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The Daily Genealogist: Victory

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Genealogist

VICTORY (usually m): This name was usually bestowed to honor or celebrate a particular event, especially the successful outcome of a recent battle or larger armed struggle. Occasionally it might be used in a spiritual sense. The Indo-European root behind the word is weik "to fight, conquer" (Calvert Watkins, The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. [Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000], p. 97).

Victorius Smith, b. Bellingham, Mass., 22 Jan. 1746/7, son of James and Sarah (VRs, p. 61), may have been named due to his parents' elation at a military victory in one of the colonial wars. Victory Sikes Tousley/Towsley, b. Litchfield, Conn., 14 Nov 1751, was the son of Samuel and Agnes Tousley/Towsley. Victory Ralph Adams, b. Thetford, Vermont, 8 April 1921, was the son of Leon Henry and Nellie (Anderson) Adams.


The Daily Genealogist: Gloriana

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Genealogist

GLORIANA (f): In his book, American Given Names: Their Origin and History in the Context of the English Language (1979), George R. Stewart notes that this name, which means "glorious one [feminine]," was coined in the late sixteenth century by courtier poets to honor Queen Elizabeth I. The name was formed by adding the feminine adjective suffix "-ana" [of or pertaining to] to a base word, in this case "gloria" [glory]. Use of this name in colonial America generally bears strong Anglican connotations - Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603, Queen from 1558) was considered to have re-founded the Church of England after the reign of her Catholic sister Queen Mary I Tudor (1516-1558, Queen from 1553).

Gloriana (Treadwell) Pell (1731-1814), was buried in St. Paul's Churchyard in the Bronx, New York, with the following inscription on her tombstone: In / Memory of / Gloriana / Relict of Philip Pell / who departed this Life / the 10th of Septr 1814 Aged 83 / Years, 4 Months & 28 Days. (Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections on AmericanAncestors.org). She was named for a maternal aunt, Gloriana (Thomas) Stevenson, daughter (as was Mrs. Pell's mother, Margaret Thomas) of Rev. John Thomas, rector of St. George's Church, Hempstead, N.Y. (William A. Robbins, Descendants of Edward Tre(a)dwell through his Son John (New York: Tobias A. Wright Press, 1911), pp. 49-52, 74-75).
   
The best-known Gloriana is Gloriana (Folsom) Sterling, b. Stratford, Conn., 24 Dec. 1753 to Samuel and Anne (Bingham) Folsom, who had come from Ashford, Conn. to Stratford in 1743, so he could make the ironwork for Christ Church (Episcopal), Stratford. Like most Anglican/Episcopal families of the time, her parents did not record her birth with the town clerk, so it's not in the Barbour Collection. She married at Stratford, 10 March 1771, John "Sterling," said to be son of a baronet in Scotland. He was summoned home and the good people of Stratford assumed desertion, even as daughter Mary Glorianna "Sterling" was baptized in Dec. 1771. The town was amazed when in fact he did send a ship for Gloriana and took her home to Scotland, where they produced many more children (not in Scottish OPRs, which suggests they were Scottish Episcopalians) and corresponded for many years with Stratford relatives. The whole story is given in Rev. Samuel Orcutt, The History of the Town of Stratford and City of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 2 vols. (1886), 1:448-451. (The given-name term glorian* produced 33 hits -- the earliest 1787 -- in the index to pre-1855 births and baptisms at the Scottish government site, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; among them is Gloriana Folsom Lapslie, baptized at Campsie, Stirlingshire, 20 Nov. 1797 [OPR Births 475/00 0020 0297 Campsie]).
 

 


The Daily Genealogist: Independence

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Genealogist

Independence (usually m): The exciting events of the Revolutionary War and the young Republic inspired many names such as Independence and Liberty, which descend from the "virtue" names (often unisex) bestowed by the Puritans a century earlier. Twin sons, Independence and Liberty Whipple, were born to Jonathan and Mary Whipple on October 31, 1777, in Douglas, Massachusetts (Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, on AmericanAncestors.org). Independence Pease, the daughter of Emory and Mary Pease, was born in Somers, Connecticut, on August 27, 1776 (Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 [The Barbour Collection], on AmericanAncestors.org).

