Genealogy World - building on what was started with the Genealogy Lady at the New Jerusalem

Origins and Meanings of Surnames

Abercrombie is a Scottish place name from a so-named location in Fife which was earlier called Ababcrumbach . It is derived from the Brittonic aber = confluence added to the name of a river, which was named from crom = crooked + the local suffix -ach . Abercromby is a variation.

Abbott : English Occupational name for the man who lived in the house of the Abbott, or sometimes as a nickname for the sanctimonious person.

Adam is an English, French, Catalan, Italian, German, Flemish/Dutch, Jewish (Ashkenazic), and Polish patronymic name derived from Hebrew adama = earth. Aitken, Aiken, Aitkin are forms generally found specifically in Scotland -- it's a diminutive form.

My husband is Payam Adlparvar , Persian descent. His name originates from his grandfather, who was living in Ishkabad, Azerbyjan - Persian/Russian area. At one time he chose to return inside the official Iranian borders (the borders changed in that area quite a bit between wars), at which time he was asked to give himself a surname. Up until that time, surnames were simply based on their city or their father's name - Tehrani (of Tehran) or Hussaini (of Hussain). Payam's grandfather chose Adlparvar; Adl - from the Arabic language, meaning: Justice. And parvar- from Persian, meaning the one who nurtures. The name, therefore, means the one who nurtures Justice .

Adolphus is derived from Adolph , which comes from the Germanic given name Adalwulf , and is composed of the elements adal = noble + wulf = wolf. Until the Second World War, Adolph was a common given name. Cognate forms include Ahlf, Alf (Low German); Adolfi, Adinolfi (Italian). Adolfino is an Italian diminutive form, and other patronymic versions include Ahlfs, Alfs, Adolfsson (the last being Swedish).

Aichelmeyer is a compound name that likely originated in the German Lowlands, where Aichele is a diminutive form of the name which means OAK in English. Meyer is a German term for town official or steward, sometimes similar to Mayor. The name would literally be translated as "oak mayor" which doesn't make for a logical explanation. If there is Jewish heritage involved, it is likely one of the Ashkenazic ornamental names adopted when required by the government. They didn't make literal sense, but were taken because of their pleasing sound, in the same fashion as were the Swede's names. Examples: Aichenblatt (oak leaf), Aichenbaum (oak tree), Eichelberg (oak hill), Eichenholz (oak wood).

Alexander : is a name common throughout the early British Isles taken from the English given name Alexander, which means "defender of men."

Alarcon : is a Spanish Place name derived from Alarcon in Cuenca and Cordoba.

Alarid : may be a version of the name Alard (Alar-i-d) which is a Patronymic name derived from the given name Adelard. From Old English adal =noble + hard =hardy. Another variation of the name is spelled Allard .

Albright is an English variation of the surname Albert, found among the English, Low German, French, Catalan, and Hungarian cultures, from a Germanic name Albrecht, from adal = noble + behrt = bright, famous. Aubert is another English variant; Abert, Aber, Allebrach (Low German); Auber, Aubert, Aube, Aubey (French).

Alford is an English place name that described an old crossing point in a stream or river, and three particular places (Surry, Somerset, and Lincolnshire). The man who emigrated from one of these locations would be known at his new residence as Alford, since people tended to point out the outsiders in their midst as an identification feature. The Surry location derived its name from Old English eald = old + ford = water crossing. The Somerset locale was named for the Old English female given name Ealddyd (from eald = old + gyd = battle). The Lincolnshire location is from Ealh = temple + ford. Allford is a variation.

Alger is an English patronymic name, from the given name Alger, which comes from several places -- Germanic, Norman, and Old English -- which kind of ran together. The second syllable - ger is derived from the Germanic element geri/gari = spear. Alfgeirr (elf spear) was a Norse name which served as one source; Aelfgar is another version (French Norman). The first element of the name is generally assumed to be associated with alb = elf, adal = noble, or ald = old. Variations are Algar, Auger, Elgar, Elger.

Allam is likely a spelling variation of Allem, which is a variation of the French patronymic name Alleaume, from an Old French version of the Germanic given name Adalhelm, composed of the elements adal = noble + helm = protection, helmet. Alliaume and Allem are variations; Ahlhelm is a German cognate, Alm is the Frisian version, and Adlam is the English cognate.

Allard/Alard/Allert : English Patronymic Name...from the old name Adelard. It's components are adal = hardy + hard. Allart and Allert are variations of the name.

Alle is a Germanic name that meant "noble" and Brand is often used in Germanic compound names such as Hildabrand, and derived from the personal name Brando, which was a shortened form of several names that contained the element brand = sword < brinnan = to flash. Allenbrand is "noble sword" when taken at its literal sense.

Allyn is a spelling variation of the English and Scottish patronymic name Allen , an ancient Celtic name derived from Gaelic ailin = little rock. Variations are Alan, Allan, Allegyne, Alline, Allin . Patronymic forms include Allenson, Allis, Allanson, Allison, Allinson, Hallison, FitzAlan, McAllan, McAline, McEllen, McElane, McKellan, McKellen .

Allender : English/Scottish patronymic name, from the Celtic name of antiquity - Alan, from Ailin = rock and sometimes derived from Allen as the name of a town or settlement.

Alston is an English patronymic name derived from the Middle English given name Alstan, which was a combination of several other names of the time composed of the elements oedel = nobel, aelf = elf, eald = old + stan = stone. There were several places named Alston (Lancashire, Devon, and Somerset) and the name may have described a man who came from there. Alstone, and Allston are variations.

Ameigh may be a diminutive cognate of the English name (from French-Norman) Amis, from the Old French nickname Amis = friend. Variations are Amiss, Amies, Ames . Cognates include Ami, Amy, Lamy (French); Amico (Italian). Diminutives include Amiguet, Amiot, Amyot, Amiel (French); Amicelli, Amicino, Amighini, Amigh, Amigotti, Amietti (Italian); Amigo (Catalan). Patronymic forms include D'Amico, D'Amici , and De Amicis in Italy, and in England -- Amson and Amison.

Anderson : is the ninth most common surname in America, and owes that position to the popularity of the name Andrew in England, Scotland, and Scandinavian countries. Andrew (man) was the first of the disciples called by Jesus, and was a revered name due to its church influences through medieval times. St. Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia and many given names were chosen to honor the saint. Patronymic surnames are names used to describe a man by using his father's name. In Norway the name takes the form Andresen, Anders , and Enders ; the Swedes in American eliminated the extra -S- they normally include to become Anderson. It was Andersson and Anderssen before they emigrated. The French form is Andre , with an accent mark above the ending letter. Andrews is largly found in Scotland, along with McAndrew -- the prefix Mc being another patronymic designation -- which is also found in Ireland. In Italy, the name is D'Andrea , in Poland it is Andrzejewski , in the Ukraine it is Andrijenko , and in Czechoslovakia, Andrew takes the form of Ondrus .

Andrade is a Portuguese patronymic name that is believed to be derived from the Greek given name Andras, from andros = man, male. It is also commonly found in Spain. There are several locations in Portugal by this name, which were likely named as a result of someone bearing this surname.

Angell is a variation of the English and French nickname Angel, derived from Old French angel Latin angelus greek angelos = messenger. It was the nickname for the man of angelic quality, or occasionally, the nickname for the man who played the part of the angel in a local pageant. Angeau is a French variation. Cognates exist in many languages.

Anger is a French variation of the English (of Norman origin) and French patronymnic name Ainger, which comes from the Germanic given name Ansger, composed of the elements ans = god + ger,gar = spear. Angier, Anger, Angear, Aunger are English variations. Anger, Anquier, Ansquer are among the French versions.

Angulo is a form of the name Angle, a place name that described the man who lived on an odd-shaped piece of land. The form Angle is English, which is also found as Nangle. Angulo (actually Ángulo -- with the diacritical mark above the A) is the form of the name found originally in Spain.

Annesley is a English place name in Nottinghamshire, derived from Old English an = solitary + leah = wood, clearing. It described the man who came from the settlement at the "woods that stand alone."

Antecki is a variation of the name Anthony , one of the most common names, derived from Latin Antonius , an ancient Roman family name of unknown etymology. Antaki may be a variation as well.

Appel/Appelbaum : The German Place names Appel and Applebaum/Appelbaum described the man who lived by the apple tree, and Appelt is a likely variation.

Armitage is an English place name for the medieval man who lived near a hermitage, from Middle English and Old French hermitage hermite = hermit, coming by way of Late Latin eremita, eremos = solitary. Variations are Armytage, Hermitage . Most if not all of those who bear the name are descended from a family that lived at Hermitage Bridge in Almondbury, near Huddersfield in England, during the 1200's. It was brought to North America by Enoch Armitage who was born in 1677, and was the first of several family members to emigrate from Wooldale, Yorkshire.

Arnold is an English patronymic name from a Norman given name comprised of the Germanic elements arn = eagle + wald = rule. Occasionally it is derived as a place name to describe the man from any of the so-named locations in England and derived from Old English earn = eagle + halh = nook, hollow. Variations are Arnhold, Arnould, Arnout, Arnoil, Arnald, Arnaud, Arnall, Arnell, Arnull, Arnott, Arnatt, Arnull, Harnott, Harnett, Hornet, Hornett . Numerous cognate and Diminutive forms also exist.

Arrington is derived two ways: 1st, as a variation of the surname Harrington, which -- when of English (Cumberland) origin -- comes from Old English Hoeferingtun = "settlement associated with Hoefer." Hoefer is a nickname that meant "He-goat." When of Irish origin, Harrington is derived from Gaelic O'hArrachtain = "descendant of Arrachtan (powerful, mighty).
When Arrington isn't a variation of Harrington, it is derived from a place in Cambridgeshire, which was named from Old English Earningatun = "settlement of the people of Earna." Earna was a nickname that meant "eagle."

Arthur is an English and French patronymic name, from the Celtic given name Arthur , which is of disputed etymology, but has been in continuous use since the Middle Ages, partly due to the King Arthur tales, based on a 6th century British leader. French variations are Arthus, Artus, Arthuys . Cognates include Arturo, Artusio, Artuso, Artusi (Italian); Artur (Portuguese). Arthurs, MacArthur, McArthur, McArtair, McAirter, McCairtair, McCarter are patronymic forms.

Ashe is a variation of Ash found primarily in Ireland. Ash is an English place name that described the man who lived by the ash tree, from Old English oesc = ash. It also described the man who emigrated from any of the several locations by that name.

Ashmore : is an English Place name that was derived from the Old English oesc = ash + mor = marsh...for a literal translation of ash-marsh. The man who lived near there often acquired that as his surname.

Asmussen is a variation of the surname Erasmus that is most commonly found among the Danish, Norwegians, and Lowland Germans. Erasmus is of German origin, from a given name that came from the Greek erasmos = loved. A St. Erasmus was a patron of sea-going men, but remained a somewhat obscure figure, which contributed to the obscurity of the name. Variations are Rasmus, Asmus, Eras ; diminutive forms are Rasem, Asam, Asum, Rassmann, Assmann, Raes, Raskin . Patrnymic forms include Asmesen, Asmes (German); Asmussen (Low German); Rasmussen, Asmussen (Danish, Norwegian).

Atkins is a Patronymic name, derived from the early given name Adam (Hebrew adama = red earth or man), originating in England, France, Catalan, Italy, Germany, and Poland, as well as the Ashkenazic Jewish, Dutch and Flemish. Diminutive forms of Adam are Adkin, Atkin, Aitkin, Adnett, Adnitt , and Ade . Italian variants are Adami, Dami ; Polish and Jewish versions include Adamski . The Hugarian cognate is Adam , in Provencal it is Azam , in Spain, Adan .

Atnip : English Place Name...The Medieval English said atten to mean "at the" creating names like ATWOOD meaning "at-the-woods." The Old English word heope (pronounced like hip) meant "rose-hip." Atten + heope or "at-the-roses" can easily be anglicized as Atnip. Requested by: Earl Atnip

Aton is derived from two Old English elements æt = at, near + tun = settlement, enclosure -- and described the man who lived near, or at, a recognized local settlement.

Austin is an English Patronymic name, derived from the given name Aoustin introduced into England by the Normans.

Avans is a patronymic version of the Welsh name Evans, which was originally drawn from the given name Ifan, Evan = John. Occasionally it is a variant of the Scottish surname Ewan which is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic personal name Eogann . Other patronymic forms are Evans, Evens, Evance, Ifans, Iving, Heavans, Heavens, Bevan .

Ayers is a patronymic version of the surname Ayer , an English Nickname for the man who was well known to be the heir to a title or fortune, from the Middle English word eir, eyr = heir. Variants include Ayr, Ayre, Eyer, Eyre, Hayer, Heyer , among others.

B

Baca is a Spanish cognate of the Italian nickname Vacca, which is derived from the Latin vacca = cow, and is the name given to the cowherd or gentle person. Vacchi is an Italian variant. Vetch, Veitch are Scottish cognates, while Vaca and Vacas are additional Spanish cognates of the name. Numerous diminutive forms exist including Vachelli, Vachette, Vachey, Vachez, Vachon, Vachot, Vachoux, Vacquez, and Vacquin.

Bagwell is an English place name derived from the Medieval given name Bacga + the Old English wella = well, spring -- and would have described the man who lived by a well owned by a man named Bacga, probably a notable location at the time.

Bailey is an English occupational name for a steward or official, from the Middle English bailli = carrier, porter. In Scotland, the bailli is the magistrate and bailiff is a form that has evolved elsewhere. Occasionally, the name is derived as an English Place name from a Middle English word derived from Old French baille = enclosure. In this form it originally meant the person living by the outer wall of the castle, but Old Bailey, a place in Lancashire which formed part of the outer wall of some medieval castle, also became the origin for surname for people from that location. There are numerous variations in many countries, including Baillie (Scotland), Bayless , Bailess, Lebailly (French), Bally (Swiss), Baglione (Italian), and Bailloux (Provencal).

Baker : As you might suspect, this name originated in the occupation of a medieval townsman, where many of the most frequently found surnames were derived. Baker is the 7th most frequently found occupational surname in America.

Bakeman was likely originally spelled as Bakmann -- at any rate, it is a cognate form of Baker , the occupational name for the owner of a communal oven who cooked the breads for the entire village, or for the man who baked goods in the village great house or castle. The maintainance of a community oven operated in exchange for loaves of bread was a hereditary privilege during the feudal period in England. Variations are Baiker, Bacher, Baxter . Cognates (same word in another language) include Backer, Becker, Beckermann (German); Bakker, DeBaecker, De Backer, De Becker, Bakmann, Beckers (Flemish, Dutch); Becker, Beckerman (Jewish).

Baldwin is an English Patronymic name from the given name comprised of the Germanic elements bald = bold, brave + wine = friend. Baldwin was an extremely popular given name among the Normans and in Flanders during the Middle Ages. The first Christian king of Jerusalem was Baldwin, as was the count of Flanders who lead the Fourth Crusade and became the first Latin Emperor of Constantinople in 1204. Occasionally, Baldwin is an Irish surname adopted by bearers of the Gaelic name O'Maolagain , as a result of an association with an English term meaning bald, as a nickname. Congnative forms of the English version are Baudouin (French); Baldovino, Balduini, Baldoin (Italian); Valdovinos (Spanish); and Baldewin, Ballwein, Bollwahn , and Bollwagen (German).

Ballard: Many times nicknames that had become attached to people, stuck as their surname. Some were cruel, some weren't too bad. Those that had particularly cruel names either changed the spelling or changed their names altogether. Ballard is the nickname that the English sometimes gave to those whose head were short in the hair department. Bald, Balch , and Ballard are typical English Nicknames for that description.

Barlow is an English place name taken from any of the so-named locations in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, derived from Old English bere = barley + hlaw = hill. The location by that name in Derbyshire is name from Old English var = boar + leah = clearing, meadow.

Barna/Barner : Hungarian Patronymic name from the given name Barnaby, who was St. Paul's companion and a fairly common early given name.

Barnard is a French and English variation of the surname Bernard, which has origins among the English, French, Polish, and Czechs, and is derived from the Germanic given name Bernhard, from the elements ber = bear + hard = brave, hardy. The name was introduced to England by the conquering Normans in 1066 (that was the date William won the battle; the name might have been introduced a day or two later...) Variations are Barnard (English, French); Beneard, Besnard, Benard (French); Biernat, Biernacki, Bernadzki (Polish); Ber, Bern, Beran (Czech).

Barnes : English Place Name, from Barnes (in Surry or Aberdeenshire) so named because of the barns that were located there. There were also Barnes families who were known by the name of their father (English Patronymic Name) who was called Barn, a pet form of Barnabas -- a name not used much these days that means 'son of prophesy or consolation.' Some Barnes families are descended from Beorn, a given name that meant 'nobleman' and still others had a patronymic designation from Bairn, a name often given to a young child of a prominent family.

Barnett is a variation of Barnet , an English place name derived from Old English bærnet = place cleared by burning. There are a number of so-named locations by the name, and the man who emigrated from such a place was referenced at his new home by his place of origin.

Barnwell is an English place name from from Barnwell in Cambridgeshire, from Old English beorna = warriors' + wella = stream, or from Barnwell in Northamptonshire, from Old English byrgen = burial mound + wella = stream. Barnewall is a variation.

Barrett is an English patronymic name derived from the given name Bernhard , of Germanic origin, which was introduced by the Normans into England with William the Conqueror. Bernhard is derived from ber = bear + hard = hardy, and Barrett is a diminutive form. Barrett is occasionally derived from Middle English barat = trouble, strife, deception -- and was a nickname for the quarrelsome person. Also, it is occasionally an occupational name for the hatmaker, from Old French barette = cap, bonnet. Variations are Barret, Barrat, Barratt, Barritt . Cognate forms and diminutives are also abundant.

Barrington : English Place name, from several locations by that name, the one in Gloucester derived from Old English Beorningtun (settlement of Beorn), the Somerset location derived from Bara's Settlement. Occasionally Barrington is an Anglicized form of O'Bearain , descendant of Bearan (spear).

Barron : English Nickname that called attention to noble birth or exalted rank.

Bartol is a cognate of Bartholomew, from the medieval given name from Aramaic bar-Talmay (son of Talmay) whose name meant 'having many furrows' in the sense of having much land. Bartlam is an English variation of Bartholomew. Cognates include Bartelmy, Barthelmy, Barthelemy, Berthelemy, Berthelmy , (French); Bartholomieu, Bartomieu, Berthomieu, Bertomieu, Berthome, Berthomier (Provencal); Bartolommeo, Bartolomeo, Bortolomei, Tolomei, Tomme, Tommei, Tolomio, Meo (Italian); Bartolome (Spain); Bartomeu, Bertomeu (Catalan); Bartolomeu (Portugal); Bartholomaus, Bartoloma, Bartolomaus (German); Barthelme, Barthelmes, Meus, Mebius, Mebus, Mebis, Mobius, Miebes (Low German); Bartolomivis, Mewe, Mewis, Meeus, Mees, Meys, Mebes (Flemish, Dutch); Bartosch (German, Slav origin); Barta, Bartak, Bartos, Barton (Czech); Bartlomiej (Polish); Barta, Bartal (Hungarian). Diminutive forms include Bartlett, Bart leet, Bart, Bartle, Barty, Bartie (English); Berthelemot, Bertelemot, Bartholin, Bartol, Bartolin, Bertolin, Bartel, Barthelet, Bartelet, Berthel, Barthot, Bartot, Bertot, Berthot, Barthod, Bartod (French); Bartolomeotti, Bartolomucci, Bartolini, Bartoli, Bartalini, Bartali, Bartoletti, Bartaletti, Bartolozzi, Bartalucci, Bartelli, Barocci, Bartolotti, Bortolini, Bortolutti, Bortoluzzi, Tolussi, Tolomelli, Tolumello,Tolotti, Tolossi, Tolussi (Italian); Bart, Barth, Barthel, Bartel, Bartl (German); Baert, Bartolijn, Bartoleyn (Flemish, Dutch); Bartke, Bartek, Bachura, Bacha, Bachnik (German, Slav origin); Gartosek, Bartusek, Bartunek (Czech); Bartlomiejczyk, Bartoszek, Bartosik (Polish); Bartok, Bertok (Hungarian). Patronymic forms also exist in several languages.

Bass/Basso : English/Italian Nickname...Surnames were often taken from nicknames given to the progenitor of a family -- in the case of Bass, the English used the word as a nickname for a small or thin person, along with Block, Grubb, Littell, Short, Smalley , etc. In Italy, the same nickname is Basso .

