Behind the Name Special: Isla Josephine


Isla has an interesting name story because before I got pregnant with her we thought we knew her name would be Gemma Evangeline. & for some reason unbeknownst to us, the day we found out she was a girl Ry and I looked at each other and both knew that it just wasn't her name. So back to the drawing boards we went.

I reached out to a Catholic blogger who has a ministry of naming. She offers name consultations to Catholics with trouble finding the perfect name for their newest littles. You can read Kate's consultation she did for Isla here. We knew that we wanted something that would tie in to C & A's names. We like that they are french, saints and places. So if there was a magical unicorn name that fit all three we knew Kate would find it, but we were open to anything that seemed like it would fit in.

The very first thing that stood out to me was Kate's comment on how she loved our "compromise" originally meant for Adelaide's name (you can read the twins' name story here). For some backstory, Adelaide's name was originally going to be Isla Adelaide. The one name Ry always loved and the only name he's liked all on his own is Kyla. I don't care for it. But I also think it's too close to Ryan's little brother's name "Kyle". As much as I love Kyle, I don't want one of our children to take his name. So we thought of every name with a similar sound to Kyla (Mila, Isla, Lila, Xyla) and settled on Isla. But since we didn't know an apt patron for our child, we moved to Adelaide for a first name.

When we read our consultation and saw that Kate had loved the meaning and compromise of Isla, it renewed our passion for the name. So we decided to give it another look. We had stumbled across a regional devotion to Mary, the Mother of God in Scotland where she was referred to as "Our Lady of the Isles". You can read her full story here, but basically God brought peace to the Scottish isles & kept the culture alive through the intercession of Our Lady of the Isles. A statue is erected in her honor in the Isle of South Uist. So we saw Isla as an acceptable marian name, perfect for our little girl.

We liked and considered many of the other names Kate put on our list for middle names, but our favorites started with L's and sounded a little too off with the first name Isla. Instead, a name I had originally suggested and Ry had vetoed was the one we settled on. I had suggested Josephine, Ryan didn't like it much. But he does have a strong devotion to Jesus through the intercession of St. Joseph. One morning he said his prayers, asked St. Joseph to pray for him, and then immediately the name was placed significantly on his heart. He told me he knew her name. It was Isla Josephine. I agreed. Mary and Joseph--the holy couple and earthly raisers of Jesus Christ were the perfect patrons for our girl.

So Isla Josephine she became.

It is the perfect name in many ways because her middle name is french-inspired. Her name honors two saints. Her name also nods to a place. It fits perfectly with our other two names. I was a little concerned at first that it was a lot more common than either Clairvaux or Adelaide but now that she's born I realized being just out of the top 100 is still not common enough where most people have heard of it. I'm actually shocked at how many people have not heard the name before. So she doesn't stand out too much from our less common names.

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