"My Five Wives" - the Williams family of 30

I haven't seen the show, but I just read an article on this family and it's an interesting case study in naming!

Surname: Williams (I'm assuming all the women took his surname and all the kids have it too, but perhaps that's not a good assumption because they all self-identify as feminists, and they teach that girls can do anything that boys can do, including having multiple husbands.)

Husband: Brady

Wife #1: Paulie
Children: Calistia Karlie, 20; Brady Joshua, 19; Madeline Tamar, 17; September Marcine, 14; Maura Elizabeth, 12; and Camry Hope, 9.

Wife #2: Robyn
Children: Hannah Louise, 19; Lauren Rose, 17; Brady Dane, 14; Thomas Garrett, 12; and Trey Mason, 9.

Wife #3: Rosemary
Children: Kimberly Beth, 17; Taylor Elaine, 15; Brady James, 13; and Brandon Elijah, 11.

Wife #4: Nonie
Children: Brady Paul, 14; Rachel Noelle, 12; Marissa Darleen, 10; Aeyden Frank, 7; and Tailee Mae, 4.

Wife #5: Rhonda (also Robyn's cousin)
Children: Eden Christina, 13; Brady Lake, 11; Arwen Estelle, 7; and Nikolas Frank, 2.

What I find really remarkable is that each of the full-sibsets has the eldest boy being named Brady, for a total of six Bradys in the family, and three of them within a year of age and thus likely to be in the same grade in school, for example. (The Brady kid ages are 19, 14, 14, 13, 11). I'd be curious to see how the practicalities of that are handled (I would guess middle names feature in there somewhere, else resorting to matronymic modifiers). Brady Dane and Brady James don't really pass the holler test for me, but perhaps it helps that there will be different mothers doing the hollering.

Other than that, though, apart from that I am favorably impressed by the diversity of names (Aeyden, Eden and Arwen are the most similar in sound, and they have very different "feels"), and the fact that it would not be an obvious proposition to separate out the full-sibsets, either!


March 13, 2014 3:23 PM

I also noticed all the boys named after their father, especially since none of the girls appear to be named after their mothers.  Interesting.

March 17, 2014 2:23 PM

Hm, some of the many Bradys might go by initials or by some nn, though most of the initials would seem weird as names, the only one even somewhat appropriate is BJ, and those initials are shared by two Bradys. Most of the names, while not my style, are nice and seem fairly cohesive when separated into full-sibling sets.

But that many bradys thing is just odd to me. I really don't like the idea of having people in the same family sharing names. Maybe its because I was called by my sisters' names so often growing up (I'm 1/5 of a J sib set, and our names did not pass the holler test) but I feel like it would make me feel like I didn't have my 'own' name, or identity, and I would hate to do that to a kid.

March 18, 2014 1:14 AM

Yep, plus the appropriateness of BJ is at a current all-time low thanks to the popularity of the abbreviation for other more salacioius purposes.

I'm 1/3 of a J sibset, and we did pass the holler test for the most part, but I agree with you that it's very important to feel that one has one's own name. I can see how being named after a parent would be different (I think the "one's own" part then comes from the generational modifier), but somehow having the same name as a sibling, even a half-sib being reared in a different household, strikes me as odd.


By mk
March 17, 2014 3:09 PM

the wives all seem to use WIlliams as a last name, at least in the articles I've read. The Brady sons probably use nicknames, like George Foreman's sons.


March 17, 2014 4:12 PM

Or go by their middle names?

March 18, 2014 1:16 AM

That makes sense because it seems that their move from a rather conservative religious sect has been a more recent occurrence than their marriages... but it definitely removes another source of keeping the Bradys apart in school, in that they can't be Brady Williams-Smith, Brady Williams-Jones, etc. I am guessing you are right about the nicknames part!

April 4, 2014 5:17 PM

This family tree seems to suggest that the boys named Brady all go by their middle names:



April 13, 2014 4:38 PM

I've seen the show multiple times and I noticed that they say the boys middle names instead of first. For example with Brady Joshua, they just call him Josh, it's probably for less confusion between all the boys and the dad.

April 20, 2014 4:44 PM

I can imagine that they'd have to call the boys by their middle names lest they have to say something like Robyn's Brady. Can you imagine the headaches these kids will have when they get to working age and have separate bank accounts, credit cards, etc.? It seems like they'll have to move to different states just to minimize the chance for bureaucratic confusion.