Isn’t Amy a Modern Name?…NOT

Which of you, after doing family history research for years, has come across a name that seems odd or somehow doesn’t seem to fit in with the family or time period?

I have a few of those. I have a Great-Grandfather Porter Pepper. His first name (Christian name) is not a family name or even a popular one at the time (he was b. in Mass. in 1811) but obviously there is a reason he has that name. I hope to find its origin someday.

I have also come across what I thought was a modern name such as Amy in the 16th century and thought, what the heck? I mean, I never heard of a Queen Amy so can this be right? Maybe it is a typo or transcription error? Or is it French, maybe?

Well, as it turns out Amy or Amee is a very old English name and some proof of that can be found on the internet today in a great article at: BBC News Cambridgeshire, a group called the Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey is responsible for finding the names of Cateryn, Jane and Amee Maddyngley etched in the ancient church wall of All Saints and St. Andrew in Kingston, Cambridgeshire, England.

Ooooo, there is another name familiar to New England genealogists, Kingston. You know, Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts. It is one of the earliest communities in New England and was settled by our Puritan ancestors. According to David Hackett Fisher, author of Albion’s Seed, over 60% of the early Puritan fathers came from Essex, England or what is also known as East Anglia. BTW, his book comes with a HIGH recommendation from me!

Is it possible that some of you who have deep roots in New England may be related to the Maddyngley family in 1570 Kingston, Cambridgeshire, England? The name would probably be rendered today as Madingly, rare, but still in use in the USA.

So, let’s bring back the old English name of Amee or Amy. It would make a great middle name for girls, don’t you think?


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