Author Topic: Unusual name: Agrippina  (Read 474 times)

Offline redvanman

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Unusual name: Agrippina
« on: Monday 11 March 19 10:36 GMT (UK) »
In my searches I've encountered an Agrippina Church (b. Litton, Somerset in 1808). I'd never heard the name before, but have since discovered that it is a Roman name, the feminine version of Agrippa, and that the mothers of emperors Caligula and Nero were both Agrippina.
Nearer to home, FindMyPast shows 433 hits, of which 43 were in Somerset in the 18th and 19th century.
Now my question - why would a rural labouring family at the time choose this exotic name for a daughter? One of her siblings was another classical name, Alexander, but the others were the more usual George, John and Sarah.
Many thanks
Alyn
     

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Offline lizdb

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #1 on: Monday 11 March 19 11:44 GMT (UK) »
We all see names going in and out of fashion.
As you say, it was an "in" name in the area at that time!
Edmonds/Edmunds - mainly Sussex
DeBoo - London
Green - Suffolk
Parker - Sussex
Kemp - Essex
Farrington - Essex
Boniface - West Sussex

census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline melba_schmelba

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #2 on: Monday 11 March 19 12:54 GMT (UK) »
I think there might have been a vogue for classical names in the Georgian era, that went with the popularity of classical architecture and literature at that time. Philadelphia was another common name in the Sussex-Kent area that seemed to emerge at this time.

Offline chris_49

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #3 on: Monday 11 March 19 12:57 GMT (UK) »
We all see names going in and out of fashion.
As you say, it was an "in" name in the area at that time!

Yes, cf Imri, Thirza, Kezia - but all biblical. Alfred went out of fashion, but has come back as Alfie. OTOH I read somewhere that nobody was registered named Ian last year. I found a Kerenhappuch (Job's daughter) thinking it might be unique - but there are plenty.

But why classical names? Well we think nothing of Alexander, Philip, Terence, Cyril - and Homer and Virgil used to be popular in the States. 

I

Skelcey (Skelsey Skelcy Skeley Shelsey Kelcy Skelcher) - Warks, Yorks, Lancs
Hancox - Warks
Green - Warks
Draper - Warks
Lynes - Warks
Hudson - Warks
Morris - Denbs Mont Salop
Davies - Cheshire, North Wales
Fellowes - Cheshire, Denbighshire
Owens - Cheshire/North Wales
Hicks - Cornwall
Lloyd and Jones (Mont)
Rhys/Rees (Mont)

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #4 on: Monday 11 March 19 15:02 GMT (UK) »
The local vicar, schoolteacher or doctor would likely have been trained in the Classical (Latin, Greek and possibly Hebrew) which might explain how these names were used in rural England.
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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 12 March 19 00:27 GMT (UK) »
She might have been called after a lady of a higher social class who took an interest in the family. Relatives of some of my ancestors were called after the lord of the manor's family; some were godchildren.

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 12 March 19 05:30 GMT (UK) »

Now my question - why would a rural labouring family at the time choose this exotic name for a daughter?


Someone with this name was a character in popular literature of the time?


Offline ggrocott

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 12 March 19 10:45 GMT (UK) »
If think that if  they were Methodists/Wesleyan they tended to chose which appeared in the bible, hence my Aquilla, Aris, Enock, Josiah, Jesse, Progula, Isaac and Sarah in a labouring family in Shropshire (mostly miners) and  Agrippa and Cornelius as well as John, Mary and Ann in an agricultural labouring family in Buckinghamshire.   

Both families continued with biblical names but in Shropshire used the slightly less unusual Isaac, Isaiah, Benjamin and Enock and in Buckinghamshire stuck with John, James, Thomas, Mary, Elizabeth etc. which are less noticeable.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Tagg, Bowyer (Berkshire/Surrey), Adams, Small, Pratt, Coles, Stevens, Cox (Bucks), Grocott, Slater, Dean, Hill (Staffs/Shropshire), Holloway, Flint, Warrington,Turnbull (London), Montague, Barrett (Herts), Hayward (Kent), Gallon, Knight, Ede, Tribe, Bunn, Northeast, Nicholds (Sussex) Penduck, Pinnell, Yeeles (Gloucs), Johns (Monmouth and Devon), Head (Bath), Tedbury, Bowyer (Somerset), Chapman, Barrett (Herts/Essex)

Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: Unusual name: Agrippina
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 12 March 19 13:55 GMT (UK) »
Someone with this name was a character in popular literature of the time?

It would be a rare rural labouring family of that time that had much contact with literature of any kind.  But they did latch onto biblical oddities like Zephaniah or Ebenezer.  And what about Keziah (there's an MP isn't there?) or Thirza, Bathsheba (my wife's line has some of those) or Sophanisba ?
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