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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LACKEY - sometimes used as a nickname for Elizabeth, Adelaide, Eulalia, or other names containing an "L".

LAGENIA, LOGENIA - a Southern U.S. invention that is probably a variation of Eugenia.

LAURA, LORA - this name, which has Latin origins (from laurus, laurel tree), has long been popular in Spain and Italy.   "Lora" can be found in English records from the Middle Ages.  The spelling "Laura" became popular during the Classical Revival period, probably due to the influence of Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), a 14th-century Italian poet who wrote 366 sonnets about his unrequited love for a woman named Laura.   

LAVINIA - a Latin name that first became popular in England during the Middle Ages.  In Roman mythology, Lavinia was the wife of Aeneas and the mother of the Roman people.  The name is of pre-Roman origin.  Var: Lavina, Louvena; nickname: Viney.

LEAH - Old Testament; the eldest daughter of Laban, and sister of Rachel.  She was married to Jacob through the trickery of her father, as recounted in Genesis 29:16-35.  Her name means "weary" in Hebrew.

LEANNA - apparently a U.S. invention that results from combining "Leah" and "Ann." 

LEANORA, LENORA, LEONORA - a common variation of "Eleanor" which has been used in England since the Middle Ages.

LEAR - phoenic spelling of "Leah" (probably pronounced "Lee-ar").

LEMIRA, LAMIRA - this name is apparently an American invention.  Examples can be found as early as the 1780's in New York.  Perhaps it is a variation of Almira. It does not appear to have been used in England.

LETES - phoenetic spelling of Lettice.

LETTY - a nickname for Letitica.

LETHY - a nickname for Alethea or Althea.

LETICIA, LETTICE, LETTICY - from the Latin word laetitia, happiness.  This name has been popular in England since the Middle Ages.  Nickname: Letty.  See also "Ludicia."

LEWIZA, LEWIZY - phoenetic spelling of Louisa.

LIDA, LIDIA - phonetic spelling of Lydia.

LILLIAN - an English name of uncertain origin first recorded in the 16th century.  It may be related to the flower name "Lily" or it may be derived from Elizabeth.

LILY, LILLY - a flower name, or short for Lillian.

LINDA, LINDY - a nickname for Belinda, Selinda, Malinda, etc.

LOCKEY - a nickname for Charlotte.

LODEMA, LODAMY -  see Ludema.

LODICIA - see Ludicia.

LOGENIA - see Lagenia.

LOIS - New Testament; the mother of Eunice and grandmother of Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5). 

- see Laura.

LORETTA - a dimunitive of "Lora" (Laura).  Although "Loretta" can be found in English records from the Middle Ages, it was not really common until the 19th century.

LOTTY, LOTTA - nicknames for Charlotte.

- feminine form of an old Germanic name commonly spelled "Lewis" in England, "Louis" in France, and "Ludwig" in Germany.  It is composed of the elements hlud (fame) and wig (warrior).  The male name was brought to England by the Normans in the 11th century.  The female name, however, did not become common in England until the 17th-18th centuries.  It is also found in France ("Louise"), Germany ("Luise"), and Scandivavia ("Lovice," "Lovisa").  Spelling variations: Luisa, Luisy, Lewizy.

LOUISIANA - from the U.S. state.  Sometimes spelled "Louzanner," reflecting its Appalachian pronunciation.

LOUVENA - see Luvena.

LUCINDA - a Spanish variation of the Latin name "Lucia" which means bright or shining.  Although "Lucy" has been popular in England since the Middle Ages, "Lucinda" was first used in the 18th century, probably as a result of the Spanish novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605), which was translated into English in 1616 and was immensely popular.  Nickname: Sinda, Sindy.

LUCRETIA - the name of a legendary Roman heroine who lived around 500 B.C.  Lucretia was a virtuous noblewoman who was raped by the son of the King of Rome and subsequently took her own life.  This outrage sparked a rebellion that overthrew the monarchy and established the Roman Republic.  The name "Lucretia" has long been popular in Italy, but it was not used in England until the Classical Revival period.  It was popularized by Shakespeare's poem, "Rape of Lucrece" (1594).  Nicknames: Lucrezy, Crecia, Crotia, Crecy. 

LUCY - English variation of the ancient Latin name "Lucia," which means bright or shining. This name is also found in France ("Lucie") and many other European countries.  See also "Lucinda."

LUDEMA -  this unusual name is variously spelled Ludema, Ludemia, Ludemy, Lodema, Loudema,  etc.; nickname "Ludy."  Another variation is "Ludelia."  The earliest example that I have found is Lodemia Bostwick who was born 1733 in New Milford, CT.  Most early instances seem to be in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. The origins of the name are uncertain.  It may an elaboration of the Medieval English name "Loudey" (Lovdie, Loveday, Lowdie) which comes form the Old English "Leofdaeg."  Athough "Loudey" disappeared in most of England after the Middle Ages, it survived in Cornwall, especially as "Lowdie." 

LUDICIA, LUTICIA - a variation of "Letitica" that seems to be unique to the American South. Examples can be found as early as the 1780's.

LUDY - nickname for Ludema or Ludicia.

LUELLA, LUELLEN - a U.S. invention which may have originated as early as the mid-1600's.  It became very popular in the 19th century, and can be found in both Southern and Northern states.

LUISA, LUIZA, LUISY - see Louisa.

LURANA, LURANEY - probably a variation of the name "Lorena," which is a feminine version of the Italian name "Lorenzo." "Lorena" and "Lurena" first appear in U.S. records in the late 18th century and can be found in both Northern and Southern states.  The name "Lorenzo" begins to appear in American records around the same time, due to the influence of Lorenzo Dow (1777-1834), a famous itinterant preacher.

LUTICIA - see Leticia and Ludicia.

LUVENA - this name seems to have originated in the Southern U.S.  It probably started as a variation of the English name "Lavinia."  Variations: Luvenia, Louvena, Louvenia, Luveny. 

LYDIA - English form of  "Lydda," a city mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 16:14-15).  This was the supposed birthplace of St. George, the patron saint of England.  Thus the name was quite popular in England.  Variations: Lidda, Lida.

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Copyright 2002 by Rebecca Moon