Younger generations of parents choose one-of-a-kind names for children

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 26, 2012

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Jennifer Slover holds her 11-month-old daughter Reene. Jennifer and her husband Scott chose to name their daughter after a variation of Jennifer's father's mother, Irene.

Of course the late Irene Paradise would adore her first great-grand-daughter, but since she is not here, the baby’s name conjures Irene’s likeness.

Reene Slover is the 9-month-old daughter of Scott and Jennifer Slover.

Reene is derived from Irene, and pronounced like the last four letters of the name popular decades ago.

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“We just sort of made it up,” Jennifer said. “It may exist, but we have not seen it.”

Jennifer said Irene, a schoolteacher, was well known in the community. Irene died suddenly in 1998.

“I never knew her,” Scott said. “But people come up to me and tell me how wonderful she was. Even (Sheriff) Chuck Mayfield said, ‘Amazing woman — you have no idea.’”

Jennifer said becoming a wife and mother herself gave her a new respect for the women before her, Irene in particular. Irene raised five children on her own after her husband died.

“As I got married and had a baby, I am more impressed with what she did on her own,” Jennifer said. “Reene would be her first great-granddaughter. And it’s neat to use her name. Scott immediately loved it.”

Reene’s middle name is Parker, after Scott’s grandmother’s maiden name.

“I think a lot of people find classic names to bring back,” Jennifer said. “Especially in the South you will find maiden names as first names to keep it going in the family. It makes sense to people.”

If and when the Slovers have another child, they have a special family name picked out for him or her as well.

“We do have a potential name — but no one can steal it,” Jennifer said. “Irene’s maiden name, Rowe, for a boy or a girl.”

Baby names change with the times, just like anything else.

Jazadricka Davis, a 17-year-old Ferriday High School student, was named by her mother’s friend. Her mom, Stephanie Banks, said she couldn’t decide on a name, so she enlisted her friend to decide for her.

“My name is different, but I’m used to it now” Davis said. “My friends call me Jaz.”

Still other names are so old that they have become new again. The names Aiden and Olivia are a couple of oldies but goodies. They are both listed in the top 10 names by Parenting Magazine in 2011.