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Name Origins: Apphia

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

APPHIA (f): A Christian woman of Colosse, who belonged to the household of Philemon, probably as his wife (Philemon 2). The Greek church honors her on 22 November, as having suffered martyrdom with Philemon and his slave Onesimus, in the reign of Nero, but on what documentation is not clear.


In New England, this name is noticeable in vital records of towns in the vicinity of Salisbury and Amesbury, Mass., and Hampton, N.H. A very early bearer of this surname was Apphia (Hale) Rolfe (1642–1708), daughter of Thomas and Thomasine (Doucette) Hale (NEHGR 31 [1877]: 87); among her children was Apphia (Rolfe) Jepson (b. 1667), wife of John Jepson (NEHGR 31 [1877]: 87). Others bearing the name included Apphia Merrill, b. 25 Dec. 1704, daughter of Moses and Mary; Apphia Osgood, m. 7 Nov. 1780 Robert Morrill; Affee Merrill, daughter of James and Mary, b. 30 April 1741; Apphia Morrill, daughter of Jacob, bp. 12 June 1715, p. 161; Apphia Ann Morrill, 23 Aug. 1809–22 Feb. 1825, daughter of Benjamin and Miriam; Apphia Norton, daughter of David and Hannah (French) Norton, bp. 7 July 1745; m. 14 Dec. 1769 Barnard Thorn [Salisbury, Mass.]

The name is also found early just north of these towns at Hampton, N.H.; cf. Apphia Philbrook, daughter of James and Ann (____) Philbrook, b. Hampton 19th, 1st mo. 1655 (Hampton VRs 1:89).

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