Thursday, 3 March 2011

Fearless Females: Rosamund and Loveday

I am participating in the Fearless Females theme for 
National Women's History Month

3 March - Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.
Rosamund Gwendoline HAYWOOD (20 June 1927-16 March 1943) was my aunt.  My father’s eldest sister.  Everyone called her ‘Gwennie’, and apparently she was some sort of saint.  She died of diphtheria in 1943, aged only 15.  Family legend has it that her boyfriend was so distraught, he threw himself off a cliff and is buried beside her.  Unfortunately, the cemetery which housed their graves has been covered over and is now a car park.

My parents always maintained that I was not named after her. But where else did my name come from?  I can only think of a couple of other Rosamunds that were around at that time: Rosamund John (the actress) and Rosamunde Pilcher (the authoress, born in Cornwall).  So I will have to claim the distinction of being unique.  I think.

The most unusual name I have come across in my family history research – one that I loved instantly and have used as both username and password from time to time over the years – is 'Loveday'.  Loveday Anna French (born 1870 in Bovey Tracey, Devon) was my first cousin three times removed; her father died when she was only three years old, and her mother, an earthenware painter, lived with Loveday's grandparents, John and Eliza HAYWOOD. 


  1. Hi There: I really enjoy your blog. Rosamunde Pilcher has a Loveday in her book "Coming Home". As with most of her books the story takes place in Cornwall. I just thought it was a coincidence. Is Loveday mainly a Cornish name. Your blog is only the second place I have heard the name.

  2. Well, I *think* Loveday comes from Cornwall. It just so happens that my Loveday was born in Devon! but her extended family had a lot of connections in Cornwall, too



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