The Strange Inspiration Behind Jessa Duggar’s Baby Name

There’s a lot of fuss over the naming of the latest Duggar, which kind of surprises us, considering this new Duggar has a big brother named Spurgeon. Yes, Jessa Duggar Seewald gave birth to a baby girl they’ve named Ivy Jane — and everyone seems to be asking why.

Now, as far as the Duggars go, this is barely news, as they’ve been involved in about a million parenting controversies. We have sipped plenty of Duggar tea, and we think sometimes a name is just a name, people (like, well, Spurgeon). But it is true that the Seewalds had a reason for the baby name. First off, though, here’s the littlest of Duggars, in all her splendid teensy glory. Come on, a requisite round of awwwwwwws, please:

Strong work, cute kid. Anyhoo, the Seewalds talked about their reason for the name Ivy Jane in a video — which they linked through their Instagram page. Seriously, you would think they were sharing State secrets and not, you know, how they came up with a fairly reasonable, innocuous child’s name. But okey-doke, this is why they pay us the big bucks, to find out this stuff for you. Totes kidding! We write because Danielle Steel says we have to!

If you feel like it, you can watch the whole video here, but some advance warning: It’s not as riveting as, say, a Jason Bourne flick. Although one might be forgiven for thinking so, what with all the hype. Too long, dont want to watch? We’ll skip ahead to the basic reasoning behind this baby’s name:

“We just liked those two names,” Papa Ben Seewald said.

Oh? You don’t say? *Awkward silence*

Seewald finally continued, “She’s actually named after Lady Jane Grey… she’s a very inspirational character to us.” Um, how nice.

Let’s unpack that, shall we? According to dear old Wikipedia, Lady Jane Grey (or Lady Jane Dudley) was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII and ruled England for all of nine days before she was locked in the Tower of London and eventually beheaded — blindfolded — before a bloodthirsty, panting crowd at the tender age of 16. Inspirational indeed.

She also had a very strict upbringing. In her own words, “For when I am in the presence either of father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it… even so perfectly as God made the world; or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened… sometimes with pinches, nips and bobs and other ways (which I will not name for the honour I bear them) … that I think myself in hell.”

Well. That is super special. And possibly a great summer read, note to self. Only one soul on Twitter besides us seemed to also find this naming inspiration, uh, intriguing:

But heck, we’re talking about a darling bouncing baby girl in 2019. Who cares that her name comes from a beheaded teenager of yore? Ancient history, folks. Big brother Spurgeon Elliot was named after a couple of missionaries (which, TBH, makes a little more sense for the Duggars than executed 16th-century English royals, but hey). And other big brother Henry Wilberforce was not, in fact, named after a Star Wars character you missed because you were getting popcorn during Rogue One; Wilberforce was a British politician of some sort or other who nudged along the end of slavery in the 18th century. So that’s grand.

You certainly can’t dock those Duggars for creativity when it comes to baby-naming. We’ll give them that.

Anyway, it was an easy birth, with three and half hours of labor, according to Jessa — and then there she was, Ivy Jane, next in line to the Duggar throne. We’re hoping she has a gentler upbringing and far longer lifespan than her namesake.

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