17 May 2013

Name Origins: Clementina

Name Origins
by Julie Helen Otto

CLEMENTINA (f): Derived from the Latin clemens ("mild, merciful") with addition of productive suffix -ina to the adjective root, this name has long been used in England. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the female name had strong Jacobite connotations; one of the fabled romantic stories of that era was the journey in 1717/18, across much of Europe, of [Maria Casimire] Clementina Sobieska (d. 1735), Princess of Poland, to meet and marry James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1736, the Jacobite "James III"). Her namesake, Clementina Maria Sophia Walkinshaw (ca. 1720-1802), mistress of their son "Bonnie Prince Charlie" (Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1720-1788, the Jacobite "Charles III"), bore him several children. After the mid-1750s, however, and the appearance of Samuel Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison (1753/4) - one of whose two heroines is the noble Italian Clementina della Porretta - the name was favored by readers across the political spectrum. Clementine was a variant form which gained great currency in the mid-nineteenth century with the popular song "Oh, My Darling Clementine," which requires no previous knowledge of Richardson. 

Clementina Janes (b. 1802), daughter of Peleg Cheney and Patty (Coy) Janes of Brimfield, Mass., m. there 1 Jan. 1828 Edward Parsons of Northampton, Mass. (Brimfield VRs, p. 207).Clementina (Ballou) Wright (1812-post 1888, daughter of Rev. Hosea and Ruth [Washburn] Ballou) had no issue by her marriage to Col. Isaac Hall Wright, but namesakes included nieces (both b. 1834) Clementina (Ballou) Mason (daughter of Rev. Hosea Faxon and Mary [Ballou] Ballou) and Clementina Clarissa (Ballou) Tucker (daughter of Rev. Massena Berthier and Mary Sheffield [Jacobs] Ballou, who named their daughter for two Richardson heroines), herself mother of Clemmie Richmond Tucker (b. 1863).

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