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Short form of ADELAIDE and other names beginning with the same sound.This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron.From the Greek name Δαμιανος (Damianos) which was derived from Greek δαμαζω (damazo) "to tame".Saint Damian was martyred with his twin brother Cosmo in Syria early in the 4th century. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in Christian Europe.His fame helped to ensure the usage of this name even after the Norman conquest, when most Old English names were replaced by Norman ones.It became rare by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th century.The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Beornheard.This was the name of several saints, including Saint Bernard of Menthon who built hospices in the Swiss Alps in the 10th century, and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century theologian and Doctor of the Church.
According to legend, Saint Barbara was a young woman killed by her father Dioscorus, who was then killed by a bolt of lightning.
Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah spelling instead of Anna.
The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus as the Messiah.
Saint Adela was a 7th-century Frankish princess who founded a monastery at Pfazel in France.
This name was also borne by a daughter of William the Conqueror. Several saints and six popes have borne this name, including the only English pope, Adrian IV, and the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI.
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Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.