What is in a name?

The lovely Rachel wrote a fun post about her name which I now must copy.

I am fascinated with names and their spellings.  I love to hear people’s names, especially full names.  I used to say I was bad at names, making excuses for not remembering them but then decided I was done with that.  I find weird associations to help me remember.  I may have to ask a couple of times but I don’t feel silly when I have to ask anymore.  Usually if I repeat it a few times, right away, it helps.  Each new soccer season I play a game with myself to see how quickly I can learn the kids’ names.  My husband and I like to be able to use their names when cheering at the games and he always has to ask what they are.

I think my fascination with names and spellings is associated with my own name and my genealogy.  I’ve asked Mom where my name came from but she can’t remember.  Just that Dad decided I would be KeliAnn Marie.  My birth certificate is in all caps but I have always capitalized the A.  I just like it that way.  So about my name and the identity crisis that goes along with it.

KeliAnn: Like I said, I don’t know where my dad got this from but it’s what he wanted, spelling and all.  Kelli is a Celtic name that means Warrior Maiden, which I have ALWAYS loved!  The meaning feels totally right to me.  I also like it because I have Kelly ancestors on my mother’s mother’s side.  Ann, I have never even looked up a meaning for.  I just think of it as a cute little suffix for Keli.  Part of the reason might be the fact that the first 12 years of my life I wasn’t called KeliAnn or even Keli.  My family somehow came up with the nickname Kelsi for me and that’s who I grew up as.  In 7th or 8th grade I decided it was too young sounding and wanted to be KeliAnn.  People had a hard time with the compound name so I settled for Keli.  Now I totally miss being Kelsi.  I’ve been told that the next time we move I should introduce myself as Kelsi but I think I’ve confused people enough.  I still have cousins who call me Kelsi and I love that.  Aaron calls me Kelsi when he’s upset, which I don’t love.  I will answer to either Keli or Kelsi but KeliAnn doesn’t always register immediately.

Marie: Yep the second most popular middle name ever.  I don’t mind because I think it’s pretty and as much as I don’t really feel like a KeliAnn, I love the way KeliAnn Marie sounds, definitely feels like me.  Weird, I know.

Madrid: I. LOVE. MY. MAIDEN. NAME.  I have always loved it and what it represents.  The funny thing is, it isn’t the name it really should be.  My dad’s Dad was born in Torreon, Mexico in 1908.  His family moved to Flagstaff, AZ when he was 3 years old.  His mother died shortly there after and being so young his father couldn’t take care of him.  I believe he worked on sheep farms and spent a lot of time out on the range (is that the right word?)  So my Grampy was fostered by a family with the last name Madrid.  He was never actually adopted but he took their name and so began the Celso and Varis Madrid family.

Varis and Celso in Mexico3

His parent’s names were Christobal and Basilia Gonzales.  Part of me always wanted to name a daughter Basilia but I knew it wouldn’t be a great name to have in this day and age.  Besides Aaron wouldn’t have it.

Wilkins: Although not part of my given name it’s still a part of my heritage and you’ll see why I include it.  My mother’s parent’s names are William (Bill) and Fay Wilkins but this surname is also not accurate.  My grandfather, born William Andrew Lorenzen, didn’t get along with his father and when he was 16 he left home and took his mother’s maiden name.

grandpa grandma wilkinsedit

I find it very curious that both my grandfathers had different last names than what they were born with.

So that is the story of my name, KeliAnn (Keli or Kelsi) Marie Madrid Dean.


5 thoughts on “What is in a name?

  1. I love this! Your name is so awesome and multi-faceted! And that is so interesting that your grandfathers used different surnames… Very cool stories :)

  2. I loved this! You will be pleased to know that I still think of you as Kelsi! I must have moved around the time you changed it back to KeliAnn.

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