Searching for Atilia

My great grandmother’s name was Atilia Gwenefafa Jaskoviak… or so the family legend goes. She died when my grandpa was 3. I know he has her birth certificate somewhere but I haven’t been able to locate it yet.

The story goes that when she settled in [name_u]America[/name_u] after coming from Poland, she changed her name to “[name_f]Tillie[/name_f] Jasco”…

I’ve Googled my heart out but can’t find evidence of “Atilia” (pronounced “UH-[name_m]TILL[/name_m]-EE-YA” even being a real Polish name. I think I found “Atylia” but that appears to be [name_m]French[/name_m], which doesn’t really fit with what I’ve heard. I’d love to find the name meaning and origin.

Has anyone heard of this name? Thinking it would be lovely for my daughter, with nickname “[name_f]Tillie[/name_f]”. But I don’t want to give her a fake name!


Atilia looks like a feminization of Hungarian/Turkish [name_m]Atila[/name_m]. On babynamespedia it is listed as being from Latin, meaning “woman who has difficulty walking”

I think it is possibly a form of [name_f]Otylia[/name_f], the Polish form of [name_f]Odilia[/name_f]. [name_f]Otylia[/name_f] is pronounced, approximately, aw-til-yah. [name_f]Odilia[/name_f] is either from odal meaning “homeland” or aud meaning “wealth”.

But as [name_m]Yuma[/name_m] said, it could be from [name_m]Attila[/name_m].

I agree that it’s probably a spelling variation/misspelling of the Polish [name_f]Otylia[/name_f]. (Gwenefafa is also probably meant to be Genowefa, the Polish version of Genevieve.) If you want something a little easier to wear in English, you could also use [name_f]Ottilie[/name_f] or [name_f]Ottilia[/name_f].

You know, if that was the way your great grandmother spelled her name, than it IS a real name of a beloved family member. :slight_smile: Just something to keep in mind. In a world of Nevaehs and Kynsleighs, I think an Atilia would be fine. Although, it wouldn’t hurt for pronunciation’s sake to spell it phonetically or consider what pp said. I normally wouldn’t encourage “misspelling,” but honoring grandmothers is definitely an exception.

I don’t have a Polish connection to report, but I recently read this name in a historical fiction novel set in first-century [name_m]Rome[/name_m]—it was a feminization of Atilius, a family name (which, according to a quick Google search, was actually the name of a [name_m]Roman[/name_m] family). I like the sound of it, and I especially love the nickname [name_f]Tillie[/name_f].

Like @oiseau, I don’t think it matters whether it’s a “real” name anyway—if that’s the name in the legend of your great-grandmother (even if it wasn’t actually her name), then it has history and significance to your family.

I agree with the other posters that your great-grandmother’s original name may have been [name_f]Otylia[/name_f] [name_f]Genowefa[/name_f].

On behindthename Atilia is listed as the feminine form of Atilio, from Latin Atilius

The Polish form of Atilius when referring to the famous general is Atyliusz. Following how roman derived Polish names are feminized, that would make the feminine form Atylia.

@Amberdaydream Atilia isnt listed there as a Polish variation; it’s listed as Spanish.Not sure on Polish names but it sounds like you’re on to something, haha (; This may not be the exact etymology of op grandmother’s name for its Polish usage. There are several etymologicall possibilities and I think they all lend validity to the idea of using Atilia as a name. But in any case it’s a nice name with a great family story behind it!