What’s in a name!

My full name is: Joseph Ian Michael Patrick Doyle MacLean.

Joseph for my father and maternal grandfather, Ian is Gaelic for John – John MacL an was a famous Gaelic poet on my father’s side and John Doyle was my mother’s brother who died too early in life. Michael and Patrick are big names on my mother’s side, Mike Patty was a loved and respected uncle and community leader in the Margaree Valley on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

My Khmer KiltFollowing the tradition I learned from my naming I have included names for both sides of my family – the MacLeans and the Doyles and now the Vans (Nourn’s family name is Van – pronounced more like One though – and the O is between the sound of a V and a W).

Stephen and Malcolm were the names of two-great uncles and they were very important in my earl life. They along with their elder brother Dan raised my dad and we would go to their farm in River Denys, Nova Scotia every summer and often at Christmas. Dan, interestingly, had his first of two children at 59. So in a certain way my Great-Uncle Dan is remembered as well in that I followed his lead in beginning fatherhood later in life.

Joseph is for my father, Joseph MacLean, my maternal uncle Joe Doyle and his father, my grandfather on my mother’s side. Joseph Doyle. Doyle is my mother’s maiden name.

When folks say what’s in a name – well, in our family – a lot!!


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A father's tale for his son