Sunday, 30 September 2012

Antique Finds: The Ladies

 File:Toiletters parMmesBoueSoeurs592.png

Many of the names listed in this post have uncertain meanings, or no known meanings at all. But that's exactly what makes them 'antique finds' - you won't see most of them listed on name websites or on baby name books. They are mini mysteries, full of character and potential. (For the Gentleman's Antique finds, please click here).

Alianore - Okay, I know, this one isn't much of a mystery: Alianore is a medieval spelling of the Old French name Aliénor, which we often see in the form of Eleanor. There were a few ladies who went by it, including Alinore Percy, Duchess of Buckingham (b. 1474); Alianore Holland, Countess of March (b.1373); and Alianore de Morley, 7th Baroness Morley (b.1442).  

Ankaret- Likely derived from the Welsh name Angharad, meaning 'more love'. Ankaret Talbot, born in 1361, was the 6th Baroness of Talbot and the 9th Baroness Strange of Blackmere. For a Victorian bearer of the name we can look towards Lady Ankaret Cecilia Caroline Jackson, daughter of the 10th Earl of Carlisle. If Ankaret is too much, Anka, an Eastern European diminuitive of Anna, could also be a pretty and unexpected choice.

Dagoohie - Just like with the gentleman's list, this one had to include a slight crazy pick, and someone is bound to like it in a way or another. Her siblings had fairly common-ish names: Rosa, Petrus Basil, Paul Thaddeus and Pauline. Her unusual name might be explained by her parents' backgrounds. Her father was named Aganoor, and may have born in Indonesia; her mother, Kathoon, was born in Iran. The family must've then moved to England and settled in Kensington, London, although that's just my guess. Interestingly, Dagoohie was also known as Regina.

Hersey - Derived from a French surname stemming from the place name de Herci, in Normandy. Although it has no known meaning, it is an ancient surname dating back to the 13th century. There are various acceptable spellings, such as Hersy, Herci and Hersee; however, Hersey is the one often found used as a first name. Some of its aristocratic bearers include Lady Hersey Constance Evelyn Conyngham, daughter of the 4th Earl Marquess Conyngham; Hersey Christina Maria Gavin, granddaughter of the 7th Earl of Lauderdale; and Hersey Alice Mullins, Marchioness Linlithgow. But Hersey was in fact, like so many surnames, used as a unisex name throughout the years. 

Kythe - A Scottish word meaning 'to make visible', connected to the word 'kything', a fictional telepathic form of communication. In the mid and late 1800s there were a number of women who went by it or who had Kythe as their middle name, such as Kythe Jemima Watts-Russell (b.1837) and Kythe Catherine Pophan. It has not graced the American or British name charts, not even making a small bleep in the Scottish one, but it could fit in well with the other popular K names of the moment.  

Lilchen - A rare first name in England and Wales, Lilchen Agnes Georgina Beauclerk, born in the mid 19th century and granddaughter of the 8th Duke of St Albans, is the only bearer of the name that I could find. It could perhaps be a Germanic nickname for Lily or Lillian, both which are currently doing well on either side of the Atlantic, and Lilchen could be a modern sounding, quirky alternative to both. 

Image: Toiletters, par Mmes Boué Sœurs by Manon