When I posted Jodi’s stories about naming big sisters Pippa and Romilly, I intentionally didn’t divulge the names of her two other darling daughters. Readers, the suspense is over! The most charming quartet of girls answers to Pippa, Romilly, Beatrix and Juniper! Read on for more, including their lovely middles.

III. Beatrix’s story

What is your child’s name?
Beatrix Joanna, called Bea sometimes.
What were your criteria?
Her middle name *had* to be Joan, or some form thereof. We had honored three out of four great grandparents so far, and hubby’s paternal grandma Joan was the odd one out, and still living to know it, too! This middle name proved problematic with a few of the names I was liking: Georgina/Georgiana, Imogen. Nothing was grabbing us and we just had a list through the whole pregnancy of unsparkly girls’ names. Beatrix/Beatrice was on it.
Who was involved in the decision?
Our usual sounding board of family and friends (but not all of them), as well as the trusted circle of name freaks at the messageboard who helped me name Romilly.
What were the other options?
Cornelia June, Cora for short. The one big ah-ha moment of the pregnancy was about this name. Frustrated with Joan, I had taken to scouring hubby’s family tree for another name that would be meaningful to grandma Joan, to honor her side of the family without using her name. There was a string of Corneliuses in her ancestry, and I briefly convinced hubby that this would cover us for honoring her. The middle name, then would have honored my Aunt June (funny how that one vowel sound difference makes me love June and … um… not love Joan). He soon enough came to his senses, though, and we went back to the drawing board with Joan in the middle.
A friend suggested tweaking it to Joanna, and that was when some of the unsparkly names on our list started to shine a bit more.
Our hospital list also included: Georgina/Georgiana, Harriett, Kerensa, Sibyl, Seraphina, Imogen, Felicity, Verity and probably a couple others I can’t remember.
When did you choose?
When we met her! We arrived at the hospital with a list of about ten names. She was born about twenty minutes later, so there wasn’t a whole lot of time to discuss during labor! Beatrix had been a frontrunner until a few days earlier when we realized she would be “Bea Young”, which she is. We temporarily nixed it for that reason, but nothing else rose to the top in its place. When she was born they asked me her name. I said I needed a minute, and the nurse gave me a look that said, “Didn’t you think about this already?” I shot her one back that said, “You have *no* idea!” and hubby and I discussed. I made him go first in saying who he thought she was, and he said Beatrix, thinking I was still going to fight for Cornelia. I had known the moment I saw her she was a Beatrix, so there was really no discussion at all.
Naming her was such a different process from naming the other girls. She was our third baby in less than three years, and I think we were just burnt out. It felt like a very mechanical process of adding names to the list, striking them off, and weighing pros and cons, but in the end, she still got a name that suits her prefectly and that I 100% love.
Did the meaning matter?
More for Bea than any of the others. Although we have a very strong Christian faith, we had never sought out names that reflect this beyond honoring beloved family members who loved the Lord. Bea’s name means “sojourner”, and was used by early Christians to reflect that they were strangers in this world and citizens of Heaven. That is just what we want for our girl, so it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Did you second guess yourself?
Only on the middle name. A part of me sometimes wishes we had just bit the bullet and used Joan as is. But Grandma Joan does know it’s for her, and she feels honored, so it’s all good.

IV. Juniper’s Story

What is your child’s name?
Juniper Lucy, called June, sometimes Junie.
When did you choose?
Our girl name hit me like a bolt of lightning on a long road trip with hubby and our three little ones when I was five weeks pregnant. We had about a six hour drive ahead of us, so I had purposed to get a bit of name discussion in along the way.
What were your criteria?

Again, we chose the family member we wanted to honor first, my Great Aunt June (whom I’ve called “Junie” since I was a little girl), and talked names around that. We also wanted to work in something about the Chronicles of Narnia, since that was meaningful to us that pregnancy. We were still avoiding duplicating sisters’ initials, but by baby number four, we decided it was time to throw our own two initials, J and T, back into the bag (she actually shares all my initials, JLY, so once we ditched that rule, we really ditched it!), and we were looking to stick with our theme of British-flavored names.
I found from my earliest name thoughts this time around that I was more in love with June (which we thought would be her middle name) than with any of the names we had previously considered as first names. But Just June wasn’t going to work with frilly sister names or with our common one-syllable last name.
Confession time: we had always had the name Juniper in mind for a dog, should we ever get a girl dog down the line. In hindsight, I had always loved it, but it just seemed a little too “out there” for a person. A couple of my friends had suggested it when I was pregnant with Bea, but I had dismissed it because it started with my initial, and because in the back of my mind I was saving it for a puppy. Because *that* makes sense.
At some point I started hearing it as more botanical than hippy, and I was immediately in love. You always hear of British ladies called Peony and Hyacinth; why not Juniper? My mother-in-law remains unconvinced that Juniper is anything but a hippy name, on a par with Rainbow or Moonflower, but on our most recent visit to England, I spotted a Genevieve Juniper in a local birth announcement. So there.
Still, using “the family name” as the first name left me feeling completely at a loss for a middle name, until we thought of using a Narnia name. So, I’m in a car on my way to Ohio, five weeks pregnant, and I suddenly shout out “Juniper Lucy!” Hubby was unconvinced at first, but after a few hours of me randomly saying the name and holding up my hand for a high five (this is what he was doing every time the radio had something good to report about the Phillies, so I thought I’d try it), he was definitely warming to it.
Who was involved in the decision?
Just us this time.
Actually, that’s not true. I did check with my Aunt June to make sure she didn’t mind sharing her nickname. I hoped she’d be flattered (and she was), but didn’t want her to feel she was being replaced. She’s delighted with her little namesake.
What were the other options?
All the major name drama surrounded boy names this time around. Juniper was the only girl name we ever really discussed, and it was settled before the end of my first trimester!
Did the meaning matter?
The meanings are fine, but weren’t important to us this time around.

