by Julie Helen Otto
AMELIA (f): Derived from the Germanic root amal-, which is of uncertain meaning, this name became popular at about the same time as the similar-sounding EMILY, which is derived probably via French EMILIE, from Latin AEMILIA, feminine of a Roman family name. (The French equivalent of AMELIA is AMÉLIE.) Amelias abounded in many German royal families, including that of Hanover, a reason for much of the name's popularity in English-speaking countries. The name may well have gained further currency due to the character of Amelia in Henry Fielding's novel (1751) of that name; the virtuous heroine is said to have been modeled on the author's wife, Charlotte Cradock.
Amelia Potter, daughter of Stephen Potter, of Coventry, Rhode Island, married Chandler Holmes of Woodstock, Connecticut, in Woodstock on January 4, 1787 (Woodstock, Ct., Vital Records, 1686-1854 on AmericanAncestors.org). On May 21, 1856, Pascal B. Simons of Manchester, N.H., married Amelia Henry of Goffstown, N.H., in Goffstown. (Goffstown, N.H., Town Records, on AmericanAncestors.org).
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