The name is currently very popular in Lithuanian, and comes directly from the Lithuanian word for dawn.
It was the name of the first ever Lithuanian language newspaper and the first national newspaper for Lithuania.
The first issue was published in 1883. It was a significant event in modern Lithuanian history and marked the rebirth of Lithuanian nationlism which eventually resulted in Lithuania’s independence. The name most likely caught on as a first name after this event.
In Poland, the name is rendered as Auszra.
Similary, there is also the ancient Lithuanian female name, Aušrinė (owsh-REE-nay).
In Lithuanian mythology, she was a goddess who personified the planet, Venus, (the morning star).
Some scholars contend that she was a goddess of beauty, youth and health and was revered as the Queen of the Stars.
It is believed that she was the daughter of the goddess Saule (the sun), and Perkunas, (the god of the sky and lightning).
She was the sister of Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn.
Legends hold that when the moon divorced the sun, he fell madly in love with Ausrine.
He kidnapped her and in revenge, her father Perkunis, struck the oak god Azuolas with lightning, making him bleed upon Ausrine’s lily white gown, rendering her impure.
As a result, the moon was no longer interested in marrying Ausrine.
Both names designated name-day is April 27.
(Upper left, first issue of the Lithuanian language newspaper, Ausra.)