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We are using family names for middle names as well. For a boy, we're stuck between Dean - which is rampant on his side of the family, literally like every male has it for generations - and Fredric, after my grandpa who passed away when I was 15. Dean is nearly a requirement in DH's family and it would also be a connection to him, since it is his middle name as well. But I know how much it would mean to my grandma to use Fredric. So I'm torn.
To answer your question - I would be more likely to use a name to honor a close family member than to try and get specific with initials.
We went out of our way to AVOID family names actually. So if it was anywhere in the family we didn't use it. I guess I don't like the idea of being named after a family member...I wanted my kid to have his "own" name and not a hand-me-down (thats just how I view it FOR US, I can see how some like to do family names also).
it is very important for me and DH to have a family name ... and we use the middle name for that. Alexa's middle name is Mary, which is my moms name. If we have a boy, his middle name will be Gregory, which is my DH's first name. DH's middle name is Thomas which is his fathers name, and FILs middle name is Walter which is his fathers first name. I think that is where it started... so we will continue that tradition... but DH thinks we're destined for all girls haha LOL
Family names are important to us for the middle name slot. I would pick a family name over initials and I don't think it matters how far back you go in your family tree to find it. It would be cool to resurrect an old family name again.
Liam's middle name is Edward after dh's grandfather and I know my fil was touched we named him after his dad (he passed away when fil was in his early 20s I believe).
Lochlann's middle name is Erik, a middle name he shares with dh (Ian Erik).
We don't have a first name if this baby is a boy but the middle name will be Frederick after my mil's father who passed away when she was in her late teens. If the baby is a girl she will be Lila Agnes--Agnes after my mil's mother who passed away 2 1/2 years ago.