Bauer is a German status name for a peasant or a nickname for the "neighbor, fellow citizen."

Baumann is a variation of the German and Jewish nickname Bauer, which meant 'neighbor' or 'fellow citizen.' It was derive from German bauer, from bur = occupant of a small dwelling. Pauer, Gebuhr, Bauman are other variations. Cognates are Burmann, Bur, Buhrmann, Burmann, Bouwer (Low German); Boerma, Boersma, Bouman (Frisian); De Boer, Boere, Boerman, Bouwer, Bouwman, Bouwmeester , (Dutch); Bohr (Danish); Por (Hungarian).

Bays is a patronymic form of the English and French nickname Bay, which described the man with the chestnut or auburn hair, derived from Old French and Middle English bay, bai = reddish-brown. Bai is a French variation. Bayo is a Spanish cognate and Baaij, Bay are found among the Dutch. Bayet is a diminutive French form, and diminutive forms found in Provencal include Bayol, Bajol, Bajolet, Bayoux . Bays and Bayes are patronymic forms meaning "son of Bay."

Beachum is a variation of the English (Norman) and French name Beauchamp , a place name from several so-named French locales, from Old French beu, bel = fair + champs = field, plain. Beacham, Beachamp, Beehcam, Beacom, Belchamp are other forms.

Beard was a fairly common English Nickname, for the man who wore a beard, and a number of surnames were derived from it. The suffix - den or - don is from an Old English element for dune, or hill. Bearden in that context would be "Beard's Hill" a fairly good description for a medieval location, from which many surnames drew their meaning.

Bearce, Bearse : the old English word bearu, beara , meant "grove, wood" and there are nearly forty places in SW England named from that root in variations such as Beare, Beere , etc. The man who hailed from that location and moved to another town was often described by his former place of residence. The addition of the -S most often designates a patronymic form. If a man named John moved to a town, where there were several men named John already, he might be described as "John, of Beare." His son would be described as Beare's, or Beare's son. Most of surnames of this style are related to the Old English bearu/beara = grove. Spellings were not standardized until after the American Civil War, a fact we are sometimes surprised by, since spellings are so important to us in this age of computers. There is actually an Anglo-Saxon vocabulary word" bearce which means "barking." I don't know how that might figure in as a surname origin, but I thought I would pass it along as we ll!

Beattie/Beaty/Beatty/Beatie/Beatey : Scottish/Northern Irish Patronymic name...derived from the name Bartholomew. Bate was a pet form of that given name, and sons of Bate might be known as Beattie, Beatty, or Beatey.

In medieval times (when surnames were adopted), there were several given names that were commonly found among both men AND women. Thinking about it, such practices are not so uncommon today either. (I've made several mistakes assuming gender regarding people who have sent me Email, witness: Chris, Pat, Sammy, et al.).
Bebbe was one such name. Bebb is a patronymic surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, as a variation of the given name Bebbe, which would also occur as a surname in that spelling. Bebbing is a diminutive form, and the location in Cheshire, England called Bebbington is derived from the combination of Bebbe/Bebbing + Old English tun = settlement, which described a medieval settlement headed by Bebbe or Bebbing.

Bechtel is a German patronymic name that described the descendant of Betto, a name that was a pet form of several German names that began with Bercht, which meant "bright, famous." Berhtolf and Berhtari are examples of names that would have been reduced to Betto in a familiar or pet form.

Beck/Beckman/Bachman : German Place Name...There were many names for the 'one who dwells by the stream' and in Germany they included Beck/Beckman/Bachman.

Beddow is a Welsh patronymic name derived from the personal name Bedo, which was a form of Meredydd with elements that meant "splendor, lord." Variations are Beddoe, Bedo, Eddo (achieved through Ap'Bedo , meaning "son of Bedo") with patronymic forms including Beddowes, Beddows, Beddoes, Beddis, Eddowees, Edess .

Beebe : a variation of Beeby, the English Place name for the man from a so-named settlement in Leicestershire, which was named from Old English beo = bee + Old Norse byr = settlement, village.

Bekker is a variation of the German Occupational name Becher , the occupation of the man who created wooden vessels such as cups, mugs, and pitchers. It is derived from Middle High German becher , from Greek bikos = pot, pitcher. Occasionally it referred to the German man who worked with pitch, a substance used in waterproofing such items; and also, Becher originates sometimes as a Jewish name of uncertain origin or an English Place name as a variant of Beech .

The Bender was a common term for the German maker of casks and barrels, and he often came to be known by his trade name.

Bennett/Bennet : English Patronymic name from the name Bennet, which means 'blessed' - a popular name during the middle ages. It has variations in several languages, and spellings. American singer Tony Bennett uses two versions -- his artworks are signed Anthony Benedetto , his name before being American-ized. Requested by Bevan Bennett. He was `blessed' - Bennet - with a great voice!

Bentley : is an English Place name that is a combined form of the Old English word leah , which meant 'clearing in the woods.' The bent-leah was the 'clearing in the woods with the bent grass,' and Bentley was the man who lived there.

Benz/Benzer : In early times when advertising was in its infancy, (before television and the proliferation of literacy -- and the subsequent decline due to the aforementioned...) innkeepers had pictures placed on their hanging outdoor signs for identification. The bear was one of the popular depictions. Benz is a German place name derived from the place of the 'bear sign' with Benzer as a derivative.

Berger is polygenetic, in that it comes from more than one origin. As a variation of the German surname Berg it describes the man who lived on or by a hill or mountain. Bergman is another variation. Berger is also derived as a French cognate form of the English surname Barker , when it is used in the sense of the shepherd and derived from Anglo Norman French bercher . During the Middle Ages, -er was pronounced as -ar and bercher became barker -- it was sometime later that educators began reteaching the proper pronunciation of common words. Barker is also the occupational name of the tanner of leather, derived from Middle English barken = to tan, stemming from the use of tree bark in the tanning process. Berger, Bergey, Berget are French cognates of the shepherd version, while Berguier, Bergier have their origins in Provencal. Bergeret, Bergerot, Bergeron, Bergeroneau, Bergerioiux are diminutive forms.

Berheiser is a German place name derived from the Old High German ber = bear + heiser = house, which described a public house or inn that displayed the sign of the bear outside. The innkeep was often known by the name of the animal who picture appeared on the sign outside his door.

Bernier is a French cognate of the English (of Norman origin) patronymic name Berner, comprised of the Germanic elements bern = bear + hari = army. Benier, Besnier are other French cognates. Berneret, Bernerette, Berneron, Bernerin, Bernelin are French diminutive forms.

Berthet is a diminutive form of the French (also found as English, and rarely German) Patronymic surname Bert, from the Germanic given name Berto, which occurred mainly in compound names with berht (bright, famous) as the first element. It is found in Italy as Berti. Other diminutive forms are Bertie (English); Berton, Berthoneau, Bertet, Berthellin, Berthelot, Bertellin, Bertelot, Bertillon, Berthilet (French); Bertorelli, Bertelli, Bertinetti, Bertinotti, Bertuccelli, Bertuccioli, Bertozzi, Bertuzzi, Bertocchini, Bertoccini, Pertini, Pertotti (Italian); Berthelin, Bertolin (Catalan); Bertl (German); Bethke, Bethmann (Low German).

Best is an English and French occupational name for the man who took care of the animals (the beasts, Old French beste ) or as an unflattering nickname for the man who had a beastly temperament or appearance. Beste is a variation. When of German origin, Best is a place name for the man who lived by the river Beste, or who hailed from any of the several villages called Besten. When of Beatles origin, it designates the drummer before Ringo, Pete Best .

Bettencourt : French Place name to describe someone from Bettencourt, France. There are several spelling variations of the place name. Bettencourt was originally or Germanic origin; Betto's court, with Betto a variant of the personal name Bert with the suffix court, which means farmyard. It is prevalent in Portugal where it was first recorded in the 1300's.

Bialas is the Polish nickname for the fair haired man, from the Polish word bial = white, blond + as = masculine suffix. Biela is a variation. Cognate forms include Bily, Bilan (Ukraine); Bil, Bily, Belohlavek (Czech). Diminutive forms include Bealasik, Bialczyk, Bialek, Belik, Bilek, Bilko, Belyak, Bialik, Bielak, Bialovchik .

Biedenweg , an unusual German place name, means "by the way" as a location of where someone lived -- 'way' meaning course or path. An Old Middle German given name was Budde , which evolved into several surnames. Budde's Way, or the path to Budde's settlement or enclosure, might have been taken as a surname for someone who lived along that trail -- as Buddeweg or Budweg .

Biel is derived from the Slavic element byel = white. There are several Eastern European cities named Byale from this same element.

Bielski is a Polish and Jewish (Ashkenazic) place name for the man from one of the so-named locations in Eastern Europe, from Slavic byel = white + -ski (surname suffix). Occasionally it was a nickname for a fair-haired person, from Polish bial = white. Bielecki, Bialecki, Bielinski, Bielawski, Bilski are Polish variations, Bilski, Bialski, Bielecki, Bielicki, Biletzki, Bielinski, Bielinsky, Bielensky, Bialinski are Jewish forms.

Billings : English Place name for the man who was one of "Billa's people" or who is from Billinge (which is derived from an Old English term for sword) in Lancashire.

Bingley is an English place name, as determined by the suffix - ley , from Old English leah = clearing, meadow. The prefix is generally a descriptive term for the clearing, and in this case, it may be derived from Old English byne = cultivated. The man who came from the so-named town in Yorkshire would be known by that description at his new location, as would the man whose dwelling was near a similar cultivated clearing in the woods.

Bish is a variation of the English place name Bush , for the man who lived near a thicket, from Middle English bushe = bush. Bish, Bysh, Bysshe are variations. Cognates include Busch, Buscher, Bosche, Bosch, Boschmann, Zumbusch , and others.

Bixby is an English place name from "Bekki's homestead" in Lincolnshire.

Blackburn : Scottish Patronymic/Place name...Blackburn is somewhat of an oddity in that many Scottish families with the name originated from the town of Blackburn, which was named for an original settler. He likely got the name because of where he formerly lived -- black-burn being the reference to a 'dark stream.'

Blain : is a Scottish Patronymic name derived from Blane, or Blaan -- given names that honored St. Blane, a Scottish Saint.

Blair is a Scottish and Northern Irish (Ulster) place name from any of the several so-named locations, derived from Gaelic blár = plain, field (often in the sense of battlefield).

Blaise is a French patronymic name from the Medieval given name Blaise, derived from Latin Blassius, which originally was a nickname for a person with difficulty speaking or a limp, from Latin blaesus = stammering and Greek blaisos = bowlegged. One of the early Christian martyrs bore the name, which lent to its popularity as a given name despite the original meaning of the name. Blais is a variation. There are numerous cognate forms of the name in several languages.

Blalock and Blaylock are English Nicknames for the man who had the black hair, or the Bla'ck locks.

Blankenship is an English place name from the location in Northumberland called Blenkinsopp, meaning "top valley."

Blau is a German nickname, from Old High German blao = blue, and was given in several senses -- the person who almost always wore blue clothing, the man with blue eyes, or the man with the pale or bluish complexion (generally not a sign of good health). Blauer, Blauert are German variations. Plabst, Plab are found in Bavaria. Blauer is also a Jewish variation. Cognate forms also exist in several languages include Blue (English); De Blauw, Blauw, Blauwaert (Flemish); Blaauw (Dutch).

Bleau is likely a variant cognate of the German nickname Blau, from German blau = blue, which described the man who tended to wear blue, had blue eyes, or a pale complexion -- something distinctive enough that the neighbors knew who was being discussed when "blue" was used as a description beyond the given name. A number of Blau surnames are Jewish Ashkenazic ornamental names, taken when surnames were ordered by the government. Variations of Blau are Blauer, Blauert, Plab, Plabst . Cognate forms include De Blauw, Blaauw, Blauwaert (Flemish); Blaauw, Blauw (Dutch); Bleu, LeBleu, Blauf (French); Blue (Anglicized). The Jewish ornamental name generally had a suffix, such as Blaufeder (blue feather).

Blevins is a patronymic form of the Welsh name Blevin, from the given name Bleiddyn which meant "Wolf Cub" from blaidd = wolf + -yn (a diminutive suffix). Blaidd was often used among the early Welsh to describe a hero. Blethyn is a variation. Blevins, Pleavins, Plevin, Pleven, Pleaden are patronymic forms (those beginning with P are derived from ap'Blevin , meaning "son of Blevin).

Blood was taken from Old English blod = blood, but as a surname, its significance isn't clear. It may have been a nickname for the man with the red hair, or the name for the physician -- they used that term to describe the man who 'let blood.' The suffix -worth is from Old English word = settlement. The name Bloodsworth is literally 'Blood's settlement.'

Blount/Blunt : English descriptive name...derived from the Old French word blund -- which meant 'blond, or yellow-haired.'

Boarder is the English place name for the man who lived in a house built of wood planks, from OE bord = board, plank of wood. Boardman is a variation (chiefly Lancashire) along with Bordier, Border, Board, Boord . There are numerous cognate and diminutive forms as well.

Boatright is an English occupational name, in the same sense as shipwright or wheelright, and is a compound comprised of the Old English elements bat = boat + wyrhta = worker, builder. A wright is a person who builds, generally with wood -- but the term is usually found as a compound.

Boeuf is a French Nickname for a powerfully built man, from the Old French boeuf = bull. Variants are Leboeuf, Boey, and Boez. Cognates are Boff, Leboff (England), La Bau, Boe, Boi, Lo Voi (Italian), and others.

Bohannon is likely derived as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic O Buadhachain , which meant "descendant of Buadachan" whose name meant "victorious." Boohan, Bohane, O'Boughan, O'Bougan, O'Boghan, Boghan are variations.

Bohm : and its variants are German Nicknames derived from the terms used to identify a person from Bohemia. From Old German Baii + heim =home. Variations include Bahem, Boehme , and Boehm , among others.

Bois is a French place name for the man who lived or worked in the woods, derived from Old French bois = wood. Variations are Dubois, Desbois, Bost, Dubos, Dubost . Cognate forms include Boyce (English); Bosc (Provencal); Bosque (Spain); Bosch Bosque, Boscos, Bosca (Catalan); DelBosco, Boschi, Busco (Italian). Diminutive forms are also found.

Bolek is a Polish diminutive version of the patronymic namy Boleslawski, from the given name Boleslaw, from the Slavic elements bole = greater + slav = glory + ski = surname suffix. Bolecek is a Czech version. Boleslawski, Boleslavski , and Boleslavsky are Jewish cognates derived as adoptions of the non-Jewish surname.

Bonner is a variation of Bonar , the English and Scottish nickname derived from Middle English bonere = gentle, courteous, handsome from Old French bonnaire from the phrase de bonne aire = of good bearing. Bonnar, Boner are other variations. Bonnaire is a French cognate -- Bonaro is the Italian version.

Booth is an English Place name for the man who lived in a small hut or bothy from the Middle English word bothe , and usually designated a cowman or shepherd. It has Scandinavian origins and denoted the various kinds of temporary shelter, and is more common in Northern England and Scotland. Variations include Boothe, Boothman, Boden, Bodin .

Borel is a variation of Bourrel, a French nickname derived from a diminutive form of Boure, which had different meanings in different contexts, but could be understood as cushion, harness, headdress, collar. The nickname would apply to the habitual wearer of one of these items. It could also be given as an occupational name for the maker of one of these items. Bourreau, Borel, Borrel are variations. Burrel, Burrell, Borrel, Borrell, Birrell (English) and Borrelli (Italian) are cognates.

Boulton is a variation of the English place name Bolton, and described the man from one of the several so-named locations in Northern England. It is comprised of the Old English elements bodl = dwelling, house + tun = enclosure, settlement.

Bounds is a patronymic form of the name Bound, meaning "son of Bound" and Bound is a variation of the English, Swedish, Norwegian name Bond, derived from Old Norse bonde = farmer. It designated a peasant farmer, and was also used as a given name, which lead to many Scandinavian surnames. After the Norman conquest, the word bond/bound took a dive in status, and came to be understood as "bound servitude" or "free landholder bound by loyalty to the landlord" but originally, and among Scandinavians, it meant simply "farmer." Variations are Bonde, Bound, Boundey, Bundey, Bundy . Bönde, Bonne are Norwegian and Danish cognates. Bunde is the Low German form. Bounds, Bonds are English patronymic forms while Bondesen and Bonnesen are found among the Scandinavians.

Bowen is a Welsh Patronymic name from the given name Owen. In early times, when they said "son of" they said it ap or ab . For example, William ap'John, was William the-son-of John. In the case of Owen, it was William ap'Owen -- which when said the least bit quickly, immediately becomes, William Bowen . Occasionally, Bowen is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Buadhachain (descendant of Buadachain).

Bower : English Place name for the person who lived in a small cottage or occasionally, an occupational name for the house servant, derived from Old English bur = cottage, inner room. Variants include Bowers, Bour, Bowerer, Boorer, Bowering , and others. Dutch versions include Van Buren, Van Buuren , and Van den Bueren .

Bowman is a name that is quite literal; it's the English Occupational name for the archer, from Old English boga = bow + mann = man, although occasionally it is an Anglicized form of the German and Dutch surname Baumann -- consult your heritage for the correct version. Variants of Bowman are Boman , and Beauman . The cognate form in Dutch and Flemish is Boogman .

Box is an English name that has several origins: it may have named the man who lived by the box thicket, or who emigrated from any of the several English locations called Box. Box wood is a hard wood used in medieval times to make tools, and Box may have described the toolmaker or woodworker. Boxer is a variation. Cognate forms in other languages include Bouis, Buis, Bouix, Dubouis, Dubuis, Buisse (French); Boix (Catalan).

Boydston is an English place name, derived from the Irish and Scottish name Boyd + Old English tun = settlement, enclosure. I don't know the exact location, or whether it actually survived to present times. Boyd is of uncertain etymology, although sometimes listed as describing a man with yellow hair, or derived from the island of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, from Gaelic Bod. Boyde, Boyda are variations.

Boyes is a patronymic from a Low German and Danish given name -- Boye -- derived from Germanic given name Boio, which is of uncertain origin. Botha was a common medieval name and Boio may be another form. Variations of Boye are Boje, Boie, Bohe . Cognate formare are Bov, Bovo, Bovio, Bovi (Italian). Boyke, Boyk, Boykin are diminutive forms. Boysen, Boyens, Bojens, Boeing, Boysen, Boisen, Bojesen, Boesen are other patronymic forms.

Boylan refers to the man who came from Boyland derived from Old English references to "Boia's grove" in Norfolk.

Boynton is an English place name, as identified by the suffix -tun = settlement, enclosure, but it isn't listed as such among my sources. It may be a variation of Bovington, a place name from the Old English Bofingtun = settlement of Bofa, or a variation of Boyton, derived from the several locations so-named that meant "Boia's settlement." Additionally, it could identify another settlement named for another man whose name was similar to Boia or Bofa.

Brackett is a diminutive form of the English and German occupational name Brack , which was the name that described the master of hunting dogs, from the Middle High German word bracke , and the Old French word brachet which formed the English cognate. Prack is a German variation. Brackner is an English variation. Cognate forms include Brac, Bracq, Braque, Braconnier, Braquennier, Bracco, Bracchi, Braccaro . Other diminutive forms include Bracket, Brachet, Braquet, Braconnet, Braconnot .

Bradford : English Place Name...Settlers near a crossing point on a watercourse often adopted 'ford' as their surname. A wide crossing was a 'broad-ford' and those living there - Bradford. Incidentally, Bradford was one of the 50 surnames of people arriving on the Mayflower in 1620.

Bradley is an English and Scottish place name, from the Old English elements brãd = broad + leah = wood, clearing. Places called "broad clearing" or Bradley exist throughout Scotland and England. Occasionally, Bradley is derived as an Anglicized Irish version of the Gaelic patronymic name Ó Brolcháin, which meant "descendant of Brolach." Variations are Bradly, Bratly, Bratley, Broadely, Broadly .

Brake : English place name -- which derived from the way they described bushes or a thicket in medieval times. The person who lived by the 'bracken' thicket or bushes sometimes acquired the surname Brake.

