Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Welsh Names Saga

I've been working on a site for Welsh names. In my research, I decided to look through newspapers and such to find names of *real* Welsh people, since all my books do is list names and meanings. I know many of these names are from mythology and aren't really used for people these days. Thus my search began.

I found this site of Female Mathematicians from the University of Wales and, always on the lookout for new and interesting names, found these listed among them:

Arvonia Decima Jones (graduated 1911)
Sylvie Tryphena Chapple (1924)
Dilys Eluned Francis (1925) - her parents weren't kidding around with Welsh names! Everyone else with Welsh names had the middle name of Mary, Margaret or Elizabeth.

From the rest of the site:
Lesbia Laurence Merron Boyd (Edinburgh University, 1929)
Beatrice Mabel Cave-Browne-Cave
Frances Evelyn Cave-Browne-Cave - both grads of Cambridge University (Girton College) in 1898)--- Three last names? Yikes!
Zona Cone (London University, 1933)
Gladys Diaper (London University, 1923)(this just made my inner 10-year-old giggle)
Alphonsine Josephine Elizabeth Deckers (Cambridge University, 1890)
Hettie Hardy (Cambridge University, 1930)-- that name's just fun to say!
Myma Kay Heathcote (Oxford, 1939) At first I thought it was "myrna", but it's MYMA.
Ismay Caer Levy (Cambridge, 1939)
Rosamond Moncrieff Leitch (Cambridge, 1902) -- this is a serious, serious name.
Blodwen Myfanwy Leeson (Reading, 1939)-- there goes my Welsh middle name theory!
Jemima Arulman Manuel (London University, 1940)
Ethelberta Mary Morris (Cambridge, 1928) - I'm glad my name isn't Ethelberta.
Gwneth Nesta Lilian Ruthven Murray (Cambridge, 1903) - interesting spelling
Ione Dorothy Vivienne Naish (Sheffield, 1924)
Shakuntala Paranjpye (Cambridge, 1929)-- this is the only non-British name I've come upon so far!
Dulcie Vivien Reynolds (London University, 1940)-- I love the names Dulcie & Vivien
Magdalen Harriet Ricardo (Cambridge, 1898)
Mary Shakespeare Richards (Cambridge, 1887)-- it's kind of awesome that someone with the middle name Shakespeare went on to study mathematics.
Nannie Savage (Belfast, 1933) --this sounds like a Horror Movie title.
Ottilie Shaw (Cambridge 1903)
Cecil Stokes (Cambridge, 1914) -- Cecil for a girl?
Vendla Harriett Matilda Thane (Cambridge, 1909)
Ethelberga Margaret Terry (Cambridge, 1938)
Olive Malvina Toogood (London Univ., 1924)-- that name is just 'too good' to pass over.
Eunice Oenone Wolstenholme (Cambridge, 1933)

Back to Welsh Names:
In skimming through newspapers, it looks like about 25% Welsh people have Welsh first names, with guys twice as likely to have one as girls. This is interesting, because when I lived in Ireland, my non-scientific survey told me that more girls than boys tend to have Irish names.

Why is this? Someone give me a grant to study it!

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