Help researching the origin of 3xggrandmother's unique middle name 'Galaenereis'

+5 votes

Hello all!

While reading the birth record of my 3x great grandmother I noticed that she was given the following following names: Julianna Galaenereis Wiktoria. I have gone through quite a few records in this region by now and have never come across the name Galaenereis before. I was wondering if anyone on here has encountered this name before and/or if anyone can direct me to a place where I can do further research on it. I did try googling the name and my search returned zero results.

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WikiTree profile: Julianna Janicka
in Photos by Martyna Moore G2G1 (1.1k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes

Well, if you split it in two: galae neiris, it translates from the Latin as "gala mermaids."  Does that help? smiley

by Jim Parish G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
Woo hoo! I come from mermaids :D I was actually about to look into potential latin meanings so, yes, it absolutely does help! What is curious to me is that the priest documenting Julianna's birth and christening in the attached image states that her father and both witnesses accompanying him are unable to sign the document because they do not know how to write. It might be safe to assume that they weren't reading a lot of Latin or studying a lot of ancient history so I'm wondering how they stumbled upon the name Galaenereis. Julianna's mother does not seem to be present at the time of the signing so it is possible that she somehow had the opportunity for a better education in her youth or was exposed to educated individuals? Just some of the thoughts rattling around in my head.
+5 votes
Perhaps they spell their classics differently. The first part looks very similar to Galen in English. Galen's original Greek name is Γαληνός. Although we transcribe η with an e, it looks as though ae is an alternative. Latin Aelius may be from Greek ‘ηλιος. (dropping the breathing at the start).

Galen was a famous classical doctor, so perhaps the name might mean offspring or student of Galen. (Was the birth difficult?)

Rather speculative on my part, but doesn't involve merfolk.

by Tim Partridge G2G6 Mach 4 (41.7k points)
Excellent information, Tim, thanks! I'm not sure if the birth was difficult but I would not be surprised to find out that it was. I am going to have to look more into that. What is interesting to me is that the document states the names given to her are 'Julianna Galaenereis AND Wiktoria'. I'm curious as to the significance of keeping the first two names together while 'Wiktoria' is specifically noted as a seperate (middle) name. I'm assuming that Wiktoria is the religious name given to her upon her baptism but I am not well-versed in the practices of the Catholic religion so could be wrong. As disappointed as I am that I don't come from merfolk I appreciate the potential lead you have given me :)
Continuing the difficult birth theme, even today grateful parents sometimes name their newborn after the doctor / nurse / midwife.

Perhaps the first two words are intended to be a noun phrase, rather than two separate nouns. So it might mean "by healer Julianna". Any Latin experts around? If there was a Julianna or Julian who was in the medical profession in the area, that would fit (No idea how common doctors etc are at that time, so there might be one by coincidence. )

Victoria can come from the fact that saint Victoria was the patron of city Łowicz- with the parish where she was baptized and parents believed that she was born due to her help (means birth was difficult).

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