Brandis is derived from Brand, the English, French, and German patronymic name from the given name Brando, brand = sword. Also, the place in Germany cleared by fire was called brant, giving cause for the surname for the man who lived near there. Braund, Brant, Brandon, Brandt are variations. Brandi, Brando, Branno, Branni, Prando, Prandi are Italian cognate forms. Occasionally Brandis is derived from Brandejs , the Czech place name from the town of Brandys on the Elbe, north of Prague. Brandes, Brandeis are other forms of that one.

Brantley is an English place name that described the man from "Brand's woods" or "Brand's clearing." It is comprised of the elements Brand (a given name of Germanic origin that means 'sword') + leah = woods, clearing. The man who lived at Brand's leah was identified by that location by others who referred to him, which evolved into Brandley and Brantley. The form with the -t was more common in the West Midlands area of England.

Brandon is an English place name, from any of the several locations so named which derived there names from Old English brom = broom + dun = hill. The man who emigrated from one location to another was often known by the place of his origin.

Brashears is a patronymic version of the English occupational name Brasher, which was brought to England by the Normans during the Conquest. Brasher is derived from Old French brasser = to brew. Occasionally, it originates as an occupational name for the worker in brass, from Old English broesian = to cast in brass. Variants are Braisher, Bracer, Brasseur, Brasier, Braizier, Brazier . A French cognate is LeBrasseur .

The name Bray is an English place name and described the man who either lived in the so-named settlement in Berkshire, or the settlement with the same name in Devon. The settlement in Berkshire was named from Old French bray = marsh, and the Devon location got its name from the Cornish term bre = hill. When a man moved to a new location, he was often described by his new neighbors by his place of origin, to differentiate him from others in the town with the same given name.

Bredon, Breden, Breedon of English origin. It is derived from places (in Leicestershire and Worcestershire) that are comprised of the Old English elements bre =hill + dun =low hill.

Breedlove may be a combination of the Old English brad = broad, wide + AngloNormanFrench louve = she-wolf. The term louve was widely used as a flattering nickname for a brave man or warrior, in the context of the fierceness of the she-wolf in protecting her young. Breedlove in that sense would be an English nickname describing the warrior of broad stature.

Brett is the ethnic name for a Breton, from the Old French word bret . The Bretons were Celtic-speaking folks who were driven from SW England to NW France in the 6th century by the Anglo-Saxon invaders. Some returned in the 11th century with William the Conqueror. As an English surname it is most commonly found in E. Anglia where many Bretons settled after the Conquest. Variations are Britt, Breton, Bretton, Brittain, Bret, Lebret, Breton, Bretonnier, Bretegnier, Bretagne , and Bretange . There are numerous cognative versions as well. Requested by Judy Brett.

Breuls is a patronymic derivation from Old French breuil = marshy woodland, which later came to mean enclosed woodland, then later to mean cleared woodland, and both senses are used as definitions for the surname. Variations of the French place name are Breuilh, Bruel, Dubreuil, Dubrule .

Briant is a French cognate of the English patronymic name Bryan, from a Celtic given name Brian containing the element bre = hill and used in the transferred sense of "eminence." Bretons with the name accompanied William the Conqueror in his invasion of England, then went on to invade and settle in Ireland, mingling with the native Irish. Variations are Brian, Brien, Bryant, Briant ; Cognates include Briant, Briand, Briend (French). Briandet is a diminutive French form. Bryans, McBrien, Mac Briain, O'Brian, O'Bryan are patronymic forms.

Briggs : A North English and Scottish variant of Bridge , derived from the Old Norse bryggja . Bridge is an English Place name for the man who lived near a bridge, or an English Occupational name for the keeper of the bridge. Building and maintaining bridges was one of three main feudal occupations, the cost of which was occasionally offset by a toll charged to cross, and the keeper of the toll often acquired the surname. Variations are Bridges, Brigg, Briggs, Burge, Bridger , Bridgeman, Brigman . German cognitives include: Bruckmann, Bruckman, Bruck , Bruckner, Bruckner, Pruckner (Austria), Brugge, Brugger, Anderbrugge, Toderbrugge , Terbruggen (at the bridge). Van Bruggen is Flemish, and Van der Brug is Dutch. Other versions exist in additional countries.

Brink is a Low German, Dutch, and Danish place name for the man who lived by a pasture, and derived from Middle Low German brinc = meadow, pasture -- especially a raised meadow surrounded by a marsh or fen. Variations are Brinck, Brinken, Brinckman, Brinkman, Tenbrinck, Tombrinck, Zumbrink, Beimbrinke (German), Brink, Tenbrink, Van den Brink, Van de Brinck, Van de Brink, Brinckman, Brinkman (Dutch), Brinck, Brinch (Danish).

Bronowitz/Bronisz : Polish Patronymic Name... owitz and owicz are typical patronymic endings applied to a given name in several languages of Slavic origin. Bronowitz would be the 'son of Bron.' Bron, by the way, meant 'defender.' The surname Bronisz is taken directly from that given name.

Brown : is one of the more common surnames, as you might expect. Among the light-skinned English anyone with a darker complexion, brown hair, tendancy toward brown clothing, etc. were often described that way, and it stuck as a surname. There are a number of derivatives in many countries.

Browning is an English patronymic name from the Old English given name Bruning , which was originally a patronymic form of the name Brun , a nickname that referenced something brown, like brown hair, brown complexion, or brown clothing. The son of Brun was sometimes called Bruning, which occasionally evolved into Browning (as did the vocabulary word brun brown) Brauning is the German cognate. Bruning (with an umlaut -u) is the Low German form. Bruning is the Dutch form. Bruynincks is the Flemish patronymic form.

Brumley is an English place name comprised of the Old English elements that meant "broom field" or "broom clearing" and described the man who lived in that area.

Bruner and Brunner are versions of the German patronymic name that was derived from the given name Brunheri , with elements that meant "brown, army."

Bruno : Brown is one of the more common surnames - it is the most common of the surnames derived from nicknames. Bruno is the form the name takes in Italy and occasionally in Germany.

Bryant is a variation of the English surname Bryan, from the Celtic given name Brian, containing the element bre = hill, used in the transferred sense of 'eminence.' Bearers of this name accompanied William the Conqueror in the invasion of England in 1066, and went on to invade and settle in Ireland in the 12th century. Variations are Brian, Brien, Bryant, Briant, Briand, Briant, Briend ; Briandet is a French diminutive. Bryans is a patronymic form, as is McBrien, and O'Brian, O'Bryan .

Buford is an English place name that described the crossing point of a river or stream, derived from the Old English word ford = crossing, ford -- along with the identifying location, in this case, likely "Bofa's ford." Bofa was a common medieval name of uncertain origin, and many locales were described by the man who lived nearby.

Buhl is a German nickname for a relative of an important man, who is not the head of the household, from Middle High German buole =kinsman. It is also occasionally known as a nickname for a lover, in the same context the word "paramour" is used.

Bulmer is an English Place name from a place in Essex that was recorded in the Domesday Book as Bulenemera . It is derived from the Old English elements bulena (the plural of bula = bull) + mere = lake, for a literal meaning of 'lake of the bulls.'

Burcham is a spelling variation of the English place name Bircham, which described the man from any of the so-named locations in Norfolk which derived their name from Ole English bræc = land newly plowed + ham = homestead.

Burckhardt/Borrows/Burg/Burge/Burks/Burr/Burris : German Place Name...The principal surnames that refer to a fortified castle, an imposing structure, or the peasant who lived nearby were Borrows, Burg, Burge, Burks, Burr, and Burris -- which all came from the Old English word burg which meant fort. Borg is generally the designation used in Sweden, Norway, and Germany. Burckhardt was an especially well fortified castle in Germany at the time surnames were being adopted.

Burdge is likely derived from Old English brycg = bridge, the English place name for the man who lived near the bridge, or the occupational name for the bridgekeeper. The business of building and maintaining bridges was one of the three primary obligations of the feudal system members, along with bearing arms, and building/reinforcing the fortifications. In the dialects of Somerset, Dorset, and other S. English locations there was a switch of the -u- and -r- for several words that were adopted as surnames.

Burgdorfer is a German place name -- a compound name derived from the elements (Middle High German) burc = fortified town + dorfer (a German cognate of Old Norse) porp = hamlet, village.

Burgess : English Descriptive Name...taken by men of free birth, but not noble birth, who held substantial land for which they paid very little rent, and had no obligation to render services to the lord or king. Franklin and Freeman were names originating under the same circumstances.

Burlingame/Burling/Burlingham : Burling and Burlingame are corruptions of Burlingham, which was the 'settlement of Baerla's people,' and an English Place name.

Burney : English Place name from Bernay , Normandy which had its name originations in the Gaulish given name Brenno, or from Berney in Norfolk (recorded in the Domesday Book as Ralph de Bernai , a Norman who received land grants there). Occasionally, Burney is an Anglicized form of the given name Biorna , a Gaelic version of the Old Norse Bjarni (bearcub, warrior). Variations are Berney, Burnie, McBurney, MCBirney , and Mac Biorna .

Burnham : an English Place name from various locations; Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire, various villages in Norfolk, and Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex. The name Burnham is derived from Old English burna = stream + ham = homestead. A man from one of the Burnham settlements might have that name as his identifying surname.

Burns : English Place name. The man who lived in the lone cottage by the small stream was called Burn, or Burns . The -S- was often added to names as an aid to pronunciation. Other names with the same origin are Brooke, Bourne, Beck , and Beckett . Requested by Ian Worthington.

Bernstein : German/Jewish Acquired name...Many German-Jewish names were simply the result of a desire for something pleasant-sounding when Jews in Europe were obliged to take surnames in the early 1800's. Those who picked such names usually were compelled to pay a hefty tariff to the government officials for the privilege -- Amber (Bernstein) is a color with positive connotations and it also served as a descriptive name for some early day settlements, which may have been located in an area noted by that color. Elsdon C. Smith, in his work American Surnames , suggests that Bernstein was generally adopted because of its pleasing sound.

Birrell is a English cognate of the French name Bourrel, derived from a diminutive version of Boure, which was used in several senses in Old French, including "cushion," "harness," "headdress," and "crest." The name would have identified the maker or seller of any of these items. Occasionally, Bourrel was the man who served as the judicial torturer, from Old French bourreau < bourrer = to maltreat, torture (it is literally translated as "wool carder." Variations are Bourreau, Borel, Borrel . Cognates include Burrell, Burrel, Borrel, Borrell, Birrell (English); Borelli, Borrelli (Italian).

Bleich is a German term that means "pale" and is a cognate form of the English name Blake, which was a nickname for the wan or pale man, from Old English blac = wan, pale. The English name Blake, however, is a combined name for blac = wan, and blaec/blac = black...and it is impossible to tell without evidence which form of the name applies in any individual case.

Breiling is a diminutive form of a cognate for the German place name Brühl, which described the man who lived on land that was cleared for use by burning, from Old French brusle = burnt in connection with a German verb. Breuel, Bruhler are variations. Cognate forms include Brogelmann, Brogel, Briel, Breil, Breilmann, Tombreul (Low German); Breuls, Breul, Van der Brule, Broghel, Breughel, Van Breugel, Van Breukelen (Flemish, Dutch); Bryl, Bryla (Polish).

Buchanan is a Scottish place name for a location near Loch Lomond (by the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond....) which was named for the Gaelic elements buth = house + chanain = "of the canon." The man who removed from there to another settlement was sometimes described by his place of origin.

Burris : The medieval castle was an imposing structure and was often used as a reference point for those who lived nearby. The English word burg meant fort, and the principal names describing the English man who lived near one were: Burg, Burge, Borrows, Burks, Burr, Burris . It's an English Place name. Requested by Beverly Burris Daniels

Burton is an English place name derived from the Old English elements burh = fort + tun = enclosure, settlement. There are numerous locations in England called Burton and the man who emigrated from such a place would have been known to his new neighbors by his place of origin -- to distinguish him from locals bearing the same given name.

Butler is an English and Irish Occupational name for the wine steward, who was the chief servant of a medieval household, from Anglo-Norman French butuiller = bottle. In the households of nobility, the title denoted an officer of rank and responsibility.

Button is an English cognate of the French patronymic Bouton, a variation of the name Boudon from the given name Bodo = messenger. It is occasionally derived as a nickname for the man with a prominent boil or wart, from Old French boton = knob, lump. It was also sometimes found as a name for the maker of buttons, with the same OF origin, in the sense of knob = button. Boutonnier is a variation of Bouton (the buttonmaker). Button, Botten, Butner are English cognates.

Buxton is an English place name from Buxton in Derbyshire which was called Buchestanes in Medieval times, meaning bowing stones, derived from Old English búgan = to bow + stanes = stones. There were logan stones in the vicinity (boulders that rocked at the touch). Buckston, Buckstone are variations.

Byers is an English and Scottish place name for the man who lived by a cattleshed, from Old English byre = cattleshed, or as a place name for the man who hailed from a so-named location such as Byers Green (County Durham), or Byers (near Edinburgh). Byres, Biers are variations.

C

Cain : English nickname, derived from the Middle English word cane = reed or cane, and described the tall, thin man.

Calhoun is the Americanized version of Colhoun, found chiefly in Northern Ireland, derived from Colquhoun -- a Scottish place name for the location in former County Aberdeen first recorded as Colqhoun in 1246. It is derived from Gaelic coil/cuil = nook, corner + cumhann = narrow. It is pronounced ke'-hu:n. Swedish names that were descended from a Walter Colquhoun are Cahund, Caun, Gaun, Gahn , and Kharun.

Callicott : is a variation of Caldicott, an English Place name from any number of settlements originally spelled Caldecote, from Old English ceald = cold + cot = cottage or dwelling. Some suggest the name was in reference to unattended shelters for travelers, although in the Domesday Book (1086) many of these places had achieved some status. Variants are Caldicot, Caldecott, Caldecourt, Callicot, Callcott, Calcut, Caulcutt, Caulkett, Cawcutt, Corcut, Corkett, Corkitt, Coldicott, Coliccot, Collacott, Collecott, Collicutt, Colcott, Colcutt, Colkett, Clocott, Chaldcot , and Chalcot.

Calvert is an English occupational name for the man who tended cattle, from Old English calf = calf + hierde = herdsman. Calverd, Calvard are variations.

Camden : English Place name derived from the Old English elements campas = enclosure + denu = valley. Cambden is a variation.

Camp : is an English Place name that along with Field, Prindle , and Viles were references to the man whose home was the house in the open field (as opposed to the forest or some other recognizable feature). Requested by Tammy Miller.

Campbell is a Scottish nickname derived from Gaelic cam = crooked, bent + beul = mouth. Gillespie O Duibhne was the first to have borne the nickname, and founded clan Campbell at the beginning of the 13th century. Cambell, Camble are variations.

Cantello is a variation of Cantellow , an English place name of Norman origin. It described the man whose place of origin was one of the various similarly named locations in what is now called France, such as Canteleu (Seine-Maritime) or Canteloup (Calvados), which were named from Old Norman French cante = to sing + lou/leu = wolf. It was a name for the place where wolves were heard howling regularly. Variations are Cantello, Cantelo, Cantlow.

Cantrell is a diminutive form of the English and Scottish name Cant, the occupational name for the singer in a chantry, or a nickname for the man who loved to sing, from Old Norman French cant = song. Variations are Cauant, Chant, Canter, Chanter, Cantor, Canty, Cantie .

Cantwell is a placename that derived it's name from Old English personal name Cant + wella = stream, spring.

The placename Capshaw is derived from Old English cæppe = cap + scæga = copse, thicket -- and described the man who lived near the thicket on the headland.

Carberry : Scottish Place name in the parish of Inveresk, Lothian which was first recorded as Crebarrin.

Cardinalli is a version of the Italian surname Cardinali, which equates to the English and French name Cardinal -- a nickname derived from the name of a church dignitary. It was originally an adjective that meant 'vital' or 'crucial.' It may also have been derived as a name for the man who worked in the household of the Cardinal, but usually was given as a nickname for the person who always wore red, or who acted in a princely manner - like the Cardinal.

Cargile is a variation of the Scottish place name Cargill, from the so-named location near Stanley on the Tay, and derived from Old Welsh kaer = fort + geall = pledge, tryst, which is believed to have commemorated some now-lost event. Walter de Kergyl is the earliest bearer of the name, known through his signature on a document in 1260.

Carlisle is an English Place name for the town in Cumberland derived from the British ker =fort + Romano-British settlement named Luguvalium . How kerLuguvalium becomes Carlisle is yet another story. Variations of this name include Carlyle, Carlile , and Carlill .

Carnegie is a Scottish place name from a place near Carmyllie in what was then the county of Angus (now Tayside), which got its name from cathair an eige (Gaelic for "fort at the gap"). Carnegy is a variation.

Carpenter : At the time surnames were adopted, the average man built his own cottage and did not require the skill of the Carpenter, who usually was hired by those who were of some means, and required products only a craftsman could provide. It's an English Occupational name. Requested by Dan Carpenter.

Carr : was a term used in old Scotland to describe 'low, wet ground' and the person who lived by that area was often identified by it. Carson is a Scottish Place name that describes the man who lived by the carr -- the low, wet ground.

Carrera : French Place Name from the Latin carraria = cart. It was the name used to refer to the man who `lived on the vehicle road' or busy thoroughfare where many carts traveled.

Carpinito : Spanish/Italian surnames are notorious for the number of spelling variants and pet forms. Carpineto is an Italian version of a French Place name for the dweller by a conspicuous 'witch elm' tree, or near a group of such trees, from Old French charme , derived from the Latin carpinus . Variants include Charmes, Charne, Carne, Decharme, Duecharme, Ducharne , and cognizant forms in addition to Carpinito/Carpineto (which are diminutive forms) are: Carpe, Ducarpe (Provencal), Carp, Carpin, Carpini, Carpino, Carpine , Carpene , and Carpano , among others (Italian).

Carruthers is a Scottish place name, for the so-named location near Ecclefechan in Dumfries. It was first noted in 1334 with the spelling Carrothres, and again in 1350 as Caer Ruther (from Briton ker = fort + a personal name meaning "red + king, ruler"). Variations are Carothers, Carrothers, Crothers, Carradice, Carrodus, Cardis, Cardus, Crowdace, Cruddace, Cruddas , and Caruth.

Carter is an English Occupational name for the transporter of goods by cart or wagon from Anglo-Norman French caretier, a derivative of Old French caret which originally implied 'carrier.' Occasionally it is a form of McArthur . Variants include Charter and cognates include Carreter, Carretier, Cartier, Charretier, Chartier, Chareter, Charater, Carratier, Carratie and Carretero .

Carl is a variation of Charles , a French, Welsh and English surname, from the Germanic given name Carl = man. Carlson is a patronymic version denoting the "son of Carl." Karl , the German cognate form, was not in use as a given name during the Middle Ages, and is rare or unknown as a German surname since it was restricted to nobility. English variations of Charles are Karl, Karle, Carle, Carl . French forms are Charle, Charlon, Carle, Chasles, Chasle . Cognate forms are Carlo, Caroli, Carlesi, Carlisi, Carlesso (Italian); Carlos (Spain); Carles (Catalan); Kerl, Kehrl, Keerl (Low German); Karl (Jewish Ashkenazic); Karel, Kares (Czech); Karoly, Karolyi (Hungarian). Patronymic forms include Charleston (t-added); McCarlish (Scottish); De Carlo, De Carli, Di Carlo, De Carolis (Italian); Carlens (Flemish/Dutch); Karlsen, Carlsen (Norwegian); Karlsson, Carlsson (Swedish); Karlowicz, Karolak, Karolczak (Polish).

Carrin is a variation of the French occupational name Charron, from Old French charron = cart, and described the man who made carts. It is also derived from Caron, which was a given name among the Gauls from the element car = to love. Both versions developed variations that include Carron, Caron, Charron, Charon. Charrondier, Charrandier are cart maker variations.

Cartwright : is an English Occupational name. One of the primary specialized crafts along with CARPENTER was that of the Cartwright, who fashioned the wheeled carts that traversed the early roads. Requested by Fred Hensley

Carlin, an Irish name Anglicized from Gaelic O Cearbhallain , meaning "descendant of Cearbhallan" a diminutive form of the given name Cearbhall, from cearbh = hacking.

Carlyon is a Cornish place name that described the man from any of the several so-named places in Cornwall and derived from Briton ker = fort + the plural of legh = slab.

Carroll is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Cearbhall, a given name of uncertain origin, but likely derived from cearbh = hacking...which probably described the use of a weapon or tool, as opposed to a violent cougher.

