Yesterday was 'Fun Facts' Day for 'Celebrate Your Name Week'. Here's a few things about my name.
1. According to Wikipedia, apparently my name, 'Diane', has been consistently popular for girls in the United States since the 1930's - among the top 200 names chosen. I can see it would be popular in recent years, but it was certainly popular in the 1940s where I lived in British Columbia, Canada. In my elementary classes alone, I remember a Dianne and a Diana, besides myself, plain 'Diane'. No Dinah, although historically I have seen that name as an apparent variant for Diana.
I don't see any Canadian 'name popularity' statistics, but by doing some completely unscientific searches on the British Columbia Archives Vital Events indexes, I can see that Diana is a name used here in British Columbia, Canada, from the 1880s. The earliest, I think, is Diana Augusta IRVING, birth date registered as 9 January 1884 at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Both her birth registration and her baptism are indexed.) The baptism index which is not complete (and covers only 1836-1888) shows her as the only 'Diana' baptised in that time. Her mother's name is also Diana - no last name shown in the index. Her father's given names are 'Paulus Amilius'. (I will look her details up when I am next at an appropriate library, but I believe her parents married in 1883 in Victoria; her mother's surname was HAMLEY. Her father, also known as Paulus Amilius/Aemilius IRVING, was a Judge. )
Sadly, it seems Diana Augustus IRVING died 29 September 1884 but it looks as if her parents later named another daughter Diana.
There are 2 other Diana mothers named in the baptism index though - Diana Mary - married name FLETCHER and Diana - married name PIKET. In the baptism and the birth index (1872-1903), no Diane or Dianne. No one named Artemis either.
Looking at the death registration indexes (later births are not available), Diane, it seems, was a reasonably popular name in the 1930s and 1940s, Dianne less so - it seems to appear more often starting in the 1940s.
2. Now, of course, I could just as well have been 'Artemis'. Diana is the Roman version of Artemis, the Greek goddess whose temple at Ephesus (now Turkey) was one of the seven wonders of the ancient Mediterranean world. I've been there - now there's only a field in which one coloumn has been erected to show approximately where the temple stood.
Temple of Artemis, Ephesus, Sacred Destinations: www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/ephesus-temple-of-artemis.htm
3. Historically there aren't that many famous Diana/Diane/Diannes that interested me - there was Diana (Earle) Ross of the Supremes, of course, in the 1960s. But I will let you in on a secret - I wanted to be like Diana Rigg, the actress, perhaps best known for her role as 'Emma Peel' in the The Avengers television series. Smart, independent, beautiful and tough - at least as Mrs. Peel!