Sunday 8 April 2007

About my name.

I often get asked about my name. In fact, most people that meet me ask where it comes from, as well as either how it's pronounce or how it's spelled. So, here we are: The name Eiloart was invented by a piano tuner who moved to England from Poland, with his family in about 1800. His name had been "Mispel". The family settled in North London, and we have a (probably) complete family tree. The name is pronounced "EYE-low-art", with the emphasis on the EYE. It's a natural pronunciation for a German speaker. There's one other Ian Eiloart in the world. He's not a close relative, and I've never met him. 

I've two middle names: "Alexander Beaupré". The first was for my maternal grandfather, who died before my parents met. The second is a name passed down from my paternal grandfather, Arnold (Bushy) Beaupré Eiloart. All Bushy's male descendants, and the youngest of my nieces,  all have the name Beaupré, too. 

Beaupré means "Beautiful Meadow" in French, and Bushy was given the name because he was born in a tent. His mother had been sent to the countryside as a treatment for TB. Actually, they lived there as part of a radical lifestyle that eschewed property ownership. Previously they'd helped establish the "Whiteway colony" near Stroud, on Tolstoyan principles. The colonists bought some property and burned the deeds. So, to this day, property ownership at Whiteway is – well, I'll just say different.


Unknown said...

Hi I'm an Eiloart living in New Zealand, born in Kent.
My Grandad is the other Ian Eiloart that you mention, and we have the same copy of the family tree I think. The tree stops I think at the word 'mispel', but we interpreted that as being 'mispelt', meaning that our name was changed from something like Elioart.
Its only a guess but if you can confirm there is more to the family tree or that the name was Mispel, I would be interested :)

Ian Eiloart said...

Yes, I think the name really was "Mispel". It's a German word for "medlar", which is a fruit. It's also a German surname, though not very common. The family came from Danzig, Prussia which is now Gdansk, Poland. I don't have any earlier family history, I'm afraid.