52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Favorite Name
Have you ever had a family member with an unusual name? A cousin named after their parent’s favorite car? Or maybe a nephew named after an obscure prophet from the Bible? In my family this honor goes to my uncle, Lanis Llayne Jaeger. Uncle Lanis, born on January 12, 1956, was the youngest of nine children. According to my mother, their father heard the name “Lanis” somewhere and thought it sounded nice. She does not know where Llayne came from though.
The name Lanis is of unknown origin. But, if you read enough baby naming books and websites, you’ll find that a few say the name is of Celtic origin and means “little rock, the one who is peaceful.” While I question the legitimacy of this meaning, it’s an interesting take on an obscure name.
From 1880 to 2019, the Social Security Administration has recorded fewer than 300 babies born in the United States with the first name Lanis. The highest recorded use was in 1946 with a whopping total of 12 babies named Lanis. To put it into perspective, this name was given to .0003% of all babies born that year. Wow.
Out of 4,163,090 babies born in 1956, only five were named Lanis, and only one of those was named Lanis Llayne Jaeger. He was a rancher, a welder, a baby brother, and a beloved uncle who was as precious as his rare name. He was devoted to his parents and lived on the family farm, caring for it after their deaths. In so many ways, he was the “little rock, the one who is peaceful” and his presence is still felt on the land he farmed.
Uncle Lanis passed away on August 29, 2007 at the age of 51. He is buried in the Jaeger Witte Cemetery near his parents Henry and Lillie Jaeger. His life will be featured in more detail on a future blog post.