Case is an English occupational name for the maker of boxes and chests, from Anglo-Norman-French casse = case, container, derived from Latin capsa capere = to hold, contain. When of Provencal origin, it is a variant of the name Casa. Among the Italians, Case was the maker or seller of cheese. Cash and Cashman are variations of the English version. Kas is a Dutch cognate. Cassirer and Kassierer are Jewish (Ashkenazic) cognates.

Casey is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic O Cathasaigh , meaning "descendant of Cathasach " whose name meant "vigilent, noisy." O'Casey is a variation.

Cash : is an English Place name that was given to the man who lived near the Cash -- or oak -- tree. Requested by William Hopkins.

Castellana is an Italian cognate of the English (derived from the Normans) name Castellan, the occupational name for the governor or constable of the castle, or the prison warden. It is taken from Anglo-Norman-French castelain Latin castellanus. Castellain, Castelein, Castling, Chatelain are variations of Castellan. Cognates include Chastel, Chastelain, Catelain, Castelain (French); Castelan, Castelin (Provencal); Castellani, Castellano (Italian); Castella (Catalan); Castelhano, Castelao (Portugal); Casteleyn, Castelijn (Flemish, Dutch).

Caswell : English Place name that identified the man who lived near a spring or stream. In his case the water was identified by the watercress nearby: Ole English cressa -- Cressawell, which evolved into Caswell.

Cates is an English Patronymic name from the Old Norse nickname Kati, which meant 'boy' and speculation that it was derived from the nickname Kate (from Catherine) should be tempered with the knowledge that the Kate nickname wasn't used for Catherine until after the Middle Ages, when Cates was already established as a surname.

Cayhill is an English place name derived from Old English ca = jackdaw (a European blackbird) + hyll = hill, and would describe the man who lived at the hill where the jackdaws were found.

Cesario is a form of Cesare, found among the Italians and taken from the given name Cesare, from the Roman family Caesar, a cognate form of the name Charles. Variations are Cesaro, Cesari, Cesar .

Chamberlin : is a variation of Chamberlain , an English Occupational name that originally was the job held by the one who was in charge of the private chambers of the master of the house, and later was a title of high rank. Variations include Chamberlaine, Chamberlayne, Chamberlen , and Champerlen .

Chance is an English nickname for the inveterate gambler or for the man who survived a distaster through a remarkable bit of luck. It is derived from Anglo Norman French cheaunce = good fortune. Cance, Chaunce are variations.

Chandler : The Chandler worked with wax, and in addition to making candles, he fashioned wax objects or icons that were used in church offerings. Chandler is an English Occupational name.

Chapman is an English occupational name for the merchant or trader, derived from Old English ceapmann < ceap = barter + mann = man. Chipman, Chapaper, Chipper, Cheeper , are variations. Cognates include Chapelle, Capell (French); Capela (Provencal); Capella, Capelle (Italian); Capilla (Spain); Capela (Portugal); Capel, Van Keppel, Van Keppel (Dutch); Van de Capelle (Flemish).

Charbonneau is a variation of the surname Carbonell, found among the English, French, and in Catalan as a nickname for the man with dark hair or a swarthy complexion. the term carbon was used in Anglo-Norman-French, Old French, and Old Catalan to mean charcoal. English variations are Charbonell, Shrapnel ; in France it is also found as Carbonnel, Carboneau, Charbonel, Charbonneaux, Cherbonneau and Charbonnet; in Catalan, a variation is Carbo. Italian cognates include Carbone, Carbonelli, Carbonetti , and Carbonini.

Karle is a variation of Charles, a French, Welsh and English surname, from the Germanic given name Carl = man. Karl, the German cognate form, was not in use as a given name during the Middle Ages, and is rare or unknown as a German surname since it was restricted to nobility. English variations of Charles are Karl, Karle, Carle . French forms are Charle, Charlon, Carle, Chasles, Chasle . Cognate forms are Carlo, Caroli, Carlesi, Carlisi, Carlesso (Italian); Carlos (Spain); Carles (Catalan); Kerl, Kehrl, Keerl (Low German); Karl (Jewish Ashkenazic); Karel, Kares (Czech); Karoly, Karolyi (Hungarian). Patronymic forms include Charleston (t-added); McCarlish (Scottish); De Carlo, De Carli, Di Carlo, De Carolis (Italian); Carlens (Flemish/Dutch); Karlsen, Carlsen (Norwegian); Karlsson, Carlsson (Swedish); Karlowicz, Karolak, Karolczak (Polish).

Chatham is an English place name for the so-name location in Kent or Chatham Green in Essex, which appear in the Domesday book as Ceteham and Cetham. The Breton elemenet ceto = forest + Old English ham = homestead. The man who came from the place called Chatham often ended up with that as an identifying surname.

Cheesman ~ In the Tower of Record of London, there is a deed from Alan and Alicia Chesmongre, dated AD 1286, granting the land upon which the College and Priory of Hastings, Sussex, England were built. A cheese mongre sold cheese ~ Chees(e)man (the cheese merchant). Submitted by Hank Muller.

Keesee is a variation of Keese, which is a Low German cognate of the occupational name known as Cheeseman in English-speaking countries, which described the maker or seller of cheese. The English word is derived from Old English cyse = cheese + mann = man. Cheesman, Cheseman, Chesman, Cheasman, Chiesman, Chisman, Chessman, Chismon, Cheese, Chiese, Cheesewright, Cheeseright, Cheswright, Cheeswright, Cherrett, Cherritt are variations of the English form. Other cognate forms are Käsmann, Käser, Keser, Käs, Käse (German); Kaasman, Kaas, Keesman (Low German); Caesman (Flemish); Kaes, Kaas, Kaaskooper (Dutch); Keizman, Keyzman (Jewish); Chasier, Casier, Chazier, Chesier, Chezier, Chazerand (French); Casari, Casaro, Caseri, Caser, Casieri, Casiero, Case (Italian); Queyeiro, Queyos (Portuguese).

Cherrier is likely a variation or cognate of the French occupational name Cerisier, the name given the man who lived near a cherry tree or own a cherry orchard, from Old French cerisier = cherry tree. Cherry is an English cognate of the name, which also appears in several other languages.

Chrystal is a variation of the Scottish patronymic name Cristal, derived as a pet form of the name Christopher (bearer of Christ). Other variations are Crystall, Chrystall, Crystol, Kristall .

The old English term cyrice meant church, and hyll evolved into our modern word "hill." Cyrice-hyll was the name of several places in medieval England, including Devon, Oxfordshire, Somerset, and Worcestershire. The man who originally lived at one of those locales name Churchill , but later moved to another was known to his new neighbors by describing where he was from -- as opposed to someone with the same first name who was a local lad.

During the Middle Ages, the common pronunciation of -er was -ar, so the man who sold items was the marchant, and the man who kept the books was the Clark. Clerc was the origin, and designated a member of the clergy, hence cleric. At the time, the primary members of the literate class were the clergy, which in minor orders were allow to marry and have families. The term clerk came to designate any literate man. Clarke, Clerk, Clerke are variations. Cognates include Cler, Clercq, Leclerc, Leclercq, Lecler, Leclert, Leclair, Cloarec, Cloerec (French); Clergue (Provencal); Chierici, Clerici, Chierego (Italian); Clerc, De Clerck, De Clercq, De Klerk (Flemish, Dutch). Diminutive forms also exist in several languages.

Claxton is similarly derived, from a combination of the Old English given name Clacc + tun = settlement, enclosure. It described the settlement of the man known by the name of Clacc.

Clayton : is an English Place name that incorporates the most common ending found among English names -ton. In Old English, tun was the word for town, and it was used with other descriptions to pinpoint settlements. Clayton, or Clay-town, was the settlement on the soil of clay. Requested by Andrew Clayton

Clevenger is likely an English occupational name for the wood splitter, from the Old English elements cloefan = to split, cut + -er as an agent suffix. (See also Clover). I realize that doesn't account for the "g" but there are many names which had intrusive consonents added as an aid to pronunciation or by association. For example, the similar name Cleverly is derived from Old English clif = cliff + leah = wood, clearing...which created Clevely, but is generally found as Cleverly by association with the more commonly found word "clever."

Clifton is an English Place name, as determined by the suffix - ton - which originated in the Old English term tun meaning "settlement" or "enclosure." The Old English word clif meant "slope" which makes Clifton a "settlement on the slope," and a man who lived there might be described that way. There are towns all through England by the name of Clifton.

Cline: see Klein.

Clingan, Clingen : A not uncommon Galloway surname, from (Mac)Clingan , q.v. William Clingane in Ladieland, 1658 (Dumfries). Edward Clingzean in Castletoun, 1680 (Kirkcudbright). Alexander Clingane in Kirkcudbright signed the Test, 1684 (RPC., 3. ser. x, p. 248). Clingen 1684.

Clover is a variation of the English occupational name Cleaver, which described the man who kept a butcher shop, or split wood using a wedge and hammer. It is derived from Old English cleofan = split, cut. Cleever is another variation.

Cobb : English Patronymic name that is derived from Jacob 'the supplanter' or 'may God protect' (depending on whom is asked...) Cobb is a pet form of the name Jacob.

Cochran is a spelling variation of Cochrane, a Scottish place name found in the Paisley district, near Glasgow. It may have gotten its name from Old Welch coch = red, but the earliest known spelling was recorded this way: Couran (which sort of shoots a hole in the coch = red theory. It may be that the Couran was a phonetic spelling from a dialtectic pronunciation.) Cochren, Colqueran are other spelling variations. Cochrane is the name of the Earls of Dundonald, taken by William Blair when he married into the Cochrane family. Cochrane has its own distinctive highland kilt, although some Cochranes are descended from ancestors who married into the McDonald clan which wears the Clan Donald tartan.

Coggins :Irish/Welsh place name derived from a spot near Cardiff, which is a Welsh word for bowl, and likely described the terrain at the time. Requested by Kathy Hooten Gorodetzer

Coghill is a Scottish version of the Danish name Kogel for the maker of hoods, or someone who wore one regularly.

There is a group of villages in Somerset that were named for the British river Cocker, from a word that meant 'crooked.' The Old Irish word cucar = crooked, awkward -- the river was named for a similar word from the Breton/Old Welsh languages. The man who originated in one of the villages so-named was called Coker. Cockerham is another name derived from a village along the river, with that location named with the elements Cocker + (Old English) ham = homestead.

Coldren is a variation of the English, French, and Jewish (Seradic) occupational name which described the maker of large cooking vessals, from Old French cauderon = cauldron < Latin caldarium = hot bath. Variations include Cauldron, Cowdron, Coldron (English); Chaudron, Codron (French); Kalderon (Jewish). Cognate forms include Calderon, Calero, Caldera (Spain); Caldeira (Portugal); Caldairoux, Caldairou, Caldayroux, Caldeyroux (Provencal); Calderone, Calterone, Caldroni, Caldaro (Italian). Diminutive forms are Chaudret, Chaudrelle, Jodrellec, Calderonello .

Coleman is an English and Scottish patronymic name from the Old Irish given name Colman, from Columbun (from Latin Columba = dove). The Irish missionary to Europe, St. Columban (540-615) made the name popular. The name is sometimes derived as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic O Clumbhain (descendant of Clumhan).
As an occupational name, Coleman was the man who gathered charcoal, from Old English col = coal + mann = man -- and somewhat rarely, the name for the personal servant of the man named Cole.

Collard is derived in a round-about way from the given name Nicholas. In several European languages where the accent tends toward the second syllable in Ni-chol-as, the first syllable is eventually lost due to lazy pronunciation. It's called aphetic loss, for example, when the word esquire becomes squire over time. Collard was derived as a pejorative form of Coll . Other variations are Colle (French), Cola and Colao (Italian), Colle (Dutch), Col and Colla (Flemish).

Colley/Coley/Collie : English Nickname from W. Midlands derived from the Old English word colig which meant `dark' and was sometimes used to describe a swarthy or darker skinned man.

Collins/Cole/Coles : English Patronymic Name...Nicholas was an extremely popular name in early times -- in the 4th century, Nicholas was the patron saint of children. Many names were derived from Nicholas, such as Nichols, Nickles, Nickleson, McNichols . Collins derived from the ending of Nicholas.

Collison became a surname in a round-about way. Nicholas was a common and popular name during the Middle Ages. A pet form of the name evolved as Coll, and was often found as a given name. Collin evolved as a pet or diminutive form of Coll. Collison is a variation of Collinson, meaning the "son of Collin." Collis, Collyns , are other forms.

Comerford is an English place name composed of the Old English elements camb = comb + -er = agent suffix + ford = ford, crossing. The primary method of untangling wool was a process called carding, and combing was alternative method that caused the wool fibers to lie parallel to one another, producing smooth cloth without nap. The crossing point of the river or stream was the ford, and the crossing near the comber was the comber-ford or Comerford.

Compton is an English Place name taken by the man from any of the English towns of that name, which were named from the Old English word cumb = short, straight valley + tun = enclosure. Cumb-tun would literally be "enclosure in the short straight valley" with an enclosure being a protective fort or stockade-type barrier within which several families resided.

Connolly is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic O Conghalaigh , which meant 'descendant of Conghalach, whose name meant 'valiant.' Variations are O'Connolly, O'Connally, Connelly, Conneely, Conally, O'Conely, Conley .

Conway : Welsh Place Name from Conwy, a town in N. Wales named for the Conwy River, which was named from an Old Brit term that meant `reedy.' It is also sometimes derived from the Scottish place Conway in Beauly Parish and was recorded in 1215 as Coneway. Conway when descended from Ireland usually an Anglicized version of Mac Commidhe , a name which meant `head smashing.'

Cook is the English occupational name for the cook, the man who sold cooked meats, or the keeper of an eating house. It is derived from Old English coc = cook. Cooke and Coke are variations.

Coomer/Coomber : English Place Name...Coomer is a variation of Coomber from the Old English cumb which was a short, straight, valley.

Many surnames were Americanized when the recent arrivals wanted to blend in with their established neighbors, and Coons, Coonce , and others are examples of spelling that was less reflective of their origin. Konrad is a German given name composed of the elements kuoni = daring, brave + rad = counsel. It was extremely popular during the Middle Ages, and as a result led to a number of surnames and variations. Kunrad, Kuhnert, Kunert, Kundert, Kuhnhardt Kuhnt, Kundt, Kurth are variations. Cognates include Konert, Kohnert, Kohrt, Kordt, Kort (Low German); Koenraad (Dutch), Kunrad, Konrad (Czech); Kondrat (Polish); Corradi, Corrado, Cunradi, Cunrado (Italian). Diminutive forms include Kuhn, Kuhne, Kuhndel, Kiehnelt, Kaindl, Kainz, Kunz (from which Coon and Coonce were derived, among others), Kuntz, Kienzelmann, Kunze (German); Cohr, Keuneke, Keunemann, Keuntje, Kohneke, Konneke, Kunneke, Kohnemann , and others (Low Germ an); Koene, Keune (Dutch); Kuna, Kunes, Kunc (Czech); Kondratenkko, Kondratyuk (Ukrainian). There are other versions of this name as well.

Coop : There are several variations of Coop, the English Occupational name that describes the maker of wooden barrels. Cupp, Coope , and Cooper are the most common.

Cooper is the primary spelling of the English version of the Occupational surname for the barrelmaker or repairer of wooden vessals. The widespread adoption of this surname is testimony to the fact that the cooper was one of the valued specialist trades in the Middle Ages all through Europe. English variants include Copper, Coupar, Cupper, Kooper, Coope, Coupe , and Cooperman (among others --always) and cognates are Kiefer (German), Kupper (Low German), Kupker (Frisian), De Cuyper, Cuyp (Flemish), Kuijper, Kuiper , Kuijpers, Kuypers, Cuijpers, Cuypers (Dutch). If you are talking about Scottish roots, the name is a PLACE name and comes from the town of CUPAR in Fife. Most of us who are of Scottish descent take our name from this town. The oldest known use of the name goes back to the thirteenth century, where a tax roll lists WILLIAM DE COUPARE (Norman spelling). Us Scottish COOPERs would appreciate an amendment to the origin of the name on your list. Submitted by William Cooper ( and thereby amended! although it should be noted that the majority of Cupar originating Scots spelled the name Coupar, with Cowper and Couper the primary variations.)

Colson/Coulson/Collson : English Patronymic Name...Coulson originates from a very popular Middle Ages given name - Nicholas. Cole was a pet form of Nicholas used in England (primarily) and Coulson is a Scottish/Irish variation on a pet form of Nicholas.

Coe is an English nickname from the jackdaw, from a local pronunciation of Kay , and originated primarily in the Suffolk and Essex areas. Coo is a variation.

Condon is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic given name Condun , which was itself changed to Gaelic from Anglo Norman "de Caunteton" a place reference to Caunton in Nottinghamshire derived from the Old English given name Calunod (where d is the old English character thorne) comprised of calu = bald + nod (again, the thorne character) = daring. Congden is a variation.

Connor is an Irish patronymic surname, Anglicized from the Gaelic O'Conchobhair , which means "descendant of Conchobhar" whose name was composed of the elements "cu" = hound + "cobhar" = desiring. In an Irish legend, Conchobhar was an Ulster king who adopted Cuchulain. Variations include O'Connor, Connors.

Conner is derived from Middle English connere, cunnere = inspector, from cunnen = to examine, from Old English cunnan = to know. It was the occupation of the man who inspected for standards, including weights and measures.

Copeland : originates in Cumberland county England and cope-land is "bought land," a way that the man living there was referenced in early times.

Coppe is the Middle English word derived from Old English copp = summit, which was drawn in a transferred sense from copp = head. It described the man who lived near the top of the hill, or as a nickname for the man with a large head. Copp is the most commonly found form of the surname.

Corder : is an English Occupational name for the maker of string, and occasionally as a nickname for the maker of ties.

Cordes is an English cognate of the French occupational name for the maker of cord or string, or sometimes it derived as a nickname for the man who always wore decorative ties or ribbons. It comes from the Old French corde = string, from Latin chorda Greek khorde. Cordier, Cordie, Lecordier are variants of the French occupational name. Coard, Cord, Cords, Coxrder , and Cordier are English cognates. The name is found in Spanish speaking countries as Cuerda.

Corlies is likely a variation of the English place name Corley, which was derived from the so-named place in Warwickshire, which was recorded in the Domesday book as Cornelie . It is derived from the Old Englsh elements corna crona = crane + leah = woods, clearing. When of Irish origin, Corley is occasionally a variation of Curley, an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Toirdhealbhaigh .

Cornwell is an English regional name from the County of Cornwall, named for an Old English tribal name Cornwealas , from Kernow -- the name the Cornish people used to describe themselves, possibly meaning "horn, headland" + wealas = strangers, foreigners. Occasionally, Cornwell is a place name from Cornwell in Oxfordshire, from Old English corn < cron, cran = crane + wella = spring, stream. Cornwall and Curnow are variations.

Cosby is an English place name for the man who came from the so-named location in Leicestershire, derived from Cossa (an Old English given name) + Old Norse byr = farm, settlement.

Cotgreave is an English place name derived from the Old English elements cot = cottage + groefe = brushwood, thicket. It described the man who lived in the cottage by the brushy thicket. Greave is a place name that is often derived from the place in Lancashire by that name, and was used to describe the man who moved from that place. Greve, Greaves, Greves, Greeves are variations of Greave. Cotter is a commonly found surname for the man who lived in the cottage by service rather than rent during the medieval feudal system, which is derived from OE cot = cottage.

Cotter : English Occupational name from Middle English cotter a status term during the feudal times which described the tenant farmer or serf who planted only five to ten acres and lived in a cottage on the farm and payed for his place by service rather than rent. There are several variations for the name of this modest farmer, including Cottier, Cotman, Kotter, Kother, Kotter, Kother, Kather, Cotterel, Cotterell, Cottrell, Cotterill, Cothererill, Cotterel, Cottereau , and Cottarel .

Cottle : English Occupational name which described the tenant farmer or serf who planted only five to ten acres and lived in a cottage on the farm. There are several variations for the name of this modest farmer.

Cotton : Cotton originated from the village naysayer, who always said "I don't COTTON to that idea!" Just kidding . It also doesn't have anything to do with the fluffy white stuff. Cot was a shortened form of cottage, and was used as the ending of many English surnames such as Wolcott, etc. and in a diminutive form with the suffix -on the English Place name Cotton was derived. The man who came to be known by that name lived near the small cottage, or at the cottages.

