Author Topic: Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?  (Read 256 times)

Offline SiGr

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Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?
« on: Tuesday 14 May 19 16:41 BST (UK) »
Attached is an Apr 1737 baptism entry for a relative. It reads as "Philebe". However, this person then disappears without trace. A sister, whose name is variously written as "Phyllis" and "Phillis" is a perfect contemporary - and I cannot locate her baptism entry. Based on this, I am fairly certain they are one and the same person.  Does anybody know if the "Philebe" here is a variant spelling of the time and/or maybe the 'b' is a variant on the long vertical 's' sometimes used ?

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Online PaulineJ

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Re: Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 14 May 19 17:56 BST (UK) »
If the "b" were a "long s" They you would have Philesse.

I think it's more than likely to be the scenario you describe
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Offline horselydown86

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Re: Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 14 May 19 17:59 BST (UK) »
This is a tricky one.

Would you please post a wider selection of the handwriting.

If possible, try to find another h (does he always leave such a large gap in this letter?), another b, and more examples of e.

If you can find more examples where he might have used long-s, then post those too.

Offline SiGr

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Re: Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 14 May 19 20:42 BST (UK) »
TVM for the two replies so far.

Attached are two more samples from the same page - one of 'Samuel Massey' showing a 'double s' which uses two versions of 's'. The second includes what I am sure is a 'Phoebe'.

I still cannot reconcile the 'Philebe' into 'Phyllis/Phillis' -  yet all the other evidence strongly suggests it is.

Any further thoughts/advice very welcome.

Offline horselydown86

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Re: Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 14 May 19 21:38 BST (UK) »
Thanks for posting these examples.

The Massey is exactly what I would expect a double-s composed of one long and one short s to look like at this time.  In particular, the long-s extends well below the line.

However he mixes his s's up.  We have Eleson, with a semi-long-s which doesn't go below the line, and other smaller s's in Basnet and Aston.

I agree that it is Pheabe, and the b here is very like the one in the problem name.

What Pauline was suggesting is that that b is really a long-s & short-s combination.  Looking at these examples, it's hard to agree with that idea (others may see it differently).

The other thing we see is that most of his e's are "reversed", which is more typical of the C18th.  However, the odd one isn't, such as in Jennen.

In summary, I think this is probably written as Philebe.  One suggestion I have which might resolve the issue is that most clergymen wrote their records in a rough notebook at the time of the ceremony, then copied them into the register at their leisure.  Maybe it was Philesse in the rough version and he misinterpreted his own (or another man's) writing when he was copying.

Online arthurk

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Re: Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 09:28 BST (UK) »
I agree that it's written Philebe, and I wonder if it might be an attempt at Philippa by someone who was unfamiliar with the name.

Although Philippa and Phyllis have different roots, it's fairly easy to imagine how one might morph into the other, particularly if pet forms were used.
Researching among others:
Bartle, Bilton, Campbell, Craven, Emmott, Harcourt, Hirst, Kellet(t), Kennedy,
Meaburn, Mennile/Meynell, Metcalf(e), Palliser, Robinson, Rutter, Shipley, Stow, Wilkinson

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Offline SiGr

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Re: Is this "Philebe" another spelling for 'Phyllis' or 'Phillis' ?
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 10:37 BST (UK) »
Thank you once again for the comments - they are both helpful and appreciated. Who knows, maybe in later life she even said, 'I don't care for the name 'Philebe', so call me 'Phyllis' !