This post is part of the A to Z Challenge for genealogy bloggers. I'm catching up today, because I got a little bit of a late start on this. This is a Facebook group, so you'll have to log in to Facebook to find out more about it, if you'd like to.
Arden is a name that has been in my extended paternal family for four generations now. My father was the first. His parents, Walter Heatherington Packard and Elizabeth Jane (Reynolds) Packard could not decide on a name, as the story goes. Walter put on the birth certificate "Walter Heatherington Packard, Jr." but grandma Elizabeth ("Betty") put her foot down. One Walter Heatherington Packard in the family was quite enough, she said. They could not come to an agreement on a name, so for the interim, they did agree to put Arden on the birth certificate. They chose that name as a stopgap, because grandfather Walter worked as the supervisor at the Arden Dairy in Los Angeles at the time.
They never did come up with another name, so my father was Arden Packard. He had no middle name, probably because that, too, had been set aside for a while during the time grandma and grandpa Packard were supposed to be agreeing on a name!
My brother was Arden Packard II, but was called "Ned." That nickname came from a Naval Academy classmate of my father's who was killed at Pearl Harbor, Edward Worthington, who was called "Ned." My brother died in 1996.
Various grandchildren and now great-grandchildren in the family have Arden either as a given name or a middle name, preserving the legacy of my father, who died in 1954. One of these new little Ardens is a girl, and the name fits for both girls and boys. I have to say that it touches me that my cousins and others in the family have seen fit to preserve that legacy, my father and brother apparently having made quite an impression on them.