Does anyone know anything about the name Rhueama?

I came across the name while doing some genealogical digging, and I can't find anything more about it! I've seen it on a few women, all from the 1800's. Any clues or ideas at all would be much appreciated, the sound is appealing (though the spelling seems so medical).


By EVie
December 16, 2013 11:29 AM

Hmm. My best guess is that this is a mis-spelling of Rheuama, as Rheu- makes more sense to me as a Greek root than Rhue-, and a Google search of Rheuama turns up more results than Rhueama (though they both seem to be very rare).  There's a reason it sounds medical"rheumatism" is "any disease marked by inflammation and pain in the joints, muscles, or fibrous tissue, esp. rheumatoid arthritis," from "Greek rheumatizein ‘to snuffle,’ from rheuma ‘stream’ : the disease was originally supposed to be caused by the internal flow of “watery” humors." (Quoting from my dictionary). Etymologically speaking, the spelling Rheuma would be even more likely, but a Google search of that just turns of lots of German medical sites. I'm guessing that the term "rheumatic fever" would have been much more familiar in the 1800s, when all these Rheuamas and Rhueamas were born. From there, I'm at a loss—I have no idea why a bunch of people would name their daughters after an illness. 

By jmay
December 16, 2013 1:29 PM

Oops that was my typo, should have been Rheuama! I wonder too why people would choose the name if the only connection was to illness...I was kinda hoping there would be more to it than that, the sound seems nice to my ear, but if you were just going for the sound why not respell it to something like Ruama? So I thought maybe it was linked to some obscure traditional name, and maybe that would explain preserving the "rheu" spelling...I'm probably over thinking it lol...

December 16, 2013 11:17 PM

I just found a real estate agent in Utah with that name, so I guess it's still around a little bit.  I wonder if maybe it was a surname-name originally? 

By jmay
December 17, 2013 11:03 AM

I wonder if the Realtor was named after an ancestor...It could be a surname but I haven't had any luck turning it up as one (tried, wolfram|alpha). It remains mysterious :-)

December 18, 2013 1:39 PM

Or it could just be that she's from Utah and someone came across it while doing their genealogy and then thought they'd use the unusual name.

By jmay
January 2, 2014 10:53 PM

I think I've found the most likely answer...its an odd respelling of the name Ruhamah from the bible. 

By EVie
January 5, 2014 12:27 AM

Wow! That does seem like a plausible explanation. How on earth did you figure it out? I'd never even heard of the name Ruhamah (though obscure Biblical names are not my forte). So much for my guess that it was Greek!

By jmay
January 10, 2014 2:40 PM

Google basically figured it out for me, I tried a couple of different potential spellings in the search bar, and eventually it auto corrected me to "lo ruhama"... Its a phrase used in the bible that means no mercy, unforgiven or not loved depending on the translation. Hosea 1:6 "...and the Lord said to Hosea, "Call her Lo-Ruhama, (which means "not loved")..." A bit grim for a baby name inspiration but still a pretty sound.

By EVie
January 10, 2014 6:11 PM

Not so grim, actually, if you read the rest of the story. I'm not all that Biblically literate, but I looked it up on and found this: — it says  "Means "loved, pitied" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, the prophet Hosea originally names his daughter Loruhamah meaning "not loved" or "has not obtained compassion", as a sign of God's displeasure with the Jews for following other gods; later, in Hosea 2:23, she is redeemed and renamed Ruhamah."

By jmay
January 10, 2014 7:05 PM

Oh that's a much nicer end to the story :-) Makes the name seem more lovely again!

January 25, 2014 7:19 AM

Well done! That is some stellar investigative work, all -- I'd been wondering after it got brought up, and so satisfying to have such a good answer (and happy ending to the story!).