NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Levi Henry Westby was born Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 0300 hours (CT) at Saint Thomas Midtown hospital in Nashville, Tennessee to parents Jeremy Westby and Ashley (Read) Westby. He weighed 7 lbs and 7 oz and measured 18.5 inches.

A bit of Jeremy and Ashley’s history first, before an explanation of the names…

The Westbys were around five months married when they traveled to Southern California in the fall of 2021 to celebrate Ashley’s cousin’s wedding. Prior to the nuptials, they opted for a day trip to Disneyland (big surprise!). After Disney’s evening fireworks, they decided to take in The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park, and while in the waiting queue, they observed multiple prop gravestones. One of them had ‘Levi’ on it, and both of them turned to each other simultaneously and said, ‘I love that name! That’d be a great name for our child!’ Of significant note, Ashley worked at Disney Animation and was a key producer on Frozen, as well as many other well-known feature films. She also worked at DreamWorks Animation, Reel FX, Fox News, Walt Disney Television, CONAN, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Fast-forward to early June of ‘22 when they discovered they were pregnant, a couple of boy names stuck out, but Levi remained within the top two choices. During the third trimester, they traveled down the baby name rabbit hole and looked through Scottish names, the latest-greatest trendy fashionable titles, and after detailing both the female and male selections, they approached the daunting task of going through the 100,000 name book. It was Christmas, and with trips to both Oklahoma City and South Carolina, they gave up after the C’s.

Regardless, their minds were already made up, and whether they had a girl (one name chosen) or a boy (two names chosen), they were ready.

Levi and his Mommy

Interestingly, as soon as Levi made his grand entrance this past early Tuesday morning, the doctor and delivery nurses forgot that it was a surprise – and nobody in the room (save for ‘Auntie’ Tracy Rhew) knew whether Baby Westby would be a boy or girl. So as soon as they pulled him up and laid him in Ashley’s arms, one of the nurses proclaimed, “IT’S A BOY!!”

What’s in the name?

Levi (Hebrew לוה לוי lawa) means ‘joined’, ‘united’, ‘attached’, ‘to connect’ or, more specifically, “joined in harmony”. It is rooted in Old Testament Biblical scripture. Levi was the son of Jacob and Leah. Also, The Levites are one of the 12 tribes of the Israelites. The Levites were a priestly tribe of ancient Judah, and brothers Moses and Aaron were members. Levi is a name signifying the unification or founding of something. It is also the diminutive of the Hungarian name Levente, which means ‘hero’. In Latin, it means “to lift”. The timeless name was also an alias of the apostle Saint Matthew, son of Alphaeus.

Jeremy’s Pastor and very close friend, Will B. Smith II, the worship pastor and musical director at Bethel World Outreach Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, was the officiant of their wedding in May of 2021, and would frequently exhort that anyone serving on the worship team was a Levite – someone tasked with preparing the house for worship and that it was their duty to lead everyone into the Lord’s presence.

The intent in naming The Westby’s firstborn Levi is he would be both a leader and uniter everywhere he goes.

Henry is from the Old German name Haimirich, from the Germanic heim meaning “home” and ric which means “power, ruler”. So, the name means ‘ruler of the house’. Not only will Levi be a leader and uniter, but he will also be a ruler of the house — of those places where God’s grace has allowed him to have opportunities to lead others by serving them.

Henry is Ashley’s great-great-grandfather’s name. On her mother’s side, Lori Read’s mother is Marion Schmitter. Her grandfather was Henry Ockershausen. Joel, Lori’s husband, wears a wedding band that was passed down from Henry to his female heirs, to be given to their husbands upon betrothal. The name is very dear to the Read family, and they wanted to honor her family by giving the little one his meaningful name. 

In addition, Jeremy’s maternal great-grandmother, whom they affectionately called GG, was Gertrude Zochert. Jeremy gets his height, his blonde hair, and blue eyes from the mighty Germanic line descending through the Zochert family. GG was adored in the Wright-Westby household, a beloved matriarch, and queen of her offspring.

Levi and his Daddy

The Westby name has its origins in Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of Viking settlers to Westby, various small villages near Lincolnshire, also Lancashire, and Yorkshire. There is a small province in northwestern England called WESTBY-WITH-PLUMPTONS, west of Manchester near the western English coast. The place name Westby comes from the Old Norse words vestr or “west,” and býr, meaning “a settlement.” It is a habitational name for any of twenty or more farmsteads, mainly in southeastern Norway. Vestbýr means ‘west’ + ‘settlement’. A result of conquering and subsequent colonization of English territories by the Norse Vikings between AD 793-1066.

Of note – in 2022 The Westbys officially became Lord Jeremy Westby and Lady Ashley Westby, by way of helping to save the Scottish woodlands through Established Titles. Their designated plot is near Eddleston, Scotland. Supposedly, you could call it reparations, aka ‘sorry William Wallace gave King Edward such a hard time’, or simply… GO VIKINGS #SKOL!

The Westbys want to thank you for your support as they grow their beautiful family!

Levi and his parents

If you would like to reach out by mail, send to:

1400 Scarcroft Ln
Nashville, TN 37221

Otherwise, an email to the new parents is best — jerandschwee@gmail.com.

Jeremy, Ashley, and Levi Henry Westby

P.S. “Meow… meow” – Keegan & Biscuit (their two blind cats)