What’s in a name?

Recently I was invited to “friend” a stranger on facebook.  I do not normally accept friendships with people I do not know on facebook, but this request seemed safe.  This request was to locate all the Cunninghams “out there” for Clan Cunningham International.  Basically the relationship is for surname pride of Scottsmen with the Cunningham name.  I accepted, out of interest in familial history.  I’m kind of a history nerd.  I learned some new facts that I have never heard before, seeing that I am only Scottish by marriage.   I learned that the family were once in possession of a castle called Finlaystone…until they were overthrown, as is the case in most castle ownerships of lore.   Those who know us, know that one of my sons holds the middle name of Finlay (pronounced FIN lee).  Don’t get me started on the use of the letter a in Celtic names.  I can’t get others to pronounce or spell either of my sons’ Celtic names correctly.  Seems people have no trouble pronouncing the name Lindsay correctly, but are baffled by Finlay…but I digress!   I was kind of tickled by this discovery of the Cunninghams coming from Castle Finlaystone!  My son’s first name means stone.  Also, the name Finlay has the meaning of fair-haired warrior.  Part of our choosing of Finlay was because of the hard pregnancy we had together, which we had to soldier through.  I never knew about the fair-haired meaning, nor did I ever expect that he would be our only fair-haired child.  Have you seen us?  He does not look much like us.   Kind of cool, isn’t it?   We chose Celtic names for our boys in honor of their heritage, Scottish-Irish and because we like the sound of first and last names in keeping with heritage.   I first heard the name Finlay while on vacation in Thailand.  A British family was lounging near us poolside.  The mother would call out to her son Finlay from time to time, and I thought it an adorable sounding name, especially with a British accent.   I saw the way the name was spelled on some of their pool toys.  I tucked that name in my baby name bank!  Two years later I found out our 3rd child would indeed be a boy and I learned the meaning of Finlay…I knew we had to use it!  Learning that his ancestors once ruled over Finlaystone, I am charmed even more!  Now if we can just overthrow the MacMillans!  Finlaystone image from RampantScotland.



  1. Wow, I think God’s providence is evidenced on more than one level with Jasper’s name! What neat insights into their history…I think that castle is worth overthrowing!!!

  2. kimmyskids says:

    I’m ready!

  3. Tim & Rhianna says:

    This is really interesting stuff, Kim!

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