The name Ismay is a girl's name of French origin meaning "esteemed, beloved". Ismay and is often added to lists like Unique Baby Names from History and discussed in our forums with posts like "Names on NB that make you go WOW!".
From the experts:
The rise of the the various Isabel names may give a boost to this variation, which has a sunny, springtime feel.
Although this name has been around since the thirteenth century, its origins remain obscure.
Ismay has appealed to several authors as a character name--Robertson Davies in his Cornish Trilogy, Ruth Rendell in The Water's Lovely, and Ken Follett in his World Without End.
Caveat: Could be confused with Esme.