. and my brothers have clay and Levi (which means elements combined)."

Kelsey Leigh Craig: "First name- My parents saw a bill board that was advertising Kelsey's Seafood and they liked the name. I have still never been there...

Middle- It was my great grandpa's middle name, my grandpa's, my dad's and is now mine. It is actually a boy tradition but we knew I would be the last child that could have it so I got it. The only difference is all the boys are 'Lee' and I am 'Leigh'"

Anderson Carlyle Kirkland: "My first name is my grandmother's maiden name from my Dad's side, while my middle name comes from my Mom's side of the family from her great grandfather."

Julia Maxine Ott: "I was named after my great grandma, Maxine."


Hannah Nicole Leonhardt: "Hannah means favor and grace. Hannah is also the name of Samuel's mother in the Bible. She was a prayer warrior, and I love her story. Hannah wanted a child, but was barren. Every year she and her family traveled to Shiloh to worship God and offer sacrifices. One year, Hannah was so distraught about not being able to bear children that, after the meal, she went into the temple and cried out to God. She prayed so hard that her lips quivered, but no sound came out. The priest thought she was drunk, but she explained that she was pouring her heart out to the Lord. He told her to go in peace and may "The God of Israel give you what you ask for" (1 Samuel 1:17). The next year, when her family went to Shiloh, Hannah brought with her her son, Samuel, who she had cried out to God for. Hannah is an example for me of how I should live out my prayer life. Her story was especially encouraging during my fight with cancer. This is the history of my name, and I love it. However, when I asked my dad if this was why he and my mom named me Hannah, he said, 'um, yeah, but we also just liked the name Hannah.':)"

Ethan Fredrick Comley: "Due to being an accident, Ethan's parents were the last prepared for a child. They had no clue what to name their first born son. On May 24, 2000, Tom Cruise stared in one of his hit films: Mission Impossible II. My parents loved his role as Ethan Hunt, a dashing young spy with quick wits, enabling him to be the best spy the American people had. Even after a year since they had watched the film, they still had a love for such an amazing character. In 2001, Ethan F. Comley was born. They decided that the name was fitting for such such a dashing child. Sadly, Ethan now lives his days as an ugly, average height loser with an iPhone that makes him feel like a professional photographer/videographer. That is his story."

Zoe Marie Spearman: "I was named after a ghost in Charleston that my mom was interested in."

Sarah Claire Mullis: "My name means the princess of the light, and my parents hoped that their baby would embody the meaning. :)"

Tristen Synclair Thomas: "I was named after my dad's, grandma's brother, Tristan. One day, around the age of 20, he came in from working the fields and fell down dead. No one knows why, but it was tragic since my great grandma loved him very much. My parents had several miscarriages before I was born but promised Dad's grandma that, if they ever had a child, they would name it after her brother. When my gender was discovered, my Dad changed the A in Tristan's name to an E to make the title more feminine.

My middle name came from the author of a book my dad was reading while I was in the womb. I find this quite fitting since I love to read and write. Again, the spelling was somewhat changed. I now own my dad's copy of 'Sermon on the Mount' by Sinclair Ferguson for nostalgia purposes."

Rebecca Wray Williams: "My grandmother's name was 'Connie Wray' and my parents wanted to name me Connie, however, they were gracious enough to find another name that matched 'Wray'."

Celine Esther Jeanne Mutzke: "My parents decided to give me four names so that my middle names could be after both of my grandmothers. 'Celine' is not a family name, but the meaning is 'heavenly'. Interestingly, 'Esther's' name meaning is 'star'. My parents did not plan to name me celestial themed names, but I have always enjoyed the meanings a lot. ('Jeanne' means God is Gracious)"


Justin Lewis Lowman: "My mother chose the name Justin after Justin Clark, a boy she taught in her Sunday School class. My dad liked the name because it means 'one who is just', and my dad was a Sheriff's Deputy at the time. Lewis is a family name on the Lowman side. My dad and grandfather both have Lewis as their middle name."

Kaci Kimmions Elliott: "My first name Kaci and my maiden middle name Rae came from a dream my mom had. She dreamed that was my name while she was pregnant, so she named me just that. My current middle name, Kimmons, is my maiden last name."

Kelley Marie Bailey: "My grandmother's family (my mom's mom) is from Ireland. Prior to coming to the US they were O'Kelley. They dropped the O when they arrived in the US. So my grandmother's maiden name is Kelley. I love that names that have meaning and connection to family so it's such an honor to have a family name. Even if I have to correct the spelling often."

Ella Kate Meyers: "I was named after [three] great grandmothers. Two were named Ella and one was named Kate. My parents also chose to call me by both names, so that all [three] great grandmothers would be memorialized through my name. Growing up this was a bit of a challenge because there were not many people with double names in my life. I don't know how many times I had to explain 'Yes, I go by both names' or 'No, Kate is my middle name, I don't have an extra middle name' and finally 'No, there is no hyphen between Ella and Kate'. I was the only 'Ella Kate' that I knew growing up. I had many friends that were 'Kate' of some sort but I was the only 'Ella Kate'. Now there are many many 'Ella Kate's' that I have run into, but all are much younger than I am. I like to think that I was the first ;) As I got older, I began to love the fact that I had a double name because being different was now a desirable trait and I enjoyed being the only 'Ella Kate' in my world. My nephew has a double name that my sister chose to give him because of how 'cool' it was that I had a double name growing up. This has not necessarily been confirmed and may be a bit of a stretch, but it's what I like to tell myself."

Paula Huff Rouse: "My grandfather's name was Paul. I was very close to my grandfather, and when I found out that I was having my first son, I chose my grandfather's name for my son's name."

David Lynn Smith (a.k.a. Diamond Dave): "For over 25 years I have been the Director of Leadership for The Tomorrow's America Foundation and The National Beta Club. One of the things that we do as a means of identifying ourselves at our summer leadership camps is developing a nickname that best describes us using a word that begins with the first letter of our first name. We do the same thing in my Leadership Classes today."

Ashley (Danielle) Payne Hunter: "My mom was watching tv one day and a girl had the name Ashley so she decided to name me that. She wanted it spelled Ashleigh, but my dad said that was way too complicated. Funny that she didn't know anybody at the time named Ashley because it blew up with my age group and there are Ashley's EVERYWHERE now!"

Thank you for all of your responses. We got almost 50 responses, and they were all very interesting to read.