MONIMIA (f): Heroine of The Old Manor House (1792) by Mrs. Charlotte (Turner) Smith (1749–1806). This novel was a huge bestseller in the last decade of the eighteenth century, and likely led to the name being bestowed upon some daughters; Hortensia Monemia (Penniman) Brayton (1795-1827) of Colchester and Burlington, Vermont, was a great-great-great aunt of the writer. Her mother, Frances (“Montezuma” / “Montresor” alias Brush) (Buchanan) (Allen) Penniman, widow of Ethan Allen, was an enthusiastic novel reader who was known to walk from her home in Colchester to the subscription library in downtown Burlington for the latest fiction.
The 1850 census shows about forty women and girls with variants of this name. The name MONIMIA was used as early as 1680 for by Nathaniel Otway in his play The Orphan and by Tobias Smollett in The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753), also for an orphan character. The name has lost popularity over time, however, probably due to the unrelated Greek suffix –emia, meaning a blood disease.