Family Tree Name

Hi guys I was doing my family tree last night and came across a lady called Sofiyah. Exactly this spelling. She lived in the early 20th Century. I am curious if you think this a made up spelling of the name Sofia/Sophia or is a completely different name. If anyone can give me any insight that would great. Thanks.


By Fly
August 12, 2015 9:48 AM

Early 20th century you would hope they were literate, however if they weren't then a phonetic spelling of Sophia would make complete sense, especially if the clergyman or whoever recorded her birth hadn't heard the name before or something (depends where she was from I guess). There is also the possibility of mistranscription or inconsistency in the original records. Have you seen the original? Sometimes the records won't match, with Eliza on one, Elisabeth on another, Betty on something else (for a really common example).

Either way I think it would still be related to Sophie/Sophia, whether it was intended to be different or not.  It could also possibly be related to Sapphire/Sophira and that group of names, but the further back you go the less likely it is.

August 12, 2015 9:50 AM

It sure looks like a variant spelling of Sophia, but I can't tell for sure without more context. Where did this lady live, and what sort of document recorded her name this way?

August 12, 2015 11:43 AM

I know a girl who's name is Sophia, but she pronounces it differently. She pronounces it as your ancestor's name is spelled, or at least as I read it. Well maybe your anscestor said it with a hard y in there. My friend pronounces her name: so-FIE-ah. Maybe your ancestor's was pronounced: so-FIE-yah.

By mk
August 12, 2015 11:54 AM

I think it's just a variant of Sophia. Sofiya is listed as a Russian and Bulgarian spelling on behindthename. The English pronunciation is so-fye-ah, though that's not really used in the U.S. anymore. It matches the spelling.

August 12, 2015 6:40 PM

This is exactly what I was going to say. Soh-FIE-ah used to be the standard English pronunciation for Sophia, and I believe that Maria also used to be pronounced Mah-RYE-ah -- what we'd now spell Mariah, like Carey.