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  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home
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    Default Kezia - what's the meaning of this name?

    Hoping some of you wonderful people out there can throw some light on the name Kezia. I have a Kezia Norris in my family tree. She was born 16-1-1820 in Child Okeford, Dorset, and died 24-6-1872 in Charminster, Dorset. I already have all the info on her - marriage, children etc but her name has always got me thinking.
    Is Kezia a local Dorset name - is it foreign - and does it have a meaning? Is it perhaps old English?
    Had never heard the name before I found it in my own family tree. Suggestions welcomed.
    Thanks. Jeddah.

  2. #2
    Coromandel
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    It is an Old Testament name: Kezia was one of the three daughters of Job.

    'He had also seven sonnes, and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima, and the name of the second, Kezia, and the name of the third, Keren-happuch. And in all the land were no women found so faire as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.'

    The name Kezia is supposed to derive from the Hebrew word for cassia [a tree related to the cinnamon tree and yielding a similar spice] according to this site:

    https://www.
    behindthename.com/name/keziah

  3. #3
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeddah View Post
    Is Kezia a local Dorset name - is it foreign - and does it have a meaning? Is it perhaps old English
    Kezia(h) appears to be a Hebrew name, possibly derived from Cassia the Hebrew name for a spice tree (cinnamon.) In the Old Testament, Keziah is one of the daughters of Job.

    https://
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keziah

    I have a Keziah in my own tree and she was born around 1810 in Buckinghamshire. I tend to think that this is a name that comes and goes in popularity. If you run a search for Keziah (no surname) on Family Search then you will see the name was not restricted to just Dorset.

    Perhaps someone will come along and give us a distribution analysis for the name.

  4. #4
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    Just looking at the 1851 England & Wales census (for example) there are 7,190 Keziah's, ranging across the whole of England!
    By 1911, there were just 4,396.

    So obviously waning in popularity.

  5. #5
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    I gather the usual pronunciation in England is/was to rhyme with Isiah (stress on the second syllable ie Kez-EYE-ah).

    This may be open to debate and most probably did not necessarily apply elsewhere in the world (apparently it was a popular American slave name which may have come via Keziah Wesley, sister of John Wesley who went to Georgia in the early 18th century).

  6. #6
    Always willing to enter into the spirit of things.
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    I have four in my tree - between 1756 and 1851 - all born in Dorset!

  7. #7
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    And I have a Keren-happuch who I thought was a boy for a while!

  8. #8
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    I was told that Jemima translated as dove; Kerenhappach as eyelash paint, and Keziah as incense. I knew a lady who kept a pet skunk (45 years ago) which she called Kezia. Fortunately, it had had the scent glands dealt with, as the smell is NOT that of incense.
    Sometimes these three names are used as a cluster of names in families with non-conformist beliefs. pwholt

  9. #9

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    I know a couple of young Kezias - one pronounces it KEYS-ia.

    The name has never really died out in New Zealand, partly due to Kezia being the featured child in New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield's famous story "The Doll's House", which is taught in most New Zealand schools.

    Dale in New Zealand

  10. #10
    Starting to feel at home
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    Hi to everyone out there. What a wonderful bunch you all are. Now I know what Kezia means. What a shame it seems to have died out, it's such an unusual and pretty name. Thanks again everyone. Jeddah.

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