Ellerie – can mean beautiful (from French Elle) + blessed (from Japanese Rie). It is also spelled Ellery, which is an old English boy’s name, which comes from the name Hilary, meaning cheerful. Ellerie/Ellery has been a nickname for the names Eulalie, Eulalia, and Elaria since Medieval times. Eulalia is a 4th century Spanish saint whose name means sweetly speaking, from the Greek eulalos.

Mirabeau is the name that wouldn’t be. It was the name that was but not is.
My husband, Jerry, and I looked and looked and looked for the right middle name for our daughter Ellerie. We searched maps, books, websites, old photos from trips, anything we could find. If it had words, we investigated it for names. Then one day I came across Mirabeau in a Texas history book. (Mirabeau Lamar was the second president of the Republic of Texas.)

I liked the name Beau for a girl and adding Mira to it seemed the right touch. Mirabeau – look at the beauty. A good pairing with her sister’s name, Ava Sionna. I made shirts, even a painting that hung in her soon-to-be-room with her soon-to-be-name Ellerie Mirabeau scrolled across.

Then one week before Ellerie was born, I talked to my friend Arikka who was on vacation in Ireland. Her descriptions, how she was enjoying the beauty of the place and the people, reminded me of the fun times and great memories Jerry and I enjoyed on our first trip together when we went there. Fresh off Facebook, I said to Jerry, what if Ellerie wasn’t to be Ellerie Mirabeau, but Ellerie Ireland instead. At once he agreed with no hesitation. Still, in her room under a coat of paint on a canvas hanging on her wall, there is one tangible remnant of the name that was to be but was not in the end. Mirabeau was replaced, but not forgotten.


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