The name Couch is primarily a Cornish name that served as a nickname for the red-haired man, from cough = red. As an English occupational name, it described the medieval man whose work was creating beds or bedding, from Old French couche = bed.

Couldridge : Just as the name 'Colegate' designates a 'cool gap in the mountain range,' the name Couldridge is an English Place name that designates a 'ridge of mountains where it is cold.' Spellings of names were not standardized until the 1800's and -o- and -ou- were often mixed with the same intent. Requested by Mark Couldridge.

Coupar , when not a variant of Cooper, is a Scottish Place name from Cupar in Fife, likely of Pictish origin, with an unknown meaning. There are also locations Cuper Angus, and Cupar Maculty, but no known surnames are derived from these. The first known bearer of the place name in Scotland was Solomone de Cupir , who was a witness to a charter in 1245.

Cowell : English Place Name...In Merry Old England they stayed out 'til the cu 's came home, and pastured the milque cu on the hyll. Cu-hyll -- or cowhill -- was a reference to the places in Lancashire and Gloucester where cattle grazed on hillsides. Some people from that area took it as a surname.

Cox is an English Patronymic name taken from the suffix applied to a good many given names to create a pet form of the name. In medieval times, the term cock was used to denote the young man who strutted proudly like a rooster, and it came to designate any young man. Hancock and Alcock are examples of names which had the term attached as a suffix, which eventually came into its own as a given name or nickname. Cox is a patronymic version of Cock.

Crabtree is an English place name that described the man who lived by a prominent crabapple tree, derived from Middle English crabbe (which was of Old Norse origin). Crabbe is another version of the name.

Craddock/Cradduck : Welsh nickname from the Old Welsh term caradog, which meant `amiable.'

Craft : is a variant of Croft, an English Place name for the man who lived by an arable enclosure, normally adjoining a house. It is derived from Old English croft , with variations Crofts, Craft (s), Cruft (s), and Crofter . Occasionally it is a place name from Crofts in Leicestershire, which got its name from the Old English croeft = craft or skill, and likely referenced a mill located there.

Craighead is a Scottish place name that described the man who lived at the 'head-end' of the crag, or rocky outcropping. It is derived from Gaelic cræg = steep rock, which was 'borrowed' into Middle English as 'cragg.'

Crane is an English nickname from the bird, derived from Old English cranuc = crane, heron (heron wasn't a separate word until the 1300's). It described the tall, thin man with the long legs. German cognates include Karnch, Kranich, Krohn ; the Low German form is Krahn ; Dutch = Kraan; Flemish = De Craen . German diminutive forms are Kränkel, Krenkel .

Crawford is an English, Irish, or Scottish name that described the man who emigrated from the medieval locale called Crawford (there were several such places -- Dorset and Lancashire, England, for example, and Strathclyde, Scotland as another). The locations got their name from Old English crawa = crow + ford = ford, river crossing. Variations are Crauford, Crawfurd, Craufurd, Crawforth .

Crawley is an English place name that described the man who lived near the woods where the crows were, or at the clearing in that woods, from Old English crawa = crow + leah = wood, clearing.

Crews is a patronymic form of the English place name Crew, from Crewe in Cheshire, which derived its name from Old Welsh criu = weir, ford. It was in reference to a wicker fence that was erected across the river Dee to catch fish. The man who removed from Crewe to another location was usually referenced by his place of origin by his new neighbors.

Crim : English Place Name...Those who took the name Crim kept their dwelling near a small pond or pool.

Crisp : English Nickname for the man with curly hair, from an Old English term. Variations include Crispe, Chrisp, Cripps, Crippes , and others.

Crumlick may be an Americanized spelling of the Flemish perjorative nickname Crommelinck , which described a crippled man, or man with a bent back. The English cognate form is Crome from Old English crumb = bent, crooked. Occasionally, Crome is an occupational name for the maker of hooks, from the Middle English word cromb = hook, crook. Croom is a place in East Yorkshire, and another locale called Croome in Worcestershire -- the man from those locations would sometimes be called Crome. Variations of Crome are Cromb, Crumb, Crump, Cramp, Crimp . Cognate forms include Krump, Krumpp (German); Krom (Dutch); De Crom, Crommelinck (Flemish). Diminutive forms also exist in several languages.

Cromie is a variation of Crombie, a Scottish place name from the so-named location in the former county of Aberdeenshire, now in the Grampian region, but derived from the same Brittonic elements as Abercrombie . Cromie is found in Northern Ireland primarily. Other variations are Crumbie, Crummie, Crummey, Crummay .

Cronin is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O'Croinin , which meant "descendant of Croinin" whose name was a diminutive form of cron = swarthy. Crone is a variation.

Cross : English Place name for the man who lived near the stone cross set up by the roadside or marketplace, from Old Norse kross . Variations are Cruse, Cruise, Crouch, Crutch, Crutcher, Crossley, Norcross . Cognitives include De(la)Croix, Croix , (French); Croux , Lacroux, Lacrouts, De(la)croux (Provencal); Croce , DellaCroce, Croci (Italian); Cruz (Spanish); Kreutzer, Kreuziger (German); Vercruysse (Flemish), Krzyzaniak (Polish), and Van der Kruijs (Dutch).

Crouse is a variation of the name Cruise , an English nickname derived from Middle English crouse = bold, fierce. Cruse, Crewes, Crews, Cruwys are variations.

Crowder is a variation of the English occupational name Crowther, for the man who made his living playing the musical instrument called the crowd (Middle English croude , the Welsh called it the crwth ). It was a popular stringed instrument of the Middle Ages. Other variations are Crother, Crewther; Crothers is a patronymic form.

Crowell : is an English Place name from Oxfordshire and denoted the man who lived by the "crow's stream."

Crowley : is an Irish Patronymic name, and it means 'grandson of Cruadhlaoch ,' whose name means 'tough hero.' Requested by Laura Cohn.

Crozier is an English and French occupational name for the man who carried the cross or bishop's crook during a church processional, from Old French croisier < crois = cross. Variations are Crosier, Croser, Croisier, Croizier . Cognates are Crousier, Crouzier, Crousie (Provencal).

Cuddihy is an variation of the Irish name Cody, Anglicized from the Gaelic Ó Cuidighthigh , which meant 'descendant of Cuidightheach' whose name meant "helpful person." Variations are Coady, O'Codihie, O'Kuddyhy, O'Cuddie, Cuddihy, Cidihy, Cuddehy, Quiddihy .

Cumb is the Old English word for valley and that -ie is found as a diminutive suffix on occasion, and as such, Cumbie could mean 'little valley.' Place names were derived in such a fashion to describe a man by the location where he lived.

Cunningham : Scottish/ Irish Place/ Patronymic Name...Cunningham is a polygenetic name (it has more than one source) Cunningham is a Scottish place name that described the man from the location near Kilmarnock and first recorded in 1153 as Cunegan, a word with Breton origins. The spelling with -ham added has its earliest known mention in 1180. When of Irish origin, Cunningham is the Anglicized form of O' Cuinneagain , meaning 'descendant of Cuuinneagan' a personal name derived as a diminutive form of Conn = leader, chief. Cuninghame, Cuningham, Cunninghame, Coningham, Conyngham are variations of the Scot version. Conaghan, Cunnigan, Cunihan, Cunnahan, Kennigan, Kinnegan, Kinaghan, Kinnighan , and Kinihan are variations of the Irish form.

Curry : English place name in Somerset named for the river Curry.

Cusack is an Irish place name from Cussac in Guienne, derived from the personal name Cussius + -acum (a local suffix). The name is present in Ireland, but apparently died out in England. A Gaelic version is de Ciosóg .

Cushing is a variation of the English and French nickname Cousin , from Middle English and Old French cousin, which during the Middle Ages had the meaning of "relative, kinsman." As a surname, it would have designated the relative of someone well-known or famous in the neighborhood. Cousen, Cosin, Cussen, Cuzen, Cushing, Cushion, Cushen, Cusheon are variations. Cousi, Couzi, Couzy are Provencal cognates; Cugini is the Italian version; Cousyn Couzyn are found among the Flemish/Dutch.

D

Dagwell is an English place name derived from Old English dygel diegol = secret, deep + wella = spring, stream -- and described the man who lived by the deep spring or stream.

Dale is an English place name for the man who lived in the valley, from Middle English dale = dale, valley, from Old English doel and Old Norse dalr. It is also a name that described the man who emigrated from any of the several locations by that name. Daile, Dales, Deal are variations. Cognates include Tal, Thal, Thaller, Thaler, Thalmann (German); Dahl, Dahler, Dallmann, Dalman, Tendahl (Low German); Van den Dael, Van den Daele, Va Daalen, Daelman, Daalman (Flemish); Van Dael, Dahl, Dall (Dutch); Dahlen, Dahlin. Dahlman is a Swedish version, and numerous ornamental names of the Swedes use Dahl as a compound element.

Dalton is an English place name, from any of the so-named locations in Cumbria, Durhamshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and others -- derived from Old English dl = valley + tun = settlement, enclosure. Daulton, Daughton, Dawton, Daton are variations.

Dancy is a variation of Dansie, the English place name (Norman origin) with the fused preposition de, from Anizy in Calvados, which was recorded in 1155 as Anisie. The man from there was de'Anisie , which was fused into Dansie. Dansey, Dancy, Dancey, Dauncey, Densey, Densie, Denzey, Dinzey are variations.

Danehl is a German variation of the English, French, Portuguese, German, Polish, and Jewish surname Daniel, derived from the Hebrew given name Daniel, which means "God is my judge." It was an extremely popular name during medieval times and as a result has numerous variations as a surname. English variants include Daniell, Danniel, Danniell, Danell, Dannel, Dennell, Denial ; French versions are Deniel, Daniau, Deniau, Deniaud ; German versions include Denigel, Dangel, Dangl, Dannöhl, Denehl, Dennehl, Danneil ; Jewish variations are Danielli, Danieli, Daniely, Danielski, Danielsky . Cognates include Danis, Dany (Provencal); Ianieli, Danielli, Daniele, Daniello, Danello, Danielli (Italian); Danihel, Danhel .

Dailey is a variation of Daly, which is the primary Anglicized form of the Gaelic O Dalaigh , which meant 'descendant of Dalach' whose name was derived from dal = meeting, assembly. O'Daly, Daley, Daily, Dailey, Dally, Dalley are variations.

Daniel/Daniell/Daniels : English, French, Portuguese, German, Polish and Jewish Patronymic name, from the Hebrew given name Daniel (meaning God is my judge ). Variations are too numerous to list, but will be added as queries concern them.

Darby : English Place name taken from a Middle Ages term that described "where the wild animals are" and the man who lived nearby could easily be described by that surname.

Darcy most commonly is an English place name of Norman origin, with a fused preposition de' attached to Arcy, a town in La Manche. The man who originated in Arcy was identified by his new neighborsby his former place of residence.
When of Irish origin, Darcy is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O' Dorchaidhe , which means "descendant of the dark one," from the gaelic word dorcha = dark, gloomy. However, there are Darcy families in Ireland who are of Norman descent, as the name was introduced to the island early on, by Sir William D'Arcy and Sir John D'Arcy (circa 1330).
Darcey , D'Arcy are variations of the English form; O'Doroghie, O'Dorghie, O'Dorchie, O'Dorcey, Darky are variations of the Irish form.

Dare is a variation of the English patronymic name Dear , from the Middle English given name Dere < Old English Deora = beloved. Occasionally, Dear was a nickname from Old English deor = wild animal or the adjective form that meant "wild, fierce." By Middle English, the adjective wasn't used much and the word evolved to modern English's deer. Variations are Dare, Deare, Deere, Deer, Dearman, Dorman, Durman . Cognates are Teuer, Tayer, Taier, Tajer, Teuerstein, Teyerstein (Jewish); Thier, Dier (German); De Diere (French); Duursma (Frisian); Dyhr (Danish).

Daugherty is another Anglicized version of the Scottish and Irish Patronymic name O' Dochartaigh "descendant of Dochartach " which was a nickname meaning 'unlucky' or 'hurtful.' The most common form of the name as Anglicized from the Gaelic is Doherty . Docharty is the common Scottish variation.

Davenport : English Place Name...Many of the surnames that originated in England came from places where the progenitor lived... The name Davenport was first used in England's county Cheshire, where the Dane river flowed. Davenport was the 'town on the Dane River' and became the name of some who made their homes there. Requested by: Susan Davenport-Wagner

David/Davis/Davies : was the patron saint of Wales, and the name was popular throughout early Britain...as a result, there a many surnames derived from the given name David, including Davis, and Davies as the Welsh equivalent.

Davidson is a patronymic form of the Welsh, Scottish, English, French, Portuguese, Jewish, and Czechoslovakian name David , from Hebrew David = beloved. Variations are Daud, Doud (English); Davitt, Devitt, Daid, Dade, Taaffe (Irish); Dewi, Dafydd, Daffey, Taffie, Taffee (Welsh); Davy (French); Davidai, Davida, Davidy, Davidman, Dawidman (Jewish). Other patronymic forms are Davids, Davidge, Davage, Davies, Davis, Davys, Davson, Davidson, Davisson, Davison (English, Scottish); McDavitt, McDevitt, McCavitt, McKevitt, McDade, McDaid, McCaet (Irish); McDavid (Scottish); Davidescue (Rumanian); Davidsen (Low German); Davids (Dutch); Davidsen (Danish); Davidsson (Swedish). There are also several dozen Jewish patronymic forms.

Davies : English Patronymic name derived as a diminutive form of the given name David.

Day is an English and Irish name that originates in several forms: as an English variation of David -- a common pet form of the name; as a patronymic name derived from the Middle English given name Daye from Old English dg = day or the given name Dgberht ; as an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from Ó Deághaidh , meaning "descendant of Deághadh " whose name meant "good luck." Daye, Dey, D'Eye, Daykin, Dakin, Deyes, Dayson, Deason, Dayman are other forms of the name.

Dazey : is a variant spelling of Deasy , an Irish Patronymic name from the Gaelic Deiseach , a nickname for a member of 'Dei's community.'

Dean is an English place name for the man who lived in the valley, from the Middle English dene = valley. Deen, Dane, Deane, Deaner , and Denner are variations. See next entry.

The Old French word d(e)in , was derived from the Latin term decanus , which meant leader of ten men (from decem = ten). Dein evolved into Middle English as deen , which is now represented as dean. As a surname, Dean is an English nickname that described someone who was thought to resemble a dean, who in medieval times was the leader of a religious chapter at the cathedral -- or occasionally, the term dean was used to describe a servant of that official. Deen, Dane, Dain, Deane, Deaner, Denner, Adeane, Atherden, A'Deane are variations. The nickname was also used in other countries and languages, and cognate forms include Doyen, Ledoyen (French); Dega, Degan, Degas (Provencal); Degan, De Gan (misdivided); Dechandt, Dechant (German); De Deken (Flemish, Dutch).

Decrow isn't listed under that spelling or DeCreau in any of my sources, however -- the prefix De is generally found among Dutch as meaning "the" as an attachment to nicknames or occupational names. DeCroes is the Dutch nickname for the curly-headed man, and is a cognate of the German nickname Kraus. Other Dutch versions are Croes, Croese, Kroese, Kroeze .

Deeley is an English surname commonly found in the Birmingham area that is believed to be a variant of Daly, which is an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic O' Dalaigh , meaning 'descendant of Dalaigh, whose name meant 'meeting, assembly.'

Degenstein is literally translated as "sword stone" from German degen = sword, rapier + stein = stone. Degenschein , also found as Degenszejn, Degenszajn , is translated literally as "sword shine."

DeHart is likely a spelling variation of DeHerdt , a Flemish cognate of the surname Hart , which is a nickname meaning "stag" from Old English heorot , which the medieval timers used to describe someone they thought resembled the male deer in some fashion.

DeLeMaitre would be translated as "of the master" or "from the master." Maitre is a French cognate of Master, the English nickname for the man who behaved in a masterful manner, or was skilled at a trade. The term Master (or Maitre) also was applied to some freeholders of land who had others who tilled for them, rather than doing it themselves. Meystre is a variation of Master. Cognates include Maistre, Maitre, Lemaistre, LeMaitre, Maitrier (French); Mestre, Mistre, Mestrier (Provencal); Maestri, Maestro, Maistri, Maistro (Venetia); Magistri, Magistro, Mastro, Marro, Mascio, Lo Mastro (Italian); Maestre, Maeso (Spain); Meister (German). There are numerous diminutive and patronymic forms as well.

Denman is an English place name which described the man who lived in a valley. It comes from the Middle English term dene = valley. When Denman is of known Jewish ancestry the above doesn't apply, but the exact meaning isn't clear.

Dent : English Place Name...it comes from 'Dent' hill in Yorkshire, England. The first to use it as a surname lived in that area.

Derriman is a variation of the English name Dearman , which is itself a variation of the English patronymic name Dear , from the Middle English given name Dere < Old English Deora , a nickname that meant "beloved." Dearman and Derriman are literally translated as "dear man" or "beloved man." Other variations are Dare, Deare, Deer, Deere, Dorman, Durman .

Deutsch is the ethnic name applied to people in a mixed population area who spoke German rather than Slavic. The Middle High German word was tiusch , from Old High German diutsik < d iot, deot = people, race. Variations are Deusch, Deutscher, Dutsch, Dutz , Daeutschmann, Deutschlander, Deutschman, Deitschman, Dayczman, Deichman, Taitz, Teitzman .

Deveraux is a spelling variation of Devereux, the English (Norman) place name which resulted from the fused preposition -de- added to the location Evreux, which is located in Eure, Normandy. The name would have been recorded as in this example: John de'Evreux , which meant, John-from Evreux. Other variations are Devereaux, Deveraux, Devereu, Deveroux, Deverose.

DeWeil is a place name that described a man from a location called Weil, with De as a common prefix meaning "from" or "of." Weil is a German place name from any of the so-named locations in Baden, Wurttemberg, or Bavaria, originating from the Latin villa = country house, estate. Weill, Weile are German variations, Weill, Weiler, Weiller are variations found among those of Jewish heritage.

Dewhurst is an English place name, from a so-named location in Lancashire, from the adjective dewy + the Middle English word hyrst = wooded hill. Dewhirst and Jewhurst are variations.

Dibley : is an English Patronymic name, based on a corruption of the name Theobald (folk, bold), which when said often and quickly enough, became Dibald and formed the basis for the surnames Dibble and Dibley .

Dickenson is an English patronymic name derived from a diminutive form of the English and Scottish surname Dick , which was a pet form of the name Richard. Any of several who bore the name became known as Dicken , and the son of the man with that name was Dicken's son, or Dickenson.

There was a Medieval given name Dillo , derived from Old English dilegian = destroy, spoil -- that may have been shortened to creating a pet form of the name Dill , or it may have been derived from Old English dyle = dill, medicinal herb -- for the man who grew or used dill in a medicinal fashion.

The name Dimmick (also spelled Dimick, Dimmock, Dimock, Demick, Dymoke (the original spelling), and Dimmuck , is derived from a village on the Welsh Border called Dymoke; from Welsh Ty mocce , meaning pigsty. The earliest person bearing this name is Thomas de Dymoke, who is listed in Domesday book. Some sources, such as earlier editions of Burke's Peerage, try to derive the name from David ap Madoc, a famous welsh nobleman, but close inquiry does not support such a claim. One can understand, however, that it would be more desireable to trace one's name back to nobility rather than back to a pigsty. However, one of the earliest badges borne by a Dymoke shows the head of a pig, so it is probable that at least in the middle ages the family was cognizant of the name's origin. Charles Wm. Dimmick

Dinse is a German cognate of the English surname Dennis , which is patronymic from the medieval given name Dennis, from the Latin Dionysius and the Greek Dionysios , which meant 'follower of Dionysos.' The big-D was the eastern god introduced to the classic list late in the game. St. Denis was an early martyr (3rd Century) who became the patron saint of France and the namesake of many medieval Christians. Variations are Denniss, Denis, Denness, Dinis (English); Denis, Denys (French); Dionisio, Dionis, Dionisi , Doniso, Donisi, Denisi (Italian); Denys, Dinnies, Dinse (Low German); Denys (Polish); Divis, Divina (Czech); and Denes, Dienes, Gyenes (Hungarian), among many others.

Dinsmore is from Dinmore a place in Herefordshire that meant "great hill" and as such is an English place name that described the man from there.

