52 Weeks – Favourite Name

And of course, I’m going to cheat and do two! They are both women and I love these names because they are different from the from the unremitting list of Elizabeths, Marys and Anns that most people in my tree named their daughters.

Wilmot

Wilmot Phillipa Honey,  my 4x G Grandmother, was born in  1764 in Buckland Monachorum, Devon. The family, so far as I can tell, were agricultural labourers. Stubbs’ painting of haymakers dates from about the time that Wilmot was 20.

 

Haymakers 1785 by George Stubbs
Haymakers 1785 George Stubbs

Honey is such a lovely word isn’t it? It conjures up the feelings of something sweet, golden and soothing. I imagined my ancestor would be golden-haired, until I realised that, coming from Devon, she was likely to have been Celtic and have had dark hair.

Wilmot is apparently a diminutive version of William. It is an uncommon girl’s name and may have been a family name. Sadly none of her children have equally  interesting names

Rosetta

Rosetta Elizabeth Ford was born in Bethnal Green, Middlesex in 1831.

Effie Grey by Millais
Effie Grey by Millais

Rosetta was not a name I had found before and, as two of her daughters have Rosetta included in their name, I was getting quite excited about this being a way to trace the family line through the generations.

A short trawl through the census made me realise that it wasn’t an uncommon name at all! Lots of girls in London at that time had Rosetta somewhere in their name.

The Rosetta Stone reached the British Museum at the beginning of the 19th C and it seems an awful lot of girls were named after it! I realised that it was probably the equivalent of the ways we name children after celebrities these days. Another bright idea hits the dust….

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