Friday, January 22, 2016

One New Name, Leads to Another

I was researching the name Vontess for an earlier post and coming up with dead ends everywhere. I turned to my mother who remembered the lady better than I did and I came across more unusual names to feature from Vontess' family.

GIRLS

Esmont - this was her daughter's name

Nelma - The daughter's name Nelma Esmont, though she went by Esmont (it's a Utah thing)
I came across a great website, http://lumitar.blogspot.com/2013/03/finnish-names-suomalainen-nimikirja.html, which lists Nelma as a nickname for names such as Unelma, which means 'dream' in Finnish. My hometown had a lot of Scandinavian roots, but I don't think any Finnish, however, so it is more likely related to whatever this name means in Swedish/Danish/Norwegian. Unelma seems just like the sort of name someone where I'm from would have, so I wouldn't be surprised if Vontess wasn't inspired to use Nelma as a result of such a name.

BOYS

Keogh - Her husband. But Mom cannot remember how this name is said or where it comes from!

I found in one source that it means "darkness". Another source says it comes from the Irish name Eochaidh, which derives from the word for 'horseman', 'eochadha'. Eochadha comes from 'ech' meaning 'a horse'. It can be found as part of the surname MacKeogh, which means 'son of Eochaidh'. Knowing the meaning of Eochaidh, it would mean son of the horseman. It would seem that it can be spelled Kehoe and, according to another source, though it does mean horse and a man who rides one, it describes the horseman as "a bold horseman or knight". MacKeogh comes from the surname Mac Eochy and is seen to make the Irish name easier for an English speaker to pronounce. I still have not figured out how this name is said!

a Christian knight, armed with virtues

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