Female Names in the Upper New River Valley of North Carolina, 1700's to about 1850
A Very Brief History of Names in England and America
Naming Conventions and Spelling in the Upper New River Valley
Short List of Names

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FATIMA - this Arabic name, which means "to abstain," appears in various translations of the fairy tale "Blue Beard" by French writer Charles Perrault (1697). The name can be found in American records as early as the mid-1700's.  It was most popular in the 19th century, however, when it may have been popularized by Tennyson's poem "Fatima" (1832).

FELICIA - feminine form of "Felix," a Latin name meaning "lucky."  "Felix" was a popular name with the early Christians and was borne by several saints.  "Felicia" and "Felice" have been used in England since at least the 12th century.

- see Pheraby.

FIDELIA - Latin for "faithful."  This name seems to have been introduced by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem Faerie Queene (1590-1596).

FERBA - variation of Phebe.

FLORA - a name found in England, Germany, and Scotland since the Middle Ages.  Flora was the goddess of flowers in Roman mythology. 

- English variation of the Italian name "Francesco" which was first introduced to England in the 16th century.  "Frances" and "Francis" were once used interchangeably for men and women.  Nicknames:  Fanny, Franny, Franky.

FRANKY - a nickname for Frances.

FREDONIA - apparently an American coinage from the word "freedom."  There are several U.S. towns named "Fredonia," the oldest of which seems to be Fredonia, New York (1820).  Also, a group of U.S. settlers and Cherokee Indians established a short-lived "Republic of Fredonia" in eastern Texas in 1826.
GERTRUDE - a Germanic name meaning "strong spear."  This name was introduced to England during the Middle Ages, probably by migrants from Germany and Holland.  Nickname: Gertie.

GILLY - nickname for Julia and variations (e.g., Julianna, Jillian).

GINCEY - see Jincey.

GINNIE, GINNY - see Jenny.

GRACE, GRACY - from the Latin word gratia, meaning grace (as in God's grace).  This is one of the few "virtue names" not invented by the Puritans: Gracye, Gracia, Gratia, and other variations can be found in English records as early as the 11th century. 

GRISELDA, GRIZELDA - a very old Germanic name found in Scotland and England, possibly derived from gris (grey) and hild (battle).  Nickname: Zelda, Zilda.
HANNAH - Old Testament; the mother of the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1:2).  Her name means "gracious" or "merciful" in Hebrew.  The variation Anna has long been popular in England; "Hannah" was revived by the Puritans in the 16th and 17th century.

HARRIET - an English feminine variation of the name "Harry," which in turn comes from "Henry," an ancient name of Germanic origin (Heinrich, from "heim", home, plus "ric," power or ruler).  Although "Harry" and "Henry" have been common in England since Norman times, "Harriet" first appeared in the 17th century.  It was popularized by a character named Harriett in Samuel Richardson's novel Sir Charles Grandison (1751).  Nickname: Hattie.

HELEN, HELENA - a name from Greek mythology that has been popular in England since the Middle Ages.  Variations: Ellen, Leanna, Lena, Elena (Spanish, Portuguese), Elida (Scottish).

HESSY, HESEY - a nickname for Hester, or possibly related to the German name "Hessa."

HESTER - a common English variation of the Biblical name Esther.  Nickname: Hessy, Hesey.

HILDA - a Germanic name found in England since before the Norman conquest, and also in Holland and Germany.  It is one of several Germanic names based on the element hilde, meaning "battle" (e.g., Hildegard, Matilda, Estrilda, Serilda).

HILEY, HILY - a nickname for Mahala.

HULDAH, HULDY - Old Testament; a prophetess in Jerusalem at the time of King Josiah (2 Kings 22:14).  Her name means "weasel" in Hebrew.
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Copyright 2002 by Rebecca Moon