A Big Name for a Little Girl

I thought I should post to explain Francie's name and how we decided on a big name for our little girl! Obviously I am a Mary and I have always loved my name. My grandmother, Jan's mom, was Mary Virginia (we all called her Marmar.) My other grandmother, my dad's mom, was Mary Jane. I have an Aunt Mary Elise (my moms little sister Mimi) and an Aunt Mary on my dad's side too. I have a great-Aunt Mary and lots of ancestors in the family tree. I didn't want to name my little girl after myself, or have the confusion of two people in the household with the same name... so we decided a "double first name" was a great way to carry on the "Mary" tradition and solve those problems.

Mary Regan and Mary Frances

Francie just got her "name shoes" from my mom's college friend Ginny... just like mine 29 years later!

Three generations of Marys before Francie... (my Aunt Mimi is going to kill me for this picture!) on the left is my grandmother Mary Virginia Sheehy Arnerich with my parents outside Stanford Hospital on the day they took me home from the hospital and on the right is Mary Elise Arnerich Kreeft or "Mimi" (only 16 years old when I was born!)

Frances is a name Heff and I both loved and is a family name on both sides too. Brian's grandmother Bernice Heffernan, who passed away in February, had a sister named Frances. My Great-grandfather, Jan's grandfather, was Gerald Francis and from what I have always heard was a great man and very loving father, husband and grandfather. He meant a lot to my mom. His mother's name was "Fanny M. McGovern" which we think was a nickname for Frances Mary. Then there is Aunt Francy! Brian's aunt (married to Tom's brother Bob) is one of our favorite people and always so much fun. We loved her name and when our Mary Frances was born Heff and I looked at her and said "She's a Francie!" (we spelled it with the "ie" to avoid the confusion of two Francy/ie Heffernans in the family.) Francy always wanted to play the "name game" when I was pregnant... it was especially hard to hold out and not tell her. We hope our Francie grows up to be just like her Aunt Francy!

Aunt Francy with her granddaughter Emily at the Heffernan Reunion this summer

Bernice Borchard Heffernan (Brian's paternal grandmother)

Borchard (pronounced "orchard" with a "B") was Brian's grandmother (Tom's mom) Bernice Heffernan's maiden name. The Borchards were farmers and early Santa Ana settlers and Tom is very proud to be a Borchard. We've had a chance to learn a lot about the Borchard family history spending some time in Southern California this year for Bernice's 91st Birthday celebration in January and then at her funeral in February where the Heffernans and the Borchards all gathered to celebrate her life.

The Tom Heffernans at Bernice's funeral in Newport Beach in February 2007 (we were a two months pregnant at the time with Francie but no one else knew it yet)