The decision was easily for Tom and Paula Brown to name their first child. Going back to my great grandfather on my dad’s side, every first born son has been named Thomas. Their was the original Thomas Brown, followed by my grandfather Thomas Clifford Brown, my dad Thomas Michael Brown, and then finally me, Thomas James Brown. With all those Thomas’ things can get confusing, which is why none of us go by the same name when we are around each other. My grandfather goes by Tom all the time. My grandpa and grandma call my dad Tommy, but everyone else calls him Tom (you guys confused yet?). Finally to me. For my entire life I went by Thomas. Whenever roll was called, the teacher would ask for “Thomas Brown” and then immediately asked if I preferred to go by “Tom.” I would always politely tell them that I go by “Thomas,” and that would be the end of it. Kids always asked me if it was “Thomas” or “Tom” and I would always tell them “Thomas.” However once I got to college, there were too many kids to correct, and I gave up correcting, which is why you’ll hear a large amount of my college friends call me “Tom.” The first time my parents met my college friends, my mom asked me why they call me “Tom.”
Now onto my middle name. When I was younger I used to be a little disappointed that all the Thomas Browns didn’t have the same middle name, because I thought Thomas Brown IV would’ve been a cool title. Now I’m very happy to be have the middle name James. The name James comes from my grandfather, who was named after his grandfather. My mom’s family is 100% Greek, and the Greek tradition is that the first born son gets the grandfather’s first name, and the father’s first name as a middle name. My Greek great grandfather’s name was John Tatooles, his first son (my grandpa) was named James Euclid Tatooles (Euclid after James’ grandfather), and and his first son (my uncle) was name John James Tatooles. As the first non-100% child born on my mom’s side of the family, I guess it makes sense that I would be the kid that messed up the Greek naming tradition.
My last name Brown is Irish. My grandparents aren’t 100% sure where the name came from. When I asked my grandparents, they told me that in Ireland, when people started taking last names, most of the shoemakers took the last name Brown because most of the shoes they made were Brown, as well as the Brown shoe polish to shine the shoes. This story isn’t confirmed, but it’s all I got.