Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fearless Females: March 3 Unique Names

 In celebration of Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has presented 31 prompts to honor the “fearless females” in our family trees.

Today’s prompt:  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.

Probably the most common name among my female ancestors is Mary:  241 of them.  My own name is unique in my database.  While not very common in any time period, “Wendy” is not unusual.  Probably the most unusual female name among my ancestors is that of my great-grandfather’s sister:  Zibiah Saloma Davis Marshall (1864-1936).

Biblical associations with these names make them an odd pairing.  "Zibiah" means Doe, Gazelle, Beautiful Lady.  Zibiah was briefly mentioned in 2 Kings 12:1.  This mother of King Jehoash is listed among the women who showed courage, but I’m not exactly sure what she did.  Maybe she helped hide and protect her son who was one of the targets of his power-hungry and murderous grandmother.  

Saloma, on the other hand, is a familiar biblical name.  While her name means “Peace” (related to the word “Shalom”), she will forever be remembered as the dancing woman who demanded John the Baptist’s head on a platter and got it.

Courage.  Beautiful.  Peace.  Murder.  I wonder if Zibiah Saloma’s mother had been experiencing strange food cravings.  

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Haha! Sounds like a good guess. ;)

    I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday.

  2. Mary is a lovely name; both my mother-in-law and my own mother were called Mary, and it was passed on to two of my MIL's granddaughters as a middle name. My own name is a derivative of the stem.

  3. You might be on to something there, Wendy. That certainly is an unusual pairing of rare names. To double check that, I just took a look on my latest favorite name database and neither name comes up on the top thousand names for girls in any year from 1880 to the present. Whatever Zibiah's mom was thinking, she certainly knew her Bible!