The 11th Edition of Central & Eastern European Genealogy Carnival is being hosted by Steve Danko over at Steve's Genealogy Blog. The theme is given names and Steve has listed some possible topics to discuss as follows:
Did any of your ancestors have an unusual given name?
Have you discovered the meanings behind the given names of your ancestors?
Did your ancestors use any naming patterns for their children?
Are there any given names that are particular common in your family history?
Did any of your ancestors have given names that you particularly like or dislike?
Does your family celebrate "Name Days"?
Did your immigrant ancestors change their given names after they arrived in America?
Tell us about the first (given) names in your family. You can concentrate on one name, a few names, or you can go wild and write about the first names of all your ancestors!"
One thing I always found odd was my paternal grandmother's middle name (or second given name to stay true to the theme if the carnival *wink*). As the first born child, her middle name was Garrison, which was her mother's maiden name. As I look through both sides of her family, I see this pattern, although not strict. In many cases, the first born child received either the mother's maiden name or the father's, mother's maiden name (the second born usually got the other). In a few cases, a child took the mother's, mother's maiden name. So for example, my fourth-great-grandfather Calvin Price WEBSTER was the second born and Price was his father's, mother's maiden name (Rachel PRICE). Calvin's brother, Luther Norton WEBSTER, was the first born and took his mother's maiden name (Sarah NORTON) as his middle name. Again, it's not consistent by any means, but it it helpful to know this to determine possible middle names and/or maiden names for others in these lines. For example, my second-great-granduncle, Edward P MULLIGAN could be Edward Parks for his mother's mother's maiden name, or, his father's, mother's maiden name could start with a P.
My immediate family has a small pattern that started with my paternal grandparents, John "Jack" Francis CAHILL and Joan Garrison McMAHON. Their only son (my dad) was named Joseph, who married Jean Marie MILLER, and had me (their only child) Julie. I followed suit and married James, and if we have children, we'll follow along with the Js.
Looking at the list of over 6,600 individuals in my database, I have many clusters of common names such as Ann/Anne/Anna, Mary/Marie/Maria/Marilyn/Marion, John, James, Henry, Charles, David, Dorothy, Lydia, Margaret/Margery/Marge/Marguerite, Richard, Robert, Samuel, Sarah/Sara, Susan/Susanna/Susannah/Suzanne, Thomas, Warren, and William. This include both of my lines, as well as my husband's and my step-father.
On the Cahill side the most popular female name is Mary/Maria/Marie/Marion (162/15/7/15 respectively). The most popular male name is John, with 179 (William follows closely with 166).
On the Miller side the most popular female name is Anna/Ann (19). The most popular male name is Henry (14).
My grandaunt has a unique name (one of my favorites), Marcella. It's unique to the family because so far, it's the only one, but additionally, because its origin is Italian . To my knowledge, there are no Italians in that family line.
I also have many names that are unique in terms of today's common names, but not necessarily unique to their time periods.
- Solomon NORTON (my sixth-great-grandfather, born in the mid 1700s) - Solomon means "peace." 
- Mehitabel GRAVES (my ninth-great-grandmother, born in the late 1600s) - Mehitabel is a variant of Mehetabel, which means "God makes happy." [3,4]
- Hulda WACH (my second-great-grandmother, born in 1869) - Hulda means "sweet, loveable." 
- Emil Charles MILLER (great-grandfather, born in 1889) - Emil means "rival." 
- Dorcas HOPKINS (my ninth-great-grandmother, born in the mid to late 1600s) - Dorcas means "gazelle." 
All information, with the exception of those noted, derived from my personal GEDCOM family tree file (created by Julie Marie CAHILL Tarr, accessed 20 September 2008; privately held by Julie Marie CAHILL Tarr, Normal, Illinois)
1. "Marcella," Behind the Name (http://www.behindthename.com/name/marcella), accessed 20 September 2008.
2. "Solomon," Behind the Name (http://www.behindthename.com/name/solomon), accessed 20 September 2008.
3. "Mehitabel," Behind the Name (http://www.behindthename.com/name/mehitabel), accessed 20 September 2008.
4. "Mehetabel," Behind the Name (http://www.behindthename.com/name/mehetabel), accessed 20 September 2008.
5. "Hulda," Behinf the Name (http://www.behindthename.com/php/search.php?nmd=n&terms=hulda), accessed 20 September 2008.
6. "Emil," Behind the Name (http://www.behindthename.com/name/emil), accessed 20 September 2008.
7. "Dorcas," Behind the Name (http://www.behindthename.com/name/dorcas), accessed 20 September 2008.
Originally posted @ my LiveJournal blog on 21 September 2008.