The Daily Genealogist: Clarence

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

CLARENCE (m): This first name, often but not exclusively bestowed on male protagonists, has a fine aristocratic ring which echoes the name of George, Duke of Clarence (1449–1476), middle brother of Kings Edward IV and Richard III; Clarence's mysterious death has inspired literature, both greater (Shakespeare's Richard III) and lesser (The Last of the Barons [1843], by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton). Beginning in the mid- and late eighteenth century, the name became popular for men actual and imaginary. Clarence Hervey, hero of Belinda (1811) by Maria Edgeworth (1768–1849), bears for good measure the family name of the earls and marquesses of Bristol. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, when the name was popular, the contemporary Duke of Clarence was George III's third son Prince William Henry (1765–1837), subsequently King William IV (1830–1837).

Here at NEHGS we see the name frequently in connection with the compiler of the massive bibliographic index, “New England Marriages Prior to 1700,” Clarence Almon Torrey (1869–1962). Torrey, born in Manchester, Iowa, was a descendant of an old New England family that had moved west. Another Clarence, Clarence M. Averill, the son of Moses (b. Olney, Maine) and Mary J. (b. New Sharon, Maine), was born July 28, 1840, in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts (Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, on AmericanAncestors.org).


The Daily Genealogist: Flavel

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

FLAVEL (m): John Flavel (ca. 1630–1691), an English Presbyterian writer, was author of several devotional works, such as Husbandry Spiritualized (1669) (New Century Encyclopaedia of Names [1954], p. 1573). Flavel Bliss, the son of Ellis and Thamar Bliss, was born July 8, 1765, in Hebron, Connecticut (Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 [The Barbour Collection], on AmericanAncestors.org.) Tuillia Aldrich and Flavel Patterson were married on February 4, 1808 in Providence, Rhode Island (Rhode Island Vital Records, 1636-1850, on AmericanAncestors.org).

The 1790 census shows four men with the name: Flavel Clark of Lebanon, Connecticut; Flavel Manley of Sandisfield, Massachusetts; Flavel Moseley of Hampton, Connecticut; and Flavel Roan of Northumberland, Pennsylvania. In 1850, there were 178 men with the name, mostly in the Northeast or Old Northwest, and, in 1940, 233 men from all parts of the United States were enumerated with the name.


The Daily Genealogist: Armida

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ARMIDA (f): One of the main female characters in the epic Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso (Italian Renaissance); the story also inspired several operas, such as those by Jean-Baptiste Lully (1686), J.-W. Glück (1777) and G.A. Rossini (1817):

She was a beautiful sorceress, with whom Rinaldo [one of Charlemagne's paladins, based on his nephew, the hero Roland] fell in love, and wasted his time in voluptuous pleasure. Two messengers were sent from the Christian army with a talisman to disenchant him. After his escape, Armida followed him in distraction, but not being able to allure him back, set fire to her palace, rushed into the midst of a combat, and was slain. (Brewer, p. 64).

Armida Potter (1765–1798, daughter of Dr. James and Abigail [Barns] Potter) m. New Fairfield North (Sherman, Conn.) Congregational Church 23 Nov. 1797 Bennett Pickett (1764–1854), and apparently died bearing an only child, Armida Pickett (1798–1826) who herself died unmarried. Why Dr. and Mrs. Potter (several of whose offspring bear imaginative names) named one for an apparently love-crazed sorceress, we cannot now determine; certainly such a choice reflects eighteenth-century America's discovery of non-Puritan literature and ideals. Perhaps Dr. Potter shared his reading material with the neighbors, as the name is more common than usual in the Sherman/New Milford area. For example, Armida Giddings (1773–1827, daughter of Jonathan and Mary [Baldwin] Giddings), later wife of David Gaylord, was one of several siblings bp. New Fairfield North 26 May 1776; other local Armidas were her niece, Armida Giddings (1815–1818, daughter of Samuel Giddings by his first marriage to a cousin, Lydia Giddings) and Mrs. Gaylord's sister-in-law Armida (Sanford) Giddings (1796–post 1881, daughter of Ebenezer and Jerusha [Buck] Sanford), second wife of Samuel Giddings above.


