My name is Rose Elizabeth Morgan. My husband is William Tannon Morgan. We have three children, Elspeth Rose (6), Cole Adrian (4), and Alessandra Gemma (2) (Elsie, Cole, and Alessa). Their middle names are all family names (Will refuses to have his name be passed as a middle name to his son). We're now expecting twins in April. They're boy/girl, and we already have a name for her, Isabel Louisa. I'm not completely sold on Isabel yet, it is a different version of Elsie's name, but Will really loves it, and he's not said much about naming the others, so we're probably going to end up using it. So our boy is the issue. We have a few choices for his name.
For the first name, we want something that isn't totally unusual, but isn't common. I don't really care if he's ___ M.
Our list right now is:
Matteo/Mateo/Matthias: I favour Matteo and Will Matthias, but this is probably our favourite.
Rowan: We considered this for Alessa, but decided we liked it better on a boy. It was the name of one of my teachers in college.
Brock: This is Elsie's suggestion, and it's what we're calling him in the interim. I don't really like it, but hey, it's an option. Also, I just realized it rhymes with a euphamism, so... I don't know.
Charles: My mother's suggestion. I like it, but it might be just a smidge too popular.
Larkin: My uncle's name, I really really like it, but I'm afraid it might read: GIRL!
For his middle name, we have a few family names we've passed over before, but we still like:
Kellen: my mother's name is Kellyn, and this would be honouring her.
Linden: Will's father's name, I like the pattern of both twins having the middle initial L.
William: Will still doesn't want to pass it down, but I keep trying to pressure him.
Stewart or Bennett: My maiden name was Stewart-Bennett
Louis: If, at the last minute, Isabel isn't an Isabel Louisa, this is after my grandfather Louis.
Just for a better idea of our style, other names we are still considering for the girl are Felicity, Gwendolyn, Cecily, Charlotte, Lucia (loo-CHI-ah) and Willow (at least I'm pulling for Willow if Will won't pass down his name).
The name Isabel/Isabelle/Isobel/Isabella is so much more common than any of the others in the sibling group, it stands out to me. On the other hand, I completely know what you mean about how it feels when a parent who doesn't normally have a strong preference has a strong preference. I would likely use it too---especially because Isabel/Isobel is my favorite of the Isabelle/Isabella names.
For the boy, then, a more common name would be nice. Charles seems perfect: I love the coordinating S-pronounced-Z sounds, and Izzy and Charlie is adorable. "Charles Morgan" has a strong investment-company association for me, but I don't think it's strong enough to rule out the name, just something to consider ahead of time. And there are so many other famous Charles Morgans, the associations might be sufficiently diluted.
If you like the spirit of Charles but not the popularity, I suggest George. George Clooney makes the name handsome and charming, and I like the repeating "or" sound of George Morgan. Isabel and George.
Oliver has the same popularity issue as Charles, but I love it with Isabel.
Everett is climbing in popularity but is still relatively uncommon. Everett Morgan; Isabel and Everett.
I also think your idea of Matteo/Matthias is a great one.
Larkin and Rowan both seem too unisex for this sibling group. And Rowan Morgan and Larkin Morgan both seem rhymey/clunky to me. Brock Morgan sounds very, very muscley and tough---an action hero name.
In larger sibling groups especially, I sometimes find it helpful to split the boys and the girls. So here we have Elsbeth, Alessandra, and Isabel, and then we have Cole and ____. This leads me to think of other short boy names: Luke, Milo, Leo, Jude, Hugo, Ian, Gage.
Bennett would work great, if you like it for a first name as much as for a middle. I love the idea of using the mother's maiden name as a first name, and it's rare for it to work out so beautifully. I would in fact be inclined to name him Bennett Stewart Morgan. Isabel Louisa and Bennett Stewart. That is really, really fun to me, and I love "Izzy and Ben."
You're ruling out Louis as the boy's middle name if Louisa is the girl's middle name, but I love a little twin-name gimmick: Isabel Louisa and _____ Louis. It would be far too matchy for first names, but as middle names it's like a secret twinniness. And the sounds of the names are quite different: loo-EEZ-ah and LOO-iss. But if that seems like too much, I also like your idea of matching initials---either Larkin or Linden. If Louisa is also for your grandfather, then I like the idea of Isabel Linden/Larkin and ____ Louis.
Name update! Rose writes:
Thought I'd let you know, the twins were born April 5, 2012. Isabel Louisa Willow Morgan was born at 4:03 pm, 6 lbs, 4 oz. Matteo Linden Bennett Morgan was born at 4:13, 6 lbs, 3 oz.
We went into the hospital with Felicity Lark Ellen, Lucia Willow, and Isabel Rowan shortlisted along with Belle's name as the number one contender. We decided to go with two middle names because these are our lasts, and there were so many names to hand down.
For Mattes, we had Charles Linden, Matthias Larkin, and Matteo Charles, with Matteo Charles being the first choice. However, Will's father lamented two days before the twins were born that Will's sister was never going to have any children to give his name to, and Will persuaded me that a family name was more important than one I liked more. (as it turns out, I like Linden more anyway). We were originally going to go with Benson when we decided to give them middle name x2, because it fit better, but in the end it just felt wrong to change my maiden name to stick to a six-letter pattern, and we used Bennett.
Now I am seriously thinking of adding a second middle name to everyone's name. Elsie is totally on board, she thinks it'll make her feel like a princess, having many fancy names. She's already picked out Lark, which would make her Elspeth Rose Lark. She's absorbing my love of names from watching her siblings being named, I think. Cole is disinterested. I think we'd do Cole Adrian Tannon (Will's middle name and his mother's maiden). Alessa I've always regretted not naming Rowan. She'd be Alessandra Gemma Rowan.
But that probably won't ever happen. I'll keep dreaming of all the good names that got away, and love the ones I have. Who knows? Maybe Belle and Mattes won't be our last and you'll be hearing form us again in a few years.