Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Evangeline

Evangeline is a fanciful derivation of the Latin word “evangelium” meaning ‘gospel’ from the Greek “euangelion” (“eu” meaning ‘good’ and “angelma” meaning ‘tidings’). The name was brought to life by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1847 epic poem “Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie”. The poem tells the story of a French girl Evangeline from the prosperous New French colonies around the maritime provinces of eastern Quebec, Canada and modern day Nova Scotia and Maine (an area then known as Acadia). In the mid-18th century the British fought the French and expelled these people from their land. During this Great Upheaval, Evangeline is searching for her lost love Gabriel. She wanders across the rustic scenery of America devoting her entire life to finding the man she loves. At times she comes close to Gabriel without knowing he is near. A heartbreaking twist of fate, for sure. As an old lady, Evangeline settles in Philadelphia to work among the poor alongside the Sisters of Mercy. Eventually Evangeline finds Gabriel on his deathbed in a Philadelphia infirmary, and in the end, he dies in her arms. The poem was based on a true story and was an instant success for Longfellow, making him the highest paid poet of his day. “Evangeline” also served to identify and define the history and enduring spirit of the Acadian people. This lovely, tragic heroine was also the inspiration behind Robbie Robertson’s well-known song “Evangeline” he wrote as a duet performed by The Band and Emmylou Harris.

All About the Baby Name – Evangeline



The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature.  They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.



Evangeline has been on the American naming charts since the U.S. government first began tracking naming trends in 1880, although we’re sure it was in existence well-before that, and mainly popularized by Longfellow’s poem in the mid 19th century. One hundred years ago, Evangeline experienced moderate popularity, but as the decades progressed into the 20th century, Evangeline fell from favor. In fact, the name went into complete hibernation for 40 years when it disappeared altogether from usage. The name returned triumphantly in 2006, not coincidentally right when the Canadian actress, Evangeline Lilly, came into the public eye in the role of Kate Austen on the popular TV drama “Lost”. American parents clearly responded to this four-syllable beauty. But we like this name more for its association with the Longfellow heroine and tragic victim of unrequited love in the days of yore. The name is so gorgeous we can’t help but to picture a beautiful woman; to quote from the poem: “Fairest of all the maids was Evangeline.” It’s a name with so much interest: it’s French, it’s poetic, it’s literary, it’s historic and it’s just perfectly pretty. The other great thing: the name is exotic and still underused. It’s originally stylish and strangely unpretentious. It demands not to be shortened, but if you want, Eva and Angie are possible pet forms. In our ‘gospel’ of name choices, this one is tops!

Quick Facts













Gospel, good-tidings










Cultural References to the Baby Name – Evangeline

Literary Characters


Evangeline St. Clare, or Little Eva as she’s known, is the angelic young heroine of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s great abolitionist novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in 1852. Saved from drowning in the river by the black slave, Uncle Tom, she persuades her father to purchase him, and later, to set him free. Although she is only a child of 5 or 6, she is wise beyond her years and, of course, good beyond any other earthling. Her gentle ways convert even the most hardened souls to the ideals of Christianity, most notably the raffish little slave girl, Topsy (a refreshingly wicked little character). Little Eva was adored by readers, who not only wept copiously at her sentimental death scene, but went even farther in homage by naming their newborn daughters “Eva” by the scores.

Evangeline is the heroine of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie” published in 1847. The poem is not only considered Longfellow’s masterpiece, but it is still widely taught in literature classes across America. The poem is historic fiction based on a true story that took place around Nova Scotia in the mid-1700s. The Acadian people were prosperous French settlers dating back to 1604 in modern-day eastern Canada, Nova Scotia and the northeastern states of America. Constantly antagonized by the English and Protestants (Acadia was largely a Catholic settlement), there were six wars in Acadia between 1689 and 1763. Finally defeated by the British after the French and Indian War, the Acadians were forcibly removed after refusing allegiance to the English crown (interesting factoid: the Louisiana ethnic group known as the Cajuns is descended from Acadian exiles). This massive deportation was known as the Great Upheaval, and in the middle of the chaos were two young lovers cruelly separated by fate. Evangeline was the beautiful 17 year old daughter of a wealthy farmer; she was “the pride of the village”, and the “noblest of all the youths was Gabriel, son of the blacksmith!” As they are separated, Evangeline assures her sweetheart “"Gabriel! be of good cheer! for if we love one another, / Nothing, in truth, can harm us, whatever mischances may happen!" How wrong was this poor innocent lass – for she would spend the rest of her life roaming the American landscape searching in vain for her lost love, only to have him die in her arms in the end. “As in the days of her youth, Evangeline rose in his vision. / Tears came into his eyes; and as slowly he lifted his eyelids, / …Vainly he strove to whisper her name, for the accents unuttered / Died on his lips, and their motion revealed what his tongue would have spoken. / Vainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him, / Kissed his dying lips, and laid his head on her bosom.” The poem is a romantic and sentimental portrayal of star-crossed lovers set against an interesting historic period of early America.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Evangeline

Popular Songs


a French song written by Michel Conte

O Evangeline
a song by Emmylou Harris

For Evangeline
a song by The Juliana Theory

Famous People


Evangeline Lilly (actress)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Evangeline

Historic Figures


We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Evangeline