Did you second guess yourself?
I don’t think so. I don’t always think her name fits that well with our British vibe, but I love it too much to care. Ironically, the two I had to work hardest to sell hubby on, Romilly and Juniper, are now his favorites. Names, that is; we like all the children!

Jodi, thank you SO much for sharing the names of your wonderfully named, lovely girls! What I love about your stories – besides the name you chose! – is that each experience was SO different. Sometimes you just know … sometimes you’re holding your newborn in your arms cooing “What’s your name, honey? Come on … tell me, please!” Amazing names, fabulous stories!

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Ha! I know *exactly* the Genevieve Juniper birth announcement you are referring to in England. I guess that makes me an official name nerd. Too funny! I saw it in the Telegraph a couple of years ago and we were considering Genevieve at the time. Tr

  2. Juniper and Beatrix? Those names aren’t British, they’re Dutch! Beatrix is a queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and juniper bears the fruits of the national drink, gin (genever.) That said, it’s a beautiful name for my forthcoming Nederlander 🙂

  3. Okay, I know you didn’t ask for this at all but I’m infatuated with your childrens’ names and decided to come up with a list of future sisters to join Philippa Violet, Romilly Alice, Beatrix Joanna and Juniper Lucy:

    Adelaide, Amabel, Amity, Annevieve, Belphoebe, Calliope, Cecile, Charity, Claudia, Clementine, Constance, Daphne, Delphine, Dolores, Dorothy, Eleanor, Eugenie, Eulalie, Florence, Georgette, Gwendolen, Helena, Henriette, Hyacinth, Imogen, Imogene, Juliette, Madeleine, Madelief, Margaux, Mathilde, Millicent, Miriam, Olivette, Rosamund, Seraphine, Sylvie, Theodora, Vivienne, Winifred

    I could go on!

    1. Wow, thank you 🙂 I’ll stop back here for these if we’re ever expecting again. A lot of them have already been on our lists, so you’ve really pegged my style.

      Elizabeth – the matching rhythm thing just happened. Part of me wants to break the mold next time just to keep from getting painted into a corner, you know? But since Imogen’s our favorite right now, we’ll probably keep it up without even meaning to. Oh well.

  4. I’ve loved your style for a long time, Jodie.

    I saw that Genevieve Juniper birth announcement! She had a very English surname too if I recall correctly – something hyphenated and proper. Juniper isn’t a hippy name at all to me.

  5. Beautiful, beautiful names! You definitely make me want more kids, just so that I can name them!

  6. Standing ovation on all four names individually and as a sib set. I hate it when I see big families with hum drum names. I think, “Not fair! You got to name a bunch of kids and you did such a mediocre job.” You, however, should get to name four more!! (Not that I would wish four more children on anyone… Like dreadedjaws said, my two are kicking my butt.)

  7. I luuurve this story! I especially love the high-five idea to get hubby to agree with you! So funny! I think Juniper totally fits in with the other three… great sibset. Are you having any more?

    1. Thanks, Megan! We would love more, actually, and I promise it’s not just for the naming 🙂

      1. Oh, I could fill another two volumes with the boys name drama 🙂 In a nutshell, Pippa would have been Miles, period. That was probably the last time we agreed on a boys’ name. For Romilly, he wanted Barnaby and I wanted Angus, but I suspect he’d have won. The same debate continued through Bea’s pregnancy, but I think that time I would have gotten my Gus. For June, we both wanted Barnaby but wouldn’t use it right after Beatrix. We planned on Simon for most of the pregnancy, but hubby was never thrilled with it. The dark horse frontrunner at the end was Augustus, still with nn Gus, and I think that’s who she may have ended up, had she been a he. (Can you believe that was the nutshell version?)

        1. Great boys’ names! After four girls, I thought for sure you’d have one that you’d be certain was THE name for a son. But then, I remember my parents debating my brother’s name – and he arrived after three older sisters, so I guess you never really know.

          I love Augustus and Augustin and August and all of those Gus names.