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Name Origins: Elphlede

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ELPHLEDE (f): Elphlede (Lyon) Janes (1749-1792) of Woodstock, Conn., who m. ca. 1768 Eliphalet “Uncle Liff” Janes (1743-1835) of Sturbridge, Mass., was a daughter of Moses Lyon (Yale 1735) and his wife Grace Child. Eliphalet and Elphlede were ancestors of American painter Norman Perceval Rockwell (1894-1978) (NEHGS NEXUS 11 [1994]: 62-63; Gary Boyd Roberts, Notable Kin, Volume 2 [1999], p. 28). In 1749 use of this rare Anglo-Saxon name was a sure sign of antiquarian tastes. Elphlede’s father probably took her name from writings of the Venerable Bede (ca. 672/73-735) or other Anglo-Saxon writers, about St. Ælflæda of Whitby (653-714) [sister of Oswy, King of Northumbria]; several later Anglo-Saxon princesses of the ninth and tenth centuries bore the name, or close variants.


Elfleda Janes (1804-post 1860), daughter of Almarin and Polly (Fay) Janes and granddaughter of Eliphalet and Elfleda (Lyon) Janes, later married a Peter Wormwood (Frederic Janes, The Janes Family: A Genealogy and Brief History of the Descendants of William Janes, the Emigrant Ancestor of 1637 [New York: J.H. Dingman, 1868], p. 197); as “Alphida” she was living with him and their family at Manlius, N.Y., in 1850, and as “Alphleda” in 1860 (1850 U.S. Census, Onondaga Co., N.Y., Town of Manlius, Series M432, Roll 567, p. 67, #1018-1048, lines 22-28; 1860 U.S. Census, same place, Series M653, Roll 829, p. 171, #207-208, lines 29-34). Elfleda (Powell) Rogers (no dates in Janes, pp. 141-42, or VT VRs) was a daughter of Rowland and Mary (Janes) Powell of Richford, Vt.; her mother (1753-1813) was a sister of Eliphalet Janes above. Elfleda (Gibbs) Chamberlain (b. 1792), daughter of Zephaniah and Lucinda (Janes) Gibbs of Sturbridge, Mass., was named for her grandmother, Mrs. Janes above (Rev. Martin Lovering, History of the Town of Holland, Massachusetts [Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing Co., 1915]., p. 550; Janes, p. 192).

Elfleda (Elfreda?) Belknap (b. 1773), daughter of William and Anna (Burke) Belknap of Holland, Mass., m. there 7 Nov. 1793 David Anderson (1744-1817). I have found no obvious relation to the Janes family, but perhaps her parents admired the name. And “Elfledya” Blashfield was born at Brimfield, Mass., 30 March 1774, daughter of William and Lois (Lumbard) Blashfield; as “Alphleda” Blashfield, she married 23 Dec. 1798 John Bishop, at Brimfield (Brimfield VRs, pp. 19, 163).


Two more bearers of this name were first cousins Elfleda (Sherman) Trask (1797-1858), wife of Azel Trask of Wales, Mass. (next to Brimfield), and Willington, Conn., daughter of Daniel and Sarah “Sally” (Dimick) Sherman; and Elfleda “Fleta” (Dimick) Pendleton (1804-1858), daughter of James and Anna (Charles) Dimick, and wife of Lyman Pendleton of Wales (she appears as “Alfleday” in her marriage record). Both were granddaughters of Gideon and Sarah (Davis) Dimick of Brimfield and Wales, Mass. (One of the true joys of tracing their sometimes very obscure families was using Absalom Gardner’s scurrilous history of Wales, Mass., in the Corbin Collection at NEHGS; Mr. Gardner thought Azel Trask an annoying idiot [“was rather lazy withal” seems the kindest he can manage], and despised James Dimick.)

Posted by Jean Powers at 03/06/2012 07:20:00 AM | 

I have been researching this subject for a few days now for a report I am writing. Your post has been very helpful in this regard. Thanks for another great post.
Posted by: Jones Micheal ( Email | Visit ) at 5/5/2012 11:11 AM

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