Monday, March 2, 2009

Celebrate your Name Week

I heard on the radio this morning that the first full week of March is "Celebrate your Name Week". What a great topic to write about. I am only going to look at my first name.

Celebrate Your Name Week (CYNW) is a holiday created in 1997 by American amateur onomatologist Jerry Hill. Hill declared the first full week in March a week for everyone in the world to embrace and celebrate his or her name, and to appreciate names in general, by having fun getting to know facts about name [1]

There are a number of books and web sites that talk about the meaning of names. Behind the Name looks at first names. You can also search your name at Meaning of Names.

Janet is the diminutive of Jane, which is the feminine of John. (Yahweh or God is gracious).

When I look at my family history, the name Janet is used throughout the generations. When I look at my ancestors, I know of two from whom I descend on my mother's side.

Janet Gertrude Johnston #7 (1883-1958) most often went by Gertie. She was the daughter of Josiah Hemingway Johnston and Agnes Chambers. She was my mother's mother and I was named after her.

Janet Chambers #30 (1851-1930) was the daughter of James Chambers and Mary McKenzie.

Have you ever looked up information on your name? Who else on your family tree has the same name? For whom were you named?

[1] "Celebrate your Name Week" Wikipedia accessed 2 March 2009


  1. Hi, Janet - I saw from Jessica's Genejournal that she, and Amanda - A Tale of Two Ancestors and Sheri –The Educated Genealogist, have followed your lead here, so I added a post on this topic too. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Diane. I will check out their blogs.

    The study of names is very interesting - first, surnames, nicknames and place names. One of the courses I took re English genealogy was Understanding Names in Genealogy.

  3. Hi Janet~ I found out about the Namesake postings at Laura Smith's... and it led me back to you!

    Here is my post on my Namesake! Thanks Brenda

  4. I've also found that one of my names - Yvonne - recurs in recent generations. My mother told me that my grandmother Yvonne Leger really wanted relatives to name at least one child after her. We had large families so that wasn't too big a problem!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  5. I must be a one of a kind, no other Aline's in my line, no famous Aline that I know of. grin.


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