Every Monday we will post an entry that hasn’t yet been published with a view towards harnessing the collective onomastic power of the internet. If you have any thoughts about the name’s origin, other variants it might be related to, other examples of its use, etc., please share them in the comments! If you wish to browse other Mystery Monday names, there is an index.
Today’s name occurs twice in the registers of the Protestant Church at Caen in the 1560s:
The two references we have are to different men — in 1561, Ymar Le Mercier married Françoise; in 1562, Ymar Malet married Julienne. (Elsewhere in the registers, we find that Ymar and Julienne welcomed a baby girl named Elizabeth in October 1563!)
It’s a name we’ve not otherwise come across in France. Is it a variant of Aymar? A misspelling/misreading/mistranscription of Yvar? The only other instance of this name that we’ve ever found is an early English saint who died around 830. Is it reasonable to think of two 16th C Protestant men being named after an obscured 9th C English saint? (Probably not). Are the two names related? Are they just coincidentally identical?
If you have any thoughts or clues or other examples of the name, please share in the comments!