I believe it was the other way around. The name Alma, probably a Celtic name, the final "a" sounds like a "y", so in America, in order to have people pronounce it correctly, the spelling goes by the sound. Noah Alma/Almy and wife Cynthia Van Dieke or Van Dyke are my 3 greats. Usually, I spell it with a "y" to avoid the confusion. My grandmother had a sister with this name as a first name.