Baby name consultant: Saintly, different first initials, easy to spell

Caitlin and her husband are expecting their third little one, gender unknown (another green bean!). Their daughters are named:

Claire Camille
Margaret Joyce (called Maggie)

Beautiful names! Caitlin writes,

Their middle names are our paternal grandmothers’ first names. We’d like to continue that tradition, so we have the following names left to work with:


We’d like all of our children’s first names to be their patron saints. We gravitate towards classic English/Irish/Scottish names to tie in with our cultural heritage and our last name — Burch … We would like to do different first initials for everyone … And it has to be easy to spell.”

To give you a further idea of their taste, for boys Caitlin and her husband have considered:


And for girls:


Lots of names to work with! After much thinking and musing and taking to my Baby Name Wizard book for ideas, I came up with several ideas for each gender — I always shoot for three, but I had four for each that seemed so spot on to me that I couldn’t narrow it down any further:

(1) Alice
I was so excited to see that Caitlin and her husband had discussed Alice! It was the first one I had on the list I’d made for her as I was reading her email! I love Alice as a sister to Claire and Margaret/Maggie, and from their family names, I really like the idea of Pauline for Paul — Alice Pauline has such a lovely ring to it, I love it.

(2) Lydia
Lydia is one of my favorite names, and I was delighted to see it pop up in my research. I love that it looks short-ish like Claire but has the same number of syllables as Margaret. I quite like Lydia Shirley or Lydia Jacqueline or Lydia Frances (for Francis of course).

(3) Louisa (nicked Lucy?)
Both Louisa and Lucy seemed like good options for this family — luckily I don’t think they have to choose! Lucy is such a natural nickname for Louisa in my opinion. Louisa totally has the Brit feel of Claire and Margaret, and Lucy is spunky and sweet. Louisa Jacqueline? Louisa Pauline? Louisa Frances?

(4) Eleanor or Violet
Charlotte and Eleanor were names that seemed spot on as sisters for Claire and Margaret, but Charlotte repeats the C initial, and at the time I did this consultation for Caitlin I was still of the opinion that Eleanor is not a saint’s name (I’ve since revised my thinking — there’s a good argument that it can be considered to be related to Helen(a), which was on the list of names Caitlin and her husband have discussed). Both Charlotte and Eleanor pointed me to Violet, and as soon as I saw it I thought it would work well — it can be considered Marian, which is so awesome. I really like Eleanor Frances, Eleanor Pauline, Violet Shirley, Violet Pauline, and Violet Frances.

(1) Henry
Like with Alice, Henry was my #1 suggestion for Caitlin even before I read that it’s one of the names they’ve discussed! Woo! I love Henry, and it seems a smashing brother name for Claire and Margaret. I like it best as Henry William, and Henry Francis has a really nice flow to it, but it always makes me think of Betty’s second husband in Mad Men (Henry Francis). I learned recently though that I’m dating myself by being influenced by Mad Men, so maybe it’s a non issue? It’s very handsome!

(2) Samuel or Benjamin
Samuel and Sam (Sam!) are great great names and a perfect fit for a brother of Claire and Margaret/Maggie. I like Samuel Francis best, but Samuel Warren works too. And Benjamin has a similar feel to me, and is a bit closer to the feel of Claire and Margaret than is Benedict (from their list), in my opinion. Benjamin Paul is nice because Benjamin is so long and Paul so short; I like Benjamin Francis a lot too.

(3) Edward or Edmund
I love Sts. Edward the Confessor and Edmund Campion — how to choose?! Haha! They’re both British-y, and they both have really cute nickname options (Ed/Eddie, Ted/Teddy, Ned … my dad even had a friend named Edward who went by Zeb!). Edward Francis, Edward William, Edward Warren, Edmund Francis all sound great to me.

(4) Joseph
What else to say? Joseph is classic, masculine, saintly, just. Joseph Paul, Joseph William, and Joseph Warren all work well; I’m not including Joseph Francis because of the ph and F running into each other, but I don’t hate it.

Those are my ideas! What do you all think? What other ideas do you have for a brother or sister to Claire and Maggie?


9 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Saintly, different first initials, easy to spell

  1. Such great names!! Maybe Lucille? It’s French like Claire, and has a sweet nickname (Lucy) like Margaret.

    Rose and Rosemary also came to mind. Nickname Rosie 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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