Names from the Attic

La Muta, by Raphael (1507-1508) via Wikipedia

Whilst conducting some research for my book, I have run into some mighty interesting names in both the U.S. and U.K. Census records. Here are some of the more unusual finds this week:

Cleophila Jones was born in 1695 in Shropshire England. Her parents had the mundane names of Thomas and Mary.

Delphila: Delphila Leey was born in 1621 and lived in Derby, England. Her father was named Radulphi. This is the same time when the faux-Greek female name of Delphia became somewhat fashionable. I wonder if this is a clerical error of Delphia or if this is suppose to be some sort of elaboration.

Derriphia: I have no idea where this name could have stemmed from. I found a record for the christening of a female child in Somerset, England named, Derriphia Soge (b.1602)

Doesey/Dosie: I thought this could make a comeback if more parents were aware of her existence. She might make an interesting alternative to Josie. These are actually diminutive forms of Theodosia and Eudocia, but U.K. census records show that both these names already spun off as independents by the 1600s.

Dusula: Dusula Curtonn was born in Norfolk, England in 1570. It reminds me, somewhat, of Drusilla.

Edburra Dynnes was born in Sussex, England in 1583. It reminds me of the place-name, Edinburgh. It may actually be an Anglo-Saxon name meaning, “noble fortress”, but I cannot be certain.

Eldariah Brewer was born in England in 1790, but lived to the ripe old age of 80, settling in Michigan, United States.

Enendora Smith is recorded in 1790 North Carolina.

Eratia Fen was born in Norfolk, England in 1572, and  there was also a record for an Eratia Oshbee who was born in Buckingham in 1604.

Erioilla: a baptismal record for an Erioilla Burton was registered in Huntingdon, England for the year 1614. I am guessing this is some sort of corruption of Aurelia.

Hylloma Smith was born in Shropshire, England in 1602.

Jenephie: there is a record for a Jenephie Trall of England, born in 1679, she was the daughter of Joseph and Grace Trall. My own personal theory is that she is perhaps an early incarnation of Jennifer, being a corruption of the Cornish, Jenifry, or perhaps this was an early English corruption of the French female name, Genevieve.

Migorie Judith Boys was born in Kent, England in 1628. Is this another form of Margery, which has been lost to history?

Neopy: I ran into a Neopy Nickham of Marion, Ohio, born in 1787. Other members of her family included an Asher and an Amos. It did not list her relation with the latter two gentleman. I am guessing that both were her sons or either one was her husband. In any case, I wonder if this is a misprint for Neomi or Naomi or perhaps her parents or the cleric misspelled Niobe.

Pinca Twig was born in Hempstead, England in 1594. I love this one. I don’t know if its related, but apparently, pinca is the Anglo-Saxon word for “point.” There was a Pinka B christened on October 21, 1627, in Norfolk England. There were several Pinks born in the 18th-century, an equal amount of males and females, my favorite has to be Pink Peace of Louisiana, a woman who was born in Virginia in 1790.

Rose Pinke Hall was the daughter of Phillis Hall and was Christened in 1692 in Hampshire, England.

Selioma Canteeoll of Devon, England was baptized in 1593. I am also certain this is a form of Salome.

Sollmy Herman was christened in 1670, in Devon, England. Perhaps another form of Salome?

Sylna Mose was borne in Suffolk, England in 1585.

Verdosa: Verdosa Rapp was born in the German Kingdom of Wurttemburg in 1793 and was recorded living in Hamilton, Ohio in 1860.

Zethia: How cool is the name, Zethia Rocket? There is a birth record for a Zethia Rocket (b.1683) in Norfolk, Massachusetts, daughter of Mary and Josiah Rockett.

If anyone would like to share their theories as to these names’ origins or meanings, I’d greatly appreciate it.


7 thoughts on “Names from the Attic

  1. Hi Sebastiane,
    It’s been a long time since we connected, but I was hoping to get your email to talk about providing a quote on a name book. If you could email me back, I’ll send you more details. I love your blog and am looking forward to the release of your book!

  2. I love all the misspellings that were used. Sometimes I even prefer them to the “correct” spellings. Happylonia for Apollonia is one of my favourites, and Matthewsella for Methuselah

    • since there weren’t standardized spellings back then, they weren’t really misspelled, don’t you think? What I love about them is that they show how people in certain regions pronounced a name. My ancestors were Hanchers, for instance, in Virginia, but really, this is just the English Henshaw, which, in England would have that r sound at the end without having it spelled that way. But spell it Henshaw in the U.S. and no one will say it with an r.

  3. Verdosa is from the Spanish for “greenish in hue”.

    Cleophila is lovely, and I’ve seen a few men in old records called Cleophilus, so this is the feminine form.

    If Jenephie was from Cornwall or Devon, it seems very plausible that it’s a form of Jennifer.

    I found a few men named Migory (it’s a surname) – could Migorie be a femininised form????

    Rose Pinke Hall and Zethia Rocket are fantastic names!

    • it reminds me of that character Diggory from The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. Depends on how it was pronounced, I guess. If they said ‘my juh ree’ then it seems like a form of Margery, but ‘mig or ee’, hmm. Either way seems possible that it’s a form of Margaret.

  4. My favorites: Jenephie (I vote for a form of Genevieve, but could it be a form of Gwenfrewi, or something like that?), Dosie – as a nickname, not so much as a given name, Zethia Rocket – absolutely awesome whether it’s zeth ee uh or zeh thy uh, and Enendora, which seems similar to Endora.

    I’ve come across Pinkney as a name on my family tree. She was born in 1859 in Virginia.

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