Disney : is an English Place named derived from a French place - Isigny - which was Isinius' estate in France. Many who followed William the Conqueror into England became known by the French towns from which they emigrated. Micky Mouse is said to have been from there.

Dixon/Dickson/Dickinson/Dickey/Dix/Dickens : English Patronymic Name...The love of the English for Richard the Lion-Hearted in the late 1100's caused a rash of names in his honor, in addition to three often-used nicknames that derived from Richard: Rick, Hick, and Dick. The son of a man given the latter of the nicknames was "Dick's son" which evolved into Dixon, Dickson, Dickens, Dix, and Dickinson. In colonial America, Dick's River (in Kentucky, for example) was spelled Dix as often as Dick's until it was standardized, sometimes as late as the 19th century. Requested by: Karen Dixon

Dlugokenski is a variation or cognate form of the Russian patronymnic name Dolgov , from the nickname Dolgi = long, tall. Occasionally Dolgov is derived from Dolg = debt, duty -- another nickname apparently acquired over a feudal obligation. Cognate forms include Dlugosz (Polish); Dlouhy (Czech); Dlug, Dlugacz, Dlugatch, Dlugatz (Jewish Ashkenazic). Patronymic cognates are Dolgin, Dlugin, Dlugovitsky (Jewish Ashkenazic). A place name derived from the long, tall version is Dlugoszewski (Polish).

Dobrovolny is the Czechoslovakian version of the name found in Russia as Dobrovolski, and in Poland as Dobrowolski. The name is derived from dobry = good + volya = will + -ski (surname suffix). Some sources say the name is ornamental, similar to the type names assumed by Orthodox priests, and in the cases of the Polish and Slavic versions, attributed to Dobrowole (a Polish village as a place name) or as a nickname for peasants who had been freed from serfdom. Another source says the Czech version is a nickname for someone who voluntarily accepted serfdom.

Doherty is an Irish and Scottish Patronymic name from the Gaelic O'Dochartaigh , meaning 'descendant of Dochartach ', whose name meant Unlucky or Hurtful. Variants are O'Doherty, O'Dougherty, Dougharty, Doghartie, Dogerty, Daugherty, Doggart, Dockert , and Docharty , among others.

Donahue is an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic O Donnchadha , which means "descendant of Donnchadh ," whose name was comprised of the elements donn = brown + cath = battle. Donohue is the most common spelling, while other variations include O'Donohue, O'Donoghue, O'Donohoe, O'Donochowe, O'Donaghie, O'Dunaghy, Donoghue, Donaghue, Donohoe, Donaghie, Donachie , among others.

Donaldson is a Scottish and Irish Patronymic name form of the surname Donald that comes from the given name Domhnall and is comprised of the Gaelic elements dubno = world + val = might, rule. Variants are Donnell, Doull, Doole , and patronymic versions include Donaldson, McDonald, McConnell, O'Donnell, O'Donill, and O'Daniel (when derived from Gaelic O'Domhnaill ).

Donathan has roots in the Irish given name Donndubhan (brown Dubhan )and was Anglicized as many of the longer Irish names commonly were. They're called Patronymic when the surname is derived from the father's name.

Donovan : is an Irish Patronymic name from the Gaelic O Donndubhain , which means descendant of Donndubhan , from the roots Donn = brown + dubh = black.

Dorey is derived from Doré , a French nickname from Old French doré = golden, which described either the goldsmith, or someone with bright, golden-colored hair. Cognates are Dorat, Daurat (Provencal); Doree, Dorey (English); Dorado (Spanish); Dourado (Portugal).

When I got to my reference books, I starting seeing Double ! Kidding... Double is a variation of the English (Norman) nickname Dobel , derived from Old French doubel = twin < Late Latin duplex = two-fold. Occasionally, it is of German origin as a variation of the name Tobel . Variations of the English form include Dobell, Doubell, Double, Doble, Doubble . Dobler, Dobelmann are variations of the German version.

Doughty is the English nickname for a powerful or brave man, often a champion jouster, and derived from Middle English doughty Old English dohtig, dyhtig = valiant, strong. Douty, Dowty, Dufty are variations.

Douglass is a variation of Douglas, the Scottish place name for any of the so-named locations on a river named with dubh = dark + glais = stream. There are several locations in Scotland and Ireland with the name, but most with the surname originated in the area some 20 miles south of Glasgow.

Dove is a polygenetic surname that is derived from these various sources: 1) as a nickname for a mild or gentle person, 2) as an occupational name for a keeper of doves, 3) as a patronymic name from the Middle English period when Dove was a given name for either sex, 4) as a translation of the Gaelic Mac Calmain , an Irish patronymic name, 5) as a variation of the Scottish name Duff (Black), 6) as a Low German nickname for a deaf man. It is difficult to determine exactly which origin applies in any given case, although extensive family history research may provide clues.

Dowd/Dowda/Duddy : Irish Patronymic Name for O'Dubhda , a common name in Kerry County, where the term dubh = dark. Requested by Jane Cowart

Dredge is a variation of the English occupational name Drage, which described the confectioner -- although it may have also have been adopted as an affectionate nickname. It is derived from Middle English dragie = sugar-coated spice Greek tragemata = spices.

Driscoll/O'Driscoll : Irish name Driscoll was the one given to the man who served as an interpreter -- the prefix -O- means 'of, son of, or grandson of' -- so, O'Driscoll is the descendant of the Irish interpreter. Requested by Chantell O'Driscoll.

Drummond is a Scottish place name to describe the man who lived near the ridge, from the Gaelic druim = ridge. Gilbert de Drummyn is the earliest known bearer of the name, and signed a document as the chaplain to Alwyn, Earl of Levenax circa 1199.

Drury is an English and French nickname derived from Old French druerie = love, friendship. It was introduced to England with followers of William the Conqueror, and during the Middle Ages it also carried the meaning of "love affair" or "sweetheart." Variants are Drewery, Druery .

Duckett is an English nickname from a diminutive form of Middle English douke = duck, or from ME douke + heved = head. Occasionally it is derived as an English nickname from Old French ducquet = owl from duc = guide, leader. I don't know what inspired men to nickname another 'duck' -- maybe he was a good swimmer! Variations are Ducket, Duckit, Duckitt .

Duckworth : English Place name from Duckworth in Lancashire which was derived from the Old English given name Ducca + OE word = enclosure, translating literally to Ducca's word or Ducca's Enclosure.

Duff is a Scots and Irish nickname Anglicized from the Gaelic dubh = dark, black and which was widely used as a nickname for the swarthy man or the man of dark temperament. It was also found as a given name. Dow and Dove are sometimes variations of this name, which was translated in Wales as Dee, among the Cornish as Dew, the Bretons called it Le Duigo or Duigo . The patronymic form is McDuff among the Scots and Irish.

Duguid is a Scottish nickname for a do-gooder or a well-intentioned person, from Northern Middle English du = do + guid = good. The earliest known bearer of the name is John Dugude, who was in Perth in 1379 and went to Prussia with the King's service in 1382. It is most commonly found in the Aberdeen area.

Duke is an English nickname for someone who gave himself airs and graces, from Middle English duke (from Latin dux = leader), or an Occupational name for a servant employed in a ducal household. Occasionally, it is a surname taken as a Patronymic version of a shortened form of the given name Marmaduke, which is of Irish origin, said to be derived from ' mael Maedoc ' which meant 'devotee of Maedoc' a name borne by several Irish saints. Cognates are Duc , Leduc (French); Duca , Duchi, Lo Duca (Italian); Deuque (Portuguese); and Duch (Catalan).

Dull : It depends on whether you are of Scottish descent, or English descent concerning Dull. If you are a Dull Scot, you hail from Dull (a plain) which is a village and parish in Perthshire. If your ancestors originated in England, the name is a nickname that is not as unflattering as some that wound up as surnames. Requested by Christy Dull.

Dunaway : English Place Name...which refers to one who lived 'on the road to the hill.'

Duncan is a Scottish and Irish name that is the most commonly found version of the Gaelic name Duinnchinn, which would have pronounced similarly to Doon-keen. Duinnchinn is a nickname comprised of the Gaelic elements donn = dark, brown + ceann = head -- which described the brown-headed man. Other variants are Duncanson and Dunkinson, which are patronymnic versions.

Dungen is the general spelling with an umlaht (dots) over the U, and is a German Place name as a variant of Dung , the surname given to the man who lived on a pieces of raised dry land amidst marshy surroundings. Dunk, Donk , and Dunkmann are other versions.

Dunn is a Scottish and Irish name from the Gaelic donn = dark, brown... a nickname for the man with dark hair or a dark complexion. It is also derived as an English nickname with the same meaning, from Old English dunn = dark-colored. Occasionally, it is found as a Scottish place name from Dun the former county of Angus, from Gaelic dun = fort. Variations are Dun, Dunne, Don, Donne, Donn . Dwynn is a Welsh cognate.

Dutton is an English place name from the so-named locations in Cheshire and Lancashire which received their names from Old English Dudda (a given name) + tun = enclosure, settlement. It described the man who came from that locale.

Dvorak , which actually has diacritic marks over the R and A, is a Czechoslovakian occupation or status name for the man who worked at the main house or manor, rather than working on the land. It is derived from Czech dvur = manor, court and the surname is the fourth most common in Czechoslovakia. Dworak, Dwornik are Polish cognates. Dvoracek is a Czech diminutive form. Dworczak, Dworczyk are Polish diminutives. Dvorsky, Dworakowski, Dworzynski are place names derived from Dvorak.

Dye is an English matronymic name from a pet form of the female given name Dennis . (You don't run across too many women named Dennis anymore -- and Dennis Rodman doesn't count! ...Just kidding, Dennis!) It is most commonly found in Norfolk and Yorkshire. Dyett, Dyet, Dyott are variations.

Dyer is an English occupational name for the man who dyed cloth, derived from Middle English dyer < Old English deag = dye. When of Irish heritage, Dyer is a variation of Dwyer , an Anglicized form of O Duibhuidhir , meaning "descendant of Duibhuidhir" whose name was composed of dubh = dark, black + odhar = sallow, tawny. Dyster, Dexter are variations, patronymic forms are Dyers, Dyerson .

Dykes is a variation of the English place name Ditch, which described the man who lived by a ditch or dyke, from Middle English diche < Old English dic = earthwork. In medieval times, the ditch was a form of defensive fortification to protect a settlement. Deetch, Dikes, Dike, Deekes, Deek, Deakes, Deex, Ditcher, Deetcher, Deeker, Dicker, Decker, Diss, Dickman, Digman are variations. Dieckmann, Dieck, Zumdieck, Tendyck, Tomdieck are Low German cognate forms. Van Dijck, Van Dijk, Van Dyck, Van Dyk, Van Dijken, Van Dyken, Dijkman, Dykman are Flemish cognate forms. Deickstra, Dijkstra, Dykstra, Dijkema, Dykema are Frisian forms.

Earhart is an Americanized version of Erhart and Erhardt, the German patronymic name from the elements era = honor + hard = brave. The name has also been known to be adopted by Ashkenazic Jews. Erard is the French version. This definition was originally missing over the Bermuda Triangle, but someone name Amelia kindly returned it.

Earley is a variation of the English place name Early, from places so-name (Berkshire, Sussex, Lancashire, etc) whose names were derived from Old English earn = eagle + leah = wood, clearing. Sometimes Early was a nickname for the 'manly man' from Old English eorlic = manly, noble; and among the Irish, Early was an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O Mochain or several other similar patronymic names. Erleigh, Erly , and Erley are other variants.

Earnest is a spelling variant of the German and Dutch nickname Ernst, from the given name Ernust, meaning 'seriousness, firmness' or occasionally from Middle High German ernest = seriousness, battle. Variations are Ernest, Ernster ; cognates are Ernstig (Flemish/Dutch), Nesti (Italian); Ernsting is a patronymic form.

There are a couple of origins for the name Easter. Generally, it is a Place name of English origin that described the man who lived East of the main settlement, as in:
There were a couple of English villages by that name, and someone from there might have acquired it as a surname. People who moved to a new area were often described by their home town. Also, in the Middle Ages, the festival of Easter was quite the event, and when someone had a clear connection with that event, a regular participant in the pageant, or someone baptized on Easter, they were sometimes known by that name. Easterling is a variation of the English name. Cognates in Germany were Osterer, Ostermann, Oster, Auster, Austermann, Austerling . Some Swedes derived their ornamental names with the element as a prefix, as in Osterberg, Osterholm, Ostergren , and Osterlund.

Eastland is an English place name, that described the man who lived at the eastern territory or countryside. The Middle Ages usage of the word land had a more specialized meaning and was used in several contexts. The compound name is comprised of Old English elements éast = East + land = land (didn't really need to break that one down, I guess, since both OE words survived to modern English -- pretty unusual). The use of East in this context generally meant "away from the village", "in the countryside."

Easton is an English and Scottish place name, from any of the so-named places (Devon, Isle of Wight, etc) generally derived Old English east = east + tun = enclosure, settlement, although some of the Easton forebears derive their name from settlements named for Aelfric or Alric. The surname is generally derived as a description for them man who was from a settlement called Easton, regardless of which one it was or how it arrived at its name.

The Swedes were among the last Europeans to adopt surnames -- and did so at the urging of their government, who created a list of many words which they approved as parts of names to be adopted. The Swedish word -eng- means "meadow" and is used in a number of surnames adopted during the 1800's. The suffix -lof- means "leaf." Literally translated, Englof means "meadow leaf." Most of the Swedish surnames are strictly ornamental, and were created according to their pleasing sound. Here are a number of Eng names and their meanings: Engvall (meadow slope), Engstrand (meadow shore), Engblom (meadow flower), Engberg (meadow hill), Engholm (meadow island).

Edgar is an English Patronymic name from the Old English given name Eadgar, composed of the elements ead = prosperity, fortune + gar = spear. Variations are Eagar, Eagger, Egar, Egarr, Eger, Edger, Adger, Agar, Ager, Adair, Odgar , and Ogier.

Edwards : is an English Patronymic name from the Middle English given name Edward from the Old English eadward, derived from ead =prosperity + weard =guard.

Eggebrecht, from the given name comprised of the elements agil = edge, point (sword) + behrt = bright, famous. Eggert and Egbert are Low German cognates. Ebbrecht, Ebrecht, Ehebrecht, Eckerecht, Eckbrett, Ehlebracht , and Eilebrecht are variations.

Eiland may be a variation of the German nickname Elend, from Middle High German ellende = banished, miserable, luckless. It was used as a nickname rather than a literal description of a person. Ellend, Ehlend are other variations.

Elie is a French cognate of the English patronymic name Ellis, derived from a medieval given name Elis, a vernacular form of Elijah (from Greek Elias Hebrew Eliyahu = Jehovah is God). Variations are Elliss, Elis, Ellice, Elys, Heelis, Hellis, Helis, Elias . Cognates include Elie, Helie, Elias (French); Elias, Elia (Italian); Elías (Spain); Elias (Portugal); Elies, Leyes (German); Iliasz (Polish); Elijah, Eliyahu, Elijahu (Jewish). Ellison, Ellisson, Elliston, Bellis (Welsh), D'Elia, D'Elias (Italian) Eliet, Eliez, Elion, Alliot, Heliot, Heliot, Helin (French), Ilyenko, Ilchenko, Ilchuk (Ukrainian) are patronymic forms.

Elliott : and its spelling variations are all based on the popular Middle Ages given name Elijah (My God is Yahveh). Among the many surnames that were adopted as English Patronymic names from Elijah were Ellis, Ellison, Elias , and Elliott . Requested by Janet Elliott.

Ellison is a patronymic form of the English name Ellis, from the medieval given name Elis, a vernacular form of Elijah. Ellisson, Elliston are other variations.

Elwell is an English place name derived from a so-named location in Dorset that was comprised of the Old English elements hl = omen + wella = spring, stream, and likely in reference to pagan river worship. Occasionally the name is derived from two minor locations evolving from Old English ellern = elder tree + wella = spring, stream.

Elwood is a variation of Ellwood , the English place name from a location in Gloucestershire which got its name from Old English ellern = elder tree + wudu = woods. The man who moved from the village called Ellwood to a new location was often referred to by his place of origin. Occasionally, Ellwood is drawn from the Old English personal name AElfweald "elf rule." Variations are Elwood, Allwood .

Embery : is a variant of the surname Amery which is an English Patronymic name. The name was brought to the British Isles with the Normans, many of whom were referenced by the towns they emigrated from, or by the Norman given names of their fathers. Amery is derived from Old French amal =bravery + ric =power, and derivatives include Amory, Emery, Emary, Emberry, Embrey , and Imbrey , among others.

Ernst is a German and Dutch name from the Germanic nickname Ernust = seriousness or firmness, and occasionally, a Jewish (Ashkenazic) name from modern German ernst = earnest, serious. Variations are Ernest, Ernster, Ernstig (Flemish and Dutch cognate), and Nesti (Italian).

Erwin : and its counterparts Ervin/Irvin/Irwin are German Patronymic names from the Old German given name Eorwine which means "sea, friend." On occasion the name can be traced to Scottish roots and the places called Irvine and Irving, which meant 'green river.' If you are of Scottish descent, then the second is a strong possibility.

Espinosa is a collective place name originating in Spain, Catalan and Portugal, derived from Espinos, Espinho -- their cognate form of the French surname Épine , which described the man who lived by a prominent thorn-bush or an area overgrown with thorn bushes, and was derived from OF espine Latin spina . Variations of the French name are Lépine, Delépine ; other cognates include Espin, Espine (Provencal); Spino, Spini (Italian); LaSpina (S. Italy); Spinas (Sardinia); Espin, Espinos, Espino, Espina (Spain); Espi, Espina (Catalan); Espinhho, Espinha (Portugal). Diminutive forms are Espinel, Espinet (French); Spinelli, Spiniello, Spinello, Spinella, Spinetti, Spinozzi (Italian); Espinola (Spain); Espinola, Spinola (Portugal). Other collective forms are Espinay, Épinay, Épinoy, Lepinay (French); Espinal, Espinar, Espinosa (Spain); Espinos, Espinosa (Catalan); Espinheira, Espinosa (Portugal).

Estes is a variation of the Italian place name Este, from a so-named place in Venitia which was originally named in Latin - Ateste. It is a commonly found name in Padua and Venice, and a prominent noble family bears the name. D'Este is another variation.

Evans is a patronmic form of the Welsh surname Evan, from the given name Ifan or Evan, which was the Welch equivalent of John. Occasionally, when of Scottish derivation it is a variation of Ewan, an Anglicized form of the Gaelic given name Eogann, a form of the Latin name Eugene. Heavan, and Heaven are variations of the Welsh form, Even is a Breton cognate. Patronymic forms include Evens, Evance, Ifans, Ivings, Avans, Heavans , and Heavens.

Everett is one of the many variations of the English name Everard, which came from a Germanic given name comprised of the elements ever = wild boar + hard = brave, strong, hardy. The name may be of Norman origin or as a variation of the name Eoforheard. Evered, Everid, Everett, Everitt, Everatt are variations. There are numerous cognate forms as well.

Everson is an English matronymic name from the rare medieval female given name Eve, which is derived from Hebrew Chava, from chaya = to live. The name is that of the first woman, and may have been acquired by someone who played the part in a medieval pageant. Eva is a variation. Eaves, Everson, Eveson, Evason, Evision, Evetts, Evitts are all patronymic or diminutive versions.

Ewers is a patronymic form of the English name Ewer , which is an occupational name that described the man who transported or served water, from Middle English ewer Old French evier Latin aquarius, aqua = water. Lewer is a variation -- from L'ewer.

Eyles is an English place name from Anglo-Norman-French isle, idle = island, from Old French isel and Latin insula. The island of reference is likely to have been located in the North of France due to the origination of the surname. Isle is the most commonly found version, while Iles (primarily in Gloucester) Illes, Idle , and Lisle are variations.

F

Fach is a diminutive form of the German (of Slavic origin) surname Wenzel, from the given name Wenzel, a diminutive form of Wenze, which was borrowed from Slavic/Old Czech Veceslav. Other diminutive forms are Wenz, Wach, Wache, Fache, Feche, Fech .

Fagan is an Irish name that is found in Gaelic form as O'Faodhagain . That is a little confusing because generally that form means "descendant of Faodhagain " but that name isn't among the known Gaelic given names. It may be that Faodhagain is a Gaelic version of a Norman name that was later Anglicized to Fagan.

Fairfull/Fair/Fairchild : English Nickname....Both 'fair' and 'full' have their origins in Middle English words; full - the meaning of which has passed to us unchanged, and fere , which meant comrade, friend, or 'friendly one.' The earliest meaning of fair was beautiful, so Fairfull would be "filled with beauty" or if derived from 'fere,' - "full of friendliness." Not all nicknames that survived as surnames were as flattering! Requested by: Timothy Fairfull

Falgout is likely a Catalan or Provecal cognate of the French surname Foucault, from a given name of Germanic origin with the elements folk = people + wald = rule. The Catalan cognate of the name Fougere (the man who lived by a fern-overgrown area) is Falguera, and the Provencal cognate of the same name is Falquiere.

Falla/Fallas is an English (by way of the Normans) place name that describes the man who hailed from Falaise in Calvados, which happens to have been the birthplace of William the Conqueror. He brought many with him, and others followed shortly after, who became known by their place of emigration.

Farlow may be a variation of the English place name Farley, which comes from Old English fearn = fern + leah = wood, clearing, or it could be a literal translation for the man who lived by the "low fern."

Farkas is a Hungarian nickname derived from farkas = wolf; such nicknames were applied by acquaintenances or neighbors who believed they saw traits of the nickname in the man they applied it to. When of Jewish heritage, Farkas is a Hungarian translation of the Yiddish given name Volf = Wolf, or a simple ornamental name. Farkash, Farkache are variant spellings.

Farquharson : Scottish Nickname from Gaelic fearchar (Celtic elements mean man+dear) to signify a beloved person. Descended from Farquhar Macintosh, a grandson of laird of Macintosh who was at Braemar before 1382.

Farmer probably isn't what you expect...it is an English occupational name derived from Middle English fermer Late Latin firmarius, and referred to the man who collected taxes and revenues and paid a fixed amount in exchange for that practice (Latin firmus = fixed). Secondarily, it denoted a man who paid a fixed rent for the purpose of cultivation. The word farmer in the context in which we know it today wasn't in use until the 1600's.

Farrell is an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic Ó Fearghail , meaning 'descendant of Fearghal " whose name was composed of fear = man + gal = valour. O'Farrell, O'Ferrall, Farrel, Ferrell, O'Farrelly, O'Ferrally, Farley, Frawley are all variations.

Faulker: English and Scottish occupational name for the man who kept falcons for the use of the lord of the manor, and occasionally the name for the man who operated the siege gun known as a falcon. Variations are Falconer, Falconar, Faulkener, Falkiner, Faulknor . German cognates are Faulconnier, Fauconnier ; in Provencal the name is Falconnier, in Italy it is Falconieri; and in Germany it is Falckner, Falkner, Felkner , while the Flemish version is De Valkener . William Faulkner -- the novelist -- was descended from Scottish settlers from Inverness who were named Falconer -- their name was altered to Falkner, and then William added the -U- himself at a later date.

Favreau is a variation of the French occupational name Fevre, which described the iron-worker or smith, derived from Old French fevre Latin faber = craftsman. Variations are Febvre, Feubre, Feure, Febre, Faivre, Lefebvre, Lefevre, Lefebure, Lefeuvre, Lefeubre , and Faber. There are numerous cognates and diminutive forms as well.

Feingold : German Jewish names originated in the early part of the nineteenth century when European Jews were compelled to take surnames. Many chose purely ornamental names, of which Feingold is an example that means 'fine gold.'

Ferguson is a Scottish patronymic name, derived from the Scottish and Irish surname Fergus , from the Gaelic given name Fearghus . The Gaelic elements fear = man + gus = vigor, force are the elements of Fearghus. Variations are Ferris, Farris, Fergie (diminutive), Ferguson, Fergyson (patronymics). Many of the Irish versions are preceded by the O' -- which meant descendant of Fearghus .

Fielding is a variation of the English place name Field, for the man who lived on land that had been cleared of trees, and derived from Old English feld = pasture, open country. Fielden, Feilden, Velden, Fielder, Fielding, Atfield, Attfield , and Delafield are variations.

Finn isn't always Irish, of course, but when it is -- it's derived as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic nickname Fionn , meaning 'white,' which could have denoted prematurely white hair, or fair complexion, etc. When Finn is of English origin it is derived from the Old Norse given name Finnr with the same meaning. Occasionally, the name is of Ashkenazic Jewish origin, but its exact meaning in that context isn't clear. Variations are Finne, Fynn, Phinn, McGinn, Finsen (Danish), McKynnan, Kinnan, O'Finn, O'Fionn , and many others.

Findlay is a variation of the Scottish patronymic name Finlay, derived from the given name Fionnlagh, which is comprised of Gaelic elements fionn = white, fair + laoch = warrior, hero. Other variations are Findley, Finley, Findlow, Finlow . Patronymic variations are Finlayson, Finlaison, Finlason .

Fiske is a variation of Fisk, which is an English (primarily East Anglia) occupational name for the fishseller. Fisk is listed in the Domesday Book in Norfolk and to this day is largely found in that area.

Fix is a German patronymic cognate of the Italian name Vito, which is from a medieval given name derived from Latin Vitus vita = life. It was a popular name during the Middle Ages due to an Italian martyr whose cult following spread into Germany and western Europe. Variations of Vito are Vitti, Viti, Vido, Vio, Bitto, Biti, Bitti . Other German cognates are Veitle, Vaitl and German patronymic cognates are Fiex, Vix .

Flaherty is an Irish patronymic name, which is Anglicized from the Gaelic name O' Flaithbheartaigh , which meant "descendant of Flaithbheaertach " -- a nickname that meant "generous." It is drawn from the Gaelic elements flaith = prince, ruler + beartach = acting, behaving. Variations are O'Flagherty, O'Flaherty, Flagherty, Flaverty , and Flarity.

Flanery is a variation of the Irish patronymic name Flannery , which is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Flannghaile , which means "descendant of Flannghal " whose name was taken from the word flann = reddish, ruddy + gal = valour. Other variations are Flannally, O'Flannelly, O'Flannylla .

Flax is an English and Jewish (Ashkenazic) name for the man who sold, grew, or otherwise treated flax that was used for weaving linen in early times, and is derived from the term that carried through from Old English. It's generally an occupational name. Variations include Flaxman and the English forms Flexman, Flexer . Jewish variations include Flaks, Flacks, Flachser, Flachs, Flaxer, Flakser, Flaksman, Fleksman . The German form is Flassmann, Flass . The Dutch version is Vlasman.

Fletcher is the English occupational name for the maker of arrows, commonly called the arrowsmith, or "fletcher" from the Old French word fleche = arrow. Flechier, Flecher, Fleche are French cognate forms.

Folk, Folkes, Foulkes, Fulkes, Foukx, Foakes, Fowkes, Fewkes, Volkes, Volks, Vokes, Folke, Fulke, Fulk, Fuke , and Voak . These are patronymic names from given names with the first element folk / volk .

Folkard is an English patronymic name from Middle English given name Folchard, a Norman name of Germanic origin that is composed of folk = people + hard = brave, strong.

Foot is an English name generally found in the Devon area, while Foote had its origins in the Somerset area, and is derived from a nickname given to the man with some peculiarity about his foot, and derived from the Middle English fot = foot. It was used in the context of defining one man from another, as in:
"Robert - William's son, you mean?" he asked.
"No," came the terse reply. "Robert, with the foot."
"Ah! Robert foot, then."
"Aye, Robert Foot ."

Forsgren is a variation of the Swedish ornamental name Fors, which means 'waterfall.' The Swedes were among the last to adopt surnames, and did so somewhat arbitrarily, picking nature-related suffixes and prefixes to acquire pleasant-sounding combinations that were approved by the government. Other ornamental names with the waterfall element are Forsgren (waterfall branch); Forsberg (waterfall hill); Forslund (waterfall grove); Forsstrom (waterfall river). Forssen, Forss, Forssell, Forselius, Forsling, Forsman are variations of Fors.

Fort : English/French Place/Descriptive name...Fort is found in several countries, all deriving from an English/French term meaning strong/brave that was derived from the Latin word fortis . Some with the name were descendants of a strong/brave person -- others were those who lived at or near the fort, which was the term eventually used to describe a strong or fortified location.

Fortner is a German version (cognate) of the English surname Ford, which is a place name for the man who lived near a ford -- a river or stream crossing point. Other German cognates are Furt, Forth, Furtner, Further, Furterer, Furterer, Forther, Fortner, Forthmann ; Low German cognates are Fuhr, Fuhrman, Fohrmann, Tomfohr, Tomforde, Tomfort .

Foster/Forester : In the English Middle Ages, the forests and woods were almost always owned or controlled by the lord of the manor -- but people had no reservations about sneaking in and taking firewood, game, or whatever else they might require. To keep the poaching to a minimum, the lord retained a man to watch the forest -- often called a Forester, and sometimes called a Foster. The name stuck as an English Occupation surname when they became adopted.

Fowler is an English occupational name for the keeper or catcher of birds, a regular job during the Middle Ages. It is derived from Middle English fogelere OE fugol = bird. Fugler, Vowler are variations. Cognates include Vogeler, Vogler (German); Vageler (Low German); Vogelaar (Dutch); Vogler, Fogler (Ashkenasic Jewish).

Fox : Although in some cases Fox refers to the nature of its originator -- as in sly as a fox, most animal names were derived from the pictures that decorated the signs at the medieval roadside inns. Literacy was an issue, most could distinguish the pictures, and the family at the sign of the Fox often took that as a surname. Requested by William Hopkins.

Franco is an Italian cognate of the English (from Normans) nickname Frank, an ethnic term for the Germanic people known as the Franks who inhabited the lands near the Rhine river during Roman times. Franchi is another Italian version. An English variation is Franck; Franke, Francke , and Franck are German variants, while Franken is the Jewish version.

France and Frank generally described the man whose place of origin was France, although occasionally they are variations of the name Francis, a popular Middle Ages given name, which is Franz and Francke in Germany, Franzen in Sweden, Franczyk and Franczak in Polish, Franco in Spain; Francisco, Cicco, Ciccolo, Ciccone in Italy.

Franta is likely a cognate form of Francis (which evolved in many forms as surnames) a very popular medieval given name from the Latin Franciscus, and introduced into England as Francois (from Old French). It originally meant 'Frenchman' but later lost that connotation in the popularity of the name. Francies, Frances, Franses are English variations. Cognate forms include Francois, Francais , (French); Frances (Provencal); Francesco, Franceschi, Francisco, Franseco, Cesco, Ceschi, Cissco (Italian); Francisco, Franca (Spain); Frantz, Franz (German); Franc (Polish); Ferenc, Franc (Czech); Ferencz, Ferenc, Ferenczi, Ferenczy (Hungarian); Frantz, Franz, Franc (Polish Jewish); Ferencz, Ferentz, Ferenz (Hungarian Jewish). Diminutive forms are numerous in all languages.

Elsdon Smith, in his book AMERICAN SURNAMES , says Frazier is the name given to the man from Friesland, and he maintains a separate listing for Fraser .
Hanks and Hodges list Fraser as a Scottish place name of uncertain origin, recorded as early as the 12th century as de Fresel , de Frisell , and De Freseliere -- appearing to be Norman, but without a known city by that reference. They may be a corruption of a Gaelic name, such a Friseal, which is sometimes Anglicized as Frizzell. Frazer is a Northern Irish variation and Frazier is more commonly found in the US.

Frederick is an English patronymic name from a given name of Germanic origin, composed of the elements frid/fred = peace + ric = power. The Normans brought the name into England when William the Conqueror paid his visit to the Isles. The 9th Century bishop of Utrecht was canonized -- which always gave a name a surge of popularity. There are numerous cognates in various languages, as well as diminutive, patronymic, pejorative, and variant forms.

Free is the term used to identify a man that was free-born, as opposed to those born as serfs during the feudal system of the middle ages. It is derived from Old English freo = free. Freeman, Freebody are variations. Cognate forms include Frei, Freier, Freyer, Frey, Freimann, Freymann (German); Frig, Frigge, Frige, Frie, Friehe, Freye, Friemann (Low German); Frey, Frei, Freyman, Freiman (Swedish).

French is the English ethnic name for the man who came from France, from the Middle English word frensche = France, although occasionally it was simply a nickname for the man who adopted French airs. Those of Irish descent may be descended from Theophilus de Frensche, who was a Norman baron who came to the isles with William the Conqueror, and who produced Sir John French as a descendant (he was Commander-In-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in WW1).

Friedman is generally a Jewish (Ashkenazic) ornamental name, derived from Yiddish frid = peace, corresponding to German friede. Variations are Frid, Freed, Friedemann, Friedman, Friedeman, Fridman, Fridmann, Friedler, Friediger, Friedlich, Fridnik .

Frieri may be derived from the Old French and Middle English frere = friar, monk Latin frater = brother. It was adopted into various nicknames for the pious person, or occasionally, a man employed at the monastery. Freer is the most often found version, with variations Freear, Frere, Frier, Fryer, Friar, Fryar ; cognates include Freire, Fraile (Spain); Freire (Portugal). Patronymic versions include Frearson, Frierson.

Fritz/Fritsch/Fritzch : German Patronymic Name...The Germans were fond of using shortened or pet versions of names when acquiring surnames. Fritz is a patronymic surname taken from a pet form of Friedrich , which means "peace, rule." Fritsch and Fritzch are versions of the given name held by a long ago ancestor.

Froman : from the Old French fromant = corn, a French occupational name for the corn merchant.

The name Fry is an English nickname derived from the name Free, which described the man who was not a serf, but a free-man. It occasionally was derived as a nickname for a small person, from the Middle English word fry = child, offspring. Frye is a variation of the name.

Fulton : /English/Scottish Place name, In Scotland, Fulton was the 'fowl enclosure'

Fuller : English Occupational name for the dresser of cloth. The fuller scoured and thickened cloth by trampling it in water. Related Fuller information page here .

Fullerton : English Place name...for the 'village of the birdcatchers' in Hampshire. From Old English fuglere = bird-catcher (Fowler).

G

Gabeline is likely a diminutive form or other variation of the German occupational name Gabler, derived from German gabel = fork, and describe the man who made any of the forked agricultural tools (eating forks weren't around then in Germany...), or as a place name to describe the man who lived near the fork in the road or river. There is also a German location called Gabel, and Gabler and Gabeline could describe the man who emigrated from there. Gabel is a listed variant form of the more commonly found Gabler.

Gaches/Gache/Gachlin/Gachenot/Gachon : French Place/Occupational/Nickname When the name originated in Provencal, it referred to the person living by the lookout spot . In more northern areas of France, the name was the occupational title for a wood sawyer. Less frequently, the name was a nickname given to a wasteful person, derived from Old French gaschier to spoil. Requested by: Paul Carr

Gage is an English and French occupational name for the man who worked as an assayer, checking weights and measures, from Middle English guage = measure. Occasionally, it is a nickname for a moneylender or usurer, from Old French gage = pledge, surety. English variations are Gauge, Gaiger . Another French version is Dugage . Diminutive French forms include Gaget, Gageot, Gagelin, Gagey .

Gaertner is an Americanized version of Gartner (with an umlaut over the -a-) which is a German cognate of the English occupational name Gardener. The English version is drawn from Middle English, and Old Northern French gardin = garden and generally referenced the cultivator of edible produce in an orchard or kitchen garden rather than flowers or ornamental gardens. English variations are Gardiner, Gardinor, Garner, Gairdner, Garden, Gardyne, Jardine, Jerdein, Jerdan, Jerdon ; French cognates are Gardinier, Jardinier, Gardin, Gard, Dugardin, Jardin, Dujardin, Desjardin ; Italian versions are Giardinaro, Giardinieri, Giardino, Giardini, Giardinu ; a Portuguese cognate is Jardim. Other German cognates are G artner, Garner, Gartenmann ; Low German cognates are Gardner, Gartner , and Gartner .

Gallant is a variation of the French nickname Galland, which described the high-spirited or cheerful person, and was derived from Old French galer = good humor, enjoy oneself. Gallant, as in 'observant of women's needs' came later, and partly as a result of this same origin. Variations are Gallant, Galan, Galand, Galant . Cognative forms are Gallant (English); Galante (Italian); Galan (Spain); Galant, Galanciak (Polish). Diminutive forms include Gallandon, Galandin.

Galloway is a Scottish place name derived from the location in SW Scotland which got its name from Gaelic gall = foreigner + Gaidhel = Gaelic. Before the area was a province of Anglian Northumbria the Gaelic residents there were called "the foreign Gaels" and they tended to side with the Norsemen rather than their fellow Gaels when push came to shove. The Irish name Galway is a derivative of Galloway.

Gamble is an English patrnymic name derived from the Old Norse given name Gamall = old. It originally was a Norse nickname or byname, but was found in Northern England as a medieval given name. Gambell, Gammell, Gammil, Gemmell, Gemmill are variations. Gambling, Gamlin, Gamling, Gamlen, Gamlane are diminutive forms. Gambles is the patronymic variation most commonly found.

Garcia: Spanish Patronymic Name from the given name Garcia which means "spear, firm."

Garren may be a variation of Garand , the French nickname for the man who stood behind someone's behavior, or as a guarantor for someone's financial obligation, from Old French garer = to warrant, guarantee. Garant, Garandel, Garanton are variations.

Garrison: English Place/Occupational name, derived from Middle English garite = watchtower. The garrison were troops stationed at the fort or castle, and the name could also describe one who lived near the garrison's watchtower.

Garwood: English Place Name derived from the Old English gara (triangular land) and wudu (wood). The early Garwoods were those who lived by the triangular stand of trees. Requested by: Eva Garwood

Gascon is a variation of the French place name Gascoigne, which described the man from the province of Gascony (Old French Gascogne). The Basques formerly extended into this region but were displaced in the Middle Ages by the speakers of Gascon (related to French). Variations are Gascogne, Gascoyne, Gascon, Gascone, Gasken, Gaskin, Gasking . Cognates include Gascogne, Gascoin, Gascon, Gasq (French); Guasch, Gasch (Provencal); Guasch, Gasco, Gasch (Catalan); Gascon (Spain). Gouasquet, Gasquet, Gasquie, Gasquiel, Gascuel are diminutive French forms; Gascard is a perjorative version, and Gaskens is a patronymic English form.

Gaston is a French patronymic name from the Old French given name derived from gasti = stranger, guest. It is also found among the English as a result of the followers of William the Conqueror. Gastou is a cognate found in Provencal.

Gaunt: English Place name derived from the town of Ghent in Flanders from which skilled workers migrated to England during the Middle Ages. It was also the nickname given the thin or gaunt man.

Gay: English and French nickname for the cheerful person.

Gee: If the man named Gee didn't come from the town Gee in Cheshire, then it was a nickname he was given by his less-than-tactful associates who pointed him out by his lameness or infirmity.

Gehringer is a variation of the German patronymic name Gehring, which is a descriptive form of the German name Gehr or Geer, from a Germanic compound name with the first element meaning "spear." Sort of confusing...but here is how it came about. When there were only given names, there were several Germanic given names such as Gerhard and Gerald -- the first part of the name taken from geri,gari = spear. That name was shortened by some to include only the first element, which wound up in some cases as the name Gehr, Geer, or other variations. The son of Gehr in German was sometimes called Gehring. The suffix -er is often used as an additional identifier, such as "one who" or "one from" ie. Berliner is the man from Berlin, or Schreiber as the man who scribes (writes). Gehringer may have been the man from Gehring's settlement, or simply a variation of the name Gehring.

Geise is a form of the name Gilbert, an English, French (Norman), and Low German given name from Gislebert, which was a Norman given name derived from the Germanic elements gisil = hostage, noble youth + berht = bright, famous. St. Gilbert of Sempringham (1085-1189) was responsible for making it a popular name during the Middle Ages. Geiselbrecht is the German cognate form and Geise is a diminutive version. Other cognates, diminutives, and patronymic forms also exist.

Gentry is a variation of the English nickname Gentle, although sometimes used in an ironic fashion, generally described the 'gentleman' from Old French and Middle English gentil = well-born, noble, courteous. Variations are Gentile, Jentle, Gent, Jent and Gentry.

The name Geoffroi from Old French, meant "God's peace" and in England became Geoffrey, the basis of numerous names such as Jefferson, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefery, Jeffrey and Jeffries . People also had pet forms of the name which often stuck and became surnames in themselves. Such is the case with Giffin, a pet form derived from Geoffrey. During the Middle Ages, the hard and soft sounds of letter G changed in usage with many names and words, producing variations in pronouncing written forms. In addition to Giffin, Giff , and Giffey are also pet forms of Geoffrey that became surnames in England and the Isles.

Gerald was a patronymic name introduced with the followers of William the Conqueror, and comprised of the elements, geri = spear + wald = rule. Occasionally, Gerald is a variation of the surname Garrett, derived from another Norman given name Gerard.

Gerner is a variation of the English place name Garner, which described the man who lived near a barn or a grainery, or occasionally is derived as an occupational name for the man in charge of that place - from Anglo-Norman-French gerner = granery. Garnier, Garnar are other variations.

Getz and Goetz are both pet forms of the German name Godizo, which derives from the Germanic element for God as a name of praise.

Giesbrecht is a Low German (German lowlands) cognate of the English surname Gilbert, which was Gislebert in Germany. It is derived from the Germanic elements gisil = hostage, noble youth + berht = bright, famous -- and was an extremely popular name during the Middle Ages. Other Low German versions are Geiselbrecht, Gelbrecht, Gilbrecht, Gilbracht . Geoffrey Gilbert who died in 1349 was a representative in English Parliament in 1326, and it likely Giesbrecht as a cognate would have been in existance around that same time.

Gibson is a patronymic form of the Scottish and English name Gibb, which was taken from the pet name Gip, derived from Gilbert. Gipp is a variant. Giblett and Gibling are diminutive forms, and Gibbs, Gibbes, Gipps, Gypps, Gibson, Gibbeson, Gipson , and Gypson are patronymic forms.

Gifford is generally a variation of Giffard, which primarily was a cognate of Gebhardt , a Germanic given name derived of the elements geb = gift + hard = brave, hardy. St. Gebhardt was bishop of Constance during the 10th century and contributed to the popularity of the name throught the Middle Ages. Occasionally, Giffard comes as a nickname from Old French giffard = chubby-cheeked; and finally, Gifford is sometimes a place name from the place in Suffolk -- now called Giffords Hall, which was known in Old England as Gyddingford .

Giles is an English patronymic name from the medieval given name Giles Latin AEgidius Greek aigidion = kid, young goat. Gyles, Jiles, Jellis, Jelliss are variations. Cognates include Gile, Gille, Gili, Gilli, Gilly, Gilles, Gilis, Gelis, Gire, Giri, Gely, Gelly (French); Gidy, Gidi (Provencal); Gilli, Gillo, Gillio, Gili, Zilli, Zillio (Italian); Gil (Spain, Portugal); Agidi, Egidy, Egyde, Giele, Gillig, Gilly, Gilg, Illige, Ilg (German); Giele, Gillis (Flemish); Jily (Czech).

Gill is an English patronymic name from a shortened form of the given names Giles, Julian or William -- modern pronunciation of these names notwithstanding. When of North English origin, it is derived as a place name for the man who live by a ravine or deep glen, from the Middle English term gil = used in a transferred sense from the thin-slit gill of a fish. When of Scottish or Irish origin, it is derived from an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Gille (the Scottish version) or Mac Giolla (Irish), as an occupational name for the servant, or a shortened form of any of the several names which were attached to the names of saints to mean "devotee of (insert Saint's name here)," or it is derived from Mac An Ghoill , where ghoill was a Highland reference to the English-speaking lowlander.

Gillies is a Scottish patronymic name from the Gaelic given name Gilla Josa (servant of Jesus). Gillis is a variation. Patronymic forms include Gillison, McAleese, McAleece, McAlish, McLeish, McLees, McLese, McLise .

Gilmore: Irish Occupational Name...In old Ireland, the words g il, kil, maol , and mul designated a follower, devotee, or servant" of someone. Those with the name Gilmore are descended from the "servant of Mary." Requested by: Wouter Sas

Gilreath is a variation of the Scottish and Irish patronymic name McIlwraith , Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Gille Riabhaich (Scottish version) and Mac Giolla Riabhaigh (Irish) which means 'son of the brindled lad.'

Gittler is a variation of the German place name Gitter, which stems from the Germanic word gitter = grid, grating, and described the man who lived by the gate or barrier. Requested by Emily Gittler

Glabb/Glab/Glabski : Polish Place name/Nickname, variation of Glab/Glabski, a low-lying spot or valley or a Polish Nickname for a fool (the literal meaning of glab is cabbagestalk). Better go with that first definition!

Glover is an English occupational name for the maker or seller of gloves, from Middle English glovere Old English glof = glove.

Godfrey: is an English Patronymic name from the French given name Godefrei, comprised of the Germanic elements god + fred, frid = peace. Variations are Godfray, Godfree , and Godfer. French cognatives include Godefroi, Godefroy, Godefrey , and others. German: Govert, Goffer, Goffarth . Flemish = Govaard, Godevaard, Govard .

Gold/Gould/Guild (Scottish): English Patronymic Name derived from the Old English masculine personal name from the precious metal. Requested by: Sheri McGregor

Goldberg is generally a Jewish (Ashkenazic) ornamental name from modern German gold (Yiddish gold ) + berg = hill. There are numerous forms of the "gold" ornamental names, which were taken for their pleasing sound, and had the elements "gold" + a suffix...including Goldbach (stream), Goldband (ribbon), Goldbaum (tree), Goldberger (person from Golden Hill), Goldblat (leaf), Goldbruch (quarry); Goldfaden (thread), Goldfeder (feather), Goldfinger , Goldfajn / Goldfine (fine as gold); Goldfracht (freight), Goldgart (garden), Goldfried (peace), Goldgewicht (weight), Goldenhorn, Goldkind (child), Goldgrup (mine), Goldhar (hair), Goldkranc (wreath), Goldmacher (maker), Goldmund (mouth), Goldenrut (red), Goldschlaeger (beater), Goldstuck (coin), Goldstern (star), Goldenthal (valley), Goldwirth (host ) -- and countless others.

Gollaher , and the more frequently seen Gallagher, are Anglicized versions of O'Gallchobhair , which means descendant of Gallchobhar , derived from gall = Foreign, stranger + chobhar = help, support. Other variants include Gallacher, Gallaher, Gallogher, Galliker, Gilliger, O'Gallagher , and O'Galleghure .

Goode is a variation of the English nickname Good, from Middle English gode = good, and used to describe the "good man." Occasionally, it is taken from the Medieval given name Goda, a shortened form of several names with god as an element, such as Godwine or Godwyn. Other variations are Goude, Gude, Gudd and Legood. Cognates are Gut, Guth, Gothe (German); Gode, Gude (Low German); Goed, De Goede (Flemish and Dutch). Patronymic forms are Gooding, Goodinge , and Goodings.

Gordon is a Scottish place name, from a so-named location in the former county Berwickshire (now part of Borders region) and named for Breton words that preceded Welsh gor = spacious + din = fort. Occasionally, it is an English place name from Gourdon in Saone-et-Loire, from the Roman given name Gordus, or among the Irish as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mag Mhuirneachain (son of beloved). When of French origin, it is a nickname for the heavy man, from Old French gort = fat. Those of Jewish heritage with the name likely derived it as a place name from the Belorussian city of Grodno. Gourdon, Gurdon are variations of all but the Jewish form. Two variations of the Irish name are McGournaghan, McGournasan . French variants are Gordet, Gordin . Jewish versions include Gordin, Gordonoff, Gordonowitz .

Gore is a French nickname for an idle individual (don't tell Vice-President Al though!) that has versions Lagore, Gouret, Gorron, Gorin, Goury, Gorel, Goureau, Gorichon and Gorillot , among others.

Gorman is an English patronymic name from the Middle English given name Gormund, from Old English Garmund, composed of the elements gar = spear + mund = protection. When of Irish heritage, Gorman is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Gormain , and O'Gormain , which mean 'son of' and 'descendant of Gorman" whose name was derived from Gaelic gorm = blue. Garmen, Garment are variations of the English version, and MacGorman and O'Gorman are variants of the Irish.

Goss : Polygenetic (several sources)... It originated near the same time in England, France, Hungary, and Germany. As an English place name, it described one who lived near a moor or wood...a descendant of Goss -- a pet form of Gocelin "the just" was called by the name, as was the descendant of the Goth...The dweller at the sign of the goose was sometimes called Goss, as was the dweller at the thorns. There was a former Austrian town called Goss, and some residents took that as a surname. And if that isn't enough, Goss is also a shortened form of the Germanic element god - which means good. You can pick your favorite! Requested by Jerry Goss

Goswick is an English place name comprised of the Old English elements gos = goose + wic = outlying settlement dependent on a larger village. The term wick was especially used to describe an outlying farm, dairy, or salt works. Goswick would be the outlying settlement known for geese. I don't have reference to a location by that name, but -wick was a common place name suffix, and the man who emigrated from one place to another was often known or identified by his former locale.

Gough : English Occupational Name...of Celtic origin for the man who worked as a smith, from the Gaelic gobha or goff . It was common in E. Anglia and was introduced by the followers of William the Conqueror. It is also sometimes derived from the Welsh nickname for a red-haired man... coch = red.

Goward is a pejorative form of the English name Gough, which is of Celtic origin. The pejorative form of a name is a form that is altered from the original in a less flattering or demeaning connotation. Gough is the occupational name for a smith, from Gaelic gobha, and Cornish/Breton Goff. The name is common in East Anglia, where the Goward variant is chiefly found. It was likely introduced there by followers of William the Conqueror.

Grandey is likely a variation of the English and Scottish surname Grant, which is also commonly found as Grand, derived from Anglo-Norman-French graund = tall, large. It was used as a nickname for the person of remarkable size, or to distingish between two people with the same name (as in, the larger of the two). Variations are Le Grand, Grand ; cognates are Grand, Legrand (French); Grandi, Grande, Grando, Lo Grande (Italian); Grande (Spanish). Diminutive forms include Grandel, Grandeau, Grandet, Grandon, Grandot (French); Grandinetti, Grandotto (Italian).

Graves is a patronymic form of the English occupational name Grave, derived from Middle English greyve = steward. Occasionally it is a variation of the place name Grove, or if of French origin, the description for the man who lived on gravelly soil, from Old French grave = gravel (of Celtic origin). Graveston, Graveson, Grayston, Grayson , and Grayshon are other patronymic versions.

Gray is an English nickname for the man with gray hair, or a gray beard, from Old English grg = grey. Among the Scottish and Irish it is derived as a translation for several Gaelic names that come from riabhach = brindled, gray. It is occasionally found as a place name, for the English or Scotsman who originated in Graye in Calvados, from Latin gratus = welcome. Grey, Legrey are variations. Numerous cognates exist as well.

Greave is a place name that is often derived from the place in Lancashire by that name, and was used to describe the man who moved from that place. Greave is derived from Old English groefe = thicket, woodbrush. Greve, Greaves, Greves, Greeves are variations of Greave.

Green, when derived from an Irish context, is a translation of several Gaelic surnames originating from uaithne = green, and glas = grey, green, blue: O hUaithnigh was the surname that became Hooney, and glas became Glass. When an English surname, it is derived from the color as a Nickname for the man who liked to wear green, who played the "Green Man" in the May Day celebration, or who lived near the village green.

Griffeth is a spelling variation of the Welsh patronymic name Gruffydd, which came from Old Welsh griff + udd = chief, lord. The exact meaning of griff in Old Welsh isn't completely understood. Griffin is sometimes a variation of the name Griffeth. Requested by Ashley Griffeth

Griffin : A mythical beast, half-lion and half-eagle -- that decorated signs at some of the roadside inns during the Middle Ages. Most people did not read or write at the time, but all could recognize the pictures. The man who lived at the sign of the griffin was sometime called by that name.

Griggs is a variant of the English Patronymic surname Gregory , from the same given name that was popular throughout the Christian countries during the Middle Ages. It derives from the Greek Gregorios , a variant meaning 'to be awake or watchful' but was later associated with a term that meant 'good shepherd.' Sixteen of the popes were named Gregory, starting with Gregory the Great in 540 AD.

Grills is a patronymic form of the English nickname Grill, which described a cruel or mean person, from Middle English grille = angry, from Old English gryllan = to rage. Conversely, and somewhat ironically, when of German ancestry it is a nickname for the cheerful person, from German Grille = cricket, in an implied transfer of the supposed cheerful disposition of the chirping cricket. It is also sometimes a place name for the man who emigrated from the German settlement of that same name.

Grossbaier is a Jewish (Ashkenazik) compound name, one of numerous versions adopted when ordered by the government, and selected for their ornamental quality and pleasing sound. Gross is a German term for large, and as a surname Gross is a nickname for the large or heavy man, from Germanic gross = large, corpulent. The English vocabulary word didn't come around until the 1500's, to mean 'excessively fat.' Grosse, Groos, Grossert, Grosser, Grossmann are variations. The compound names include Gross = large + (noun) such as Grossbaier (baier = Bayer = man from Bavaria); Grossbaum (tree), Grossboim (another tree version); Grossberg (hill); Grossfeld (field); Grossgluck (good fortune); Grosskopf (head); Grosshaus (house); Grossvogel (bird); Grosswasser (water).

Guerin and Geurin : (spellings weren't standardized until the 1800's) are both versions of the surname Waring , being the Irish form of the French given name Geran . That was taken from the Norman name Warin which meant 'guard.' Kind of a long way 'round to achieve an Irish Patronymic name.

Guignion is a variation of the French surname Guignard, a nickname given to the man with a squint, from Old French guignier = to wink, squint, look askance, plus the suffix -ard. Occasionally the name is drawn from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements Win = friend + hard = brave, hardy. Variations are Guignier, Guigneux , and of the second version Guinnard and Guinard are variations. Diminutive forms are Guignardeau, Guinet, Guignot , and Guignon.

If Guley isn't Anglicized from something like the Russian Gulyaev (from gulyat = to walk) then it is likely a variation of Gully, the English nickname for the giant man, or the large man, from Middle English golias = giant. You remember David and Goliath -- same name, different spelling. Gully as a place where water runs did not come about as a vocabulary word until the 17th century, long after Mr. and Mrs. Gully had passed the name down several generations from medieval times.

Gustafson is a variation of Gustavsson, a Swedish patronymic name that comes from an Old Norse given name Gustaf or Gustav, which is composed of the elements Gaut ( Geatas in Old English) + staf = staff. Gaut (or Geatus ) is the tribe of Scandinavians to which Beowulf belonged, and the term used by the English to reference that race. The son of the man named Gustaf was called Gustavsson, Gustafsson, Gustafson . The Norwegians and Danes generally used and single -s and an -en rather than the -sson of the Swedes, ie. Gustafsen .

Ide is an English and Low German patronymic name from the German given name Ida, from the element id = to work or perform, and was a name used by both men and women. It was a popular name among the Normans and was brought to England with William the Conqueror. It was discontinued as a given name about the mid-14th century. Variations are Hyde and Ihde; Itt is a Low German cognate, and Ikin is a diminutive form found in England.

Ingersoll/Ingersall/Inkersall/Inkersole/Ingsole: English Place Name from Derbyshire which was written in the 13th Century as Hinkershill and was derived from Old Norse name Ingvair + the Old English term hyll = hill; literally Ingvair's Hill.

Inman is an English occupational name for the keeper of the public house, or inn, from Middle English innmann, from Old English inn = abode, lodging + mann = man. This is distinctly different from the tavern, where beverages were sold, but no lodging was offered.

Yisek is a variation of the Jewish, English, and French name Isaac, derived from the given name Yitschak , derived from Hebrew tsachak = to laugh. Isaac has always been a popular name among Jews but was widely used by Christians as well during medieval times, and as a result, gentile families bear the last name as well. Variations are Isac, Isaak , Issac, Issak, Izac, Izak, Itshak, Itzshak, Yitzhak, Yitzhok, Jzak, Eisik, Eisig, Aizik, Aizic, Aysik, Ajsik, Ishaki, Izchaki, Izhaki, Izhaky, Yitschaky, Yitshaki, Yitzchaki, Yizhaki, Yithaky, Jizhaki, Itzchaki . Numerous patronymic forms exist as well.


J

Jack is a Scottish and English patronymic name, from the Old French given name Jacques, which was the French form of the Latin Jacobus. It is also a Scottish and English pet form of John, borrowed from Low German and Dutch pet forms Jankin and Jackin, which come from Jan (the German version of John). Occasionally Jack is derived as an Anglicization of similar-sounding Jewish names. Variants of the English form are Jake and Jagg, Jacques, Jaquith . Cognates include Iago (Wales); Jagoe, Jago, Jeggo (Cornish); Jacques, Jacque (French); Jacq (Provencal); Giachi, Giacchi, Iacchi, Zacchi, Zacco (Italian). Jacks, Jags, Jakes , and Jackson are all patronymic forms of Jack.

Jackson : is an English Patronymic name from the Old French given name Jacque, which was the French form of Jacob ( Yaakov in Hebrew, meaning heel -- it's a long story...)

Jacobs is a patronymic form of Jacob, an English, Jewish, and Portuguese surname from Latin Jacobus < Hebrew Yaakov. Jacob, James , and Jack are all derived from this source. Variations include Jacobb, Jacobbe, Jeacop, Jecop (English); Jakov, Yakob, Yaakov, Yakov, Jacobi, Jacoby (Jewish). Cognate forms include Giacobbo, Giacobo, Giacubbo, Giacoppo, Iacobo, Iacopo, Iacovo, Iacofo, Copo, Coppo (Italian); Jakob (German); Kobus (Flemish, Dutch); Jakubski, Kobus, Kobiera, Kobierski, Kobieraycki, Kubas, Kubisz, Kupisz, Kubacki, Kubicki, Kubera (Polish); Jakoubec, Kubu, Kouba, Kuba, Koba, Kob, Kopa, Kopac, Kopal, Kubal, Kubala, Kubat, Kubec, Kubes, Kubin, Kubis, Kubista, Kupec (Czech); Jakab, Kabos (Hungarian). Numerous diminutive forms are found, as are patronymic versions such as Jacobs, Jacobson (English); Jakobsen, Jakobs (Low German); Jacobsen, Jakobsen (Danish, Norwegian).

Janson is a variation of the English Patronymic name Jane, derived from the Middle English given name Jan, a variant of John. The feminine name Jane was not around during the period of time when surnames originated. Other variations are Jaine, Jayne, Jean, Jenne, Genn, Jaynes, Jeynes, Jannis, Janns, Jenness , and Jennison, among others.

Janzen is one of the many cognates of the Patronymic surname -- John -- which was from the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning 'Jehovah has favoured me with a son.' It was adopted into Latin as Johannes and throughout the early Christian era in Europe (and still today!) enjoyed great popularity as a given name. In Wales the name is called Evan, or Ioan, in Scotland it is Ian or Iain, the Irish version is Sean, the German is Johann and Hans; in Dutch and Flemish it becomes Jan; in French it is Jean; Italian is Giovanni, Gianni, Vanni ; in Spain it is Juan; it Portugal John becomes Joao; the Greek form is Ioanni; Czechoslovakians have Jan, while Russians prefer Ivan. In Poland it becomes Jansz or Iwan. The variation Janzen is found in several languages as a patronymic form of Jan (John), including Low German, Dutch, and Danish. Other German patronymic forms are Johansen, Jansen, Johanning, Jans, Jahns, Jantzen, Janz, Janning ; other Dutch forms are Jans, Johansen, Janse, Jansen, Janssen ; and other Danish versions are Johannesen, Johansen, Johnsen, Jensen, Joensen, and Jantzen.

Jarrett is a diminutive form of the French occupational name Jarre, which described the potter, from Old French jarre = earthenware vessel. Jerrier is a variation of Jarre. Jarron is another diminutive form.

Jarvis is an English patronymic name, from the given name Gervase , brought to England by the conquering Normans, and comprised of the Germanic elements geri = spear + vase = meaning unclear. Jarvis is also a place name, from Jervaulx in Northern Yorkshire, the site of a Cistercian monastery and named from the Anglo-Norman-French name of the river Ure + vaulx = valley. Jervis is a variation of the first case, and Gervis, Gervase , and Jarvie are variations of the second origin.

Jarzembek is a variation of the Polish place name Jarzebowski, derived from Polish jarzab = service tree + -ow = possessive suffix + -ski = suffix of local surnames. Other variations are Jarzebski, Jarzabek.

Jeanes/Jeanne/Jayne : Norman-French Place Name....Guido de Genez came to England with the Norman Conquest and was granted lands there