Your family name

I recently ran across some old, tattered papers in my wallet when cleaning it out.  I carefully unfolded it and found a poem given to me by my Mother many years ago.  She has been gone for 18 years, so this must be well over 20 years old.  I have transferred it from wallet-to-wallet over the years.  Anyway, here is the poem:


Your Family Name (by Nelle A. Williams)

You got it from your father
It was all he had to give
So it’s yours to use and cherish
For as long as you may live

If you lost the watch he gave you
It can always be replaced;
But a black mark on your name
Can never be erased

It was clean the day you took it
And a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father
There was no dishonor there

So make sure you guard it wisely
After all is said and done
You’ll be glad the name is spotless
When you give it to your son


Our given name is important… it links us to the many generations of our family that have come before.  It links us to the heritage of those before us and how they lived.  It links us to those that come after us and gives them a standard by which to live and connect their lives to the past.  We should cherish our name, what it means, and those that built it and gave it to us.


We have been entrusted with something very valuable that we need to hold with care and pass along to others with pride.  Let’s remember this as we strive for excellence in what we do every day.


2 thoughts on “Your family name

  1. I recently sent this touching poem to a young couple who are celebrating the first birthday of their only child. I thought it would be a lasting celebratory gift. I remember the words of my late Dad, who insisted that we always respect our name and heritage. How right he was. Mom too.


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