The Daily Genealogist: Aquila

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

AQUILA (m) (Latin 'eagle'). In Christian iconography the eagle is the symbol of the Gospel of St. John. A man named Aquila was associated with St. Paul; a later Aquila (fl. early half 2nd century A.D.) translated the Hebrew Bible into a very literal Greek. Both men are said to have been natives of Pontus [in Asia Minor], the latter prob. a native of Sinope in that region (Henry Wace and William C. Piercy, A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies [London: John Murray, 1911, repr. Peabody, Mass.: Henderson Publishers, 1994], pp. 38–39).

Aquila Chase (1618–1670) was an early settler of Hampton, N.H. (1640) and Newbury, Massachusetts (1646). John Carroll Chase and George Walter Chamberlain, Seven Generations of the Descendants of Aquila and Thomas Chase (Derry, N.H., 1928, rev. ed. Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1983, 1993), note that the exact parentage of the immigrant Aquila Chase and his brother Thomas seem to be still unknown; although several earlier English Aquila Chases have been identified in Chesham, Bucks, and in London, no positive matches have been found for the immigrant. The other seventeenth-century immigrant to New England bearing this rare given name was Aquila Purchase of Kingweston, Somerset, and Dorchester, Mass., brother-in-law of Bernard Capen of Dorchester in Old and New England. Both Chase and Purchase were likely named for Aquila, husband of Priscilla, mentioned by St. Paul.

The 1790 census lists 21 men named Aquila, with occurrences from Vermont to South Carolina, with the largest number in Maryland. In 1850, there were 111 men with the name, and, in 1940, there were 77.


The Daily Genealogist: Achilles

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ACHILLES (m): The great Greek warrior hero of Homer's Iliad. The name was used by the French and Scots especially. Captain Achilles Preston, who “was at the capture of Ticonderoga and Montreal and under Gen. Wolfe,” died in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 1, 1814 (Rhode Island Vital Records, 1636-1850, on AmericanAncestors.org). On October 26, 1908, Achilles Frichette married Angelina Bergeron in Lewiston, Maine (Maine Marriages Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996, on AmericanAncestors.org). There were three men named Achilles in the 1790 census, in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. In the 1850 census, there were 323 men with the name, and in 1940, 361.

Name Origins: Amelia

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

AMELIA (f): Derived from the Germanic root amal-, which is of uncertain meaning, this name became popular at about the same time as the similar-sounding EMILY, which is derived probably via French EMILIE, from Latin AEMILIA, feminine of a Roman family name. (The French equivalent of AMELIA is AMÉLIE.) Amelias abounded in many German royal families, including that of Hanover, a reason for much of the name's popularity in English-speaking countries. The name may well have gained further currency due to the character of Amelia in Henry Fielding's novel (1751) of that name; the virtuous heroine is said to have been modeled on the author's wife, Charlotte Cradock.

Amelia Potter, daughter of Stephen Potter, of Coventry, Rhode Island, married Chandler Holmes of Woodstock, Connecticut, in Woodstock on January 4, 1787 (Woodstock, Ct., Vital Records, 1686-1854 on AmericanAncestors.org). On May 21, 1856, Pascal B. Simons of Manchester, N.H., married Amelia Henry of Goffstown, N.H., in Goffstown. (Goffstown, N.H., Town Records, on AmericanAncestors.org).


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