How did "Truly" become a personal name?

by Mark Israel
     [This is a fast-access FAQ excerpt.]
by Truly Donovan (
   My name is my mother's nickname.  Her name was Etrulia, which she
acquired from an aunt-by-marriage, Etrulia (a.k.a. Truly) Shattuck.
Beyond that, the origins of the name are lost.  Truly Shattuck,
however, was a woman of some notoriety, having first come to public
attention, according to family legend, when her mother, Jane, was
tried and acquitted for having murdered her young daughter's
seducer. This would have been in Northern California, perhaps the
Bay Area, around the turn of the century, I would guess.  At some
point thereafter Truly went on the stage, and was supposedly a
Floradora girl.  Somehow (family legend is very murky about this),
she got herself married to a staid Scottish lawyer from Michigan
(during which time my mother was born and named for her), but that
was not a very enduring union.  During my mother's childhood, she
was known to be running a chicken farm in California.  Her last
brush with notoriety, which we learned about from her obituary
published in the Chicago Tribune, was when she was arrested for
shoplifting a very expensive dress at Marshall Field.  Her defense
was that she needed to look for a job and hadn't anything to wear.
   Anyway, it sure beats being named for a fatuous character in a
bad Ian Fleming children's book.