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Petronilla is a Late Latin feminine given name. The name is a diminutive form of Petronia, itself the feminine form of Petronius, a Roman family name. Saint Petronilla is an early Roman saint, later interpreted as the daughter of Saint Peter. She became the patron saint of the Frankish kings, and her chapel became the burial place for French kings.
The derived form Petronella, later changed to Pieternella, has been popular in the Netherlands since the Middle Ages, perhaps due to Gertrude, Countess of Holland, adopting this name around 1100.[1] In daily life, many people with this given name use a short form, like Petra, Nel, Nelleke, Nelly, Ella, Ellen, and Elly.

People called Petronilla:

People called Petronella:

Fictional characters


  1. ^ popularity and explanation at the Meertens Institute's database of given names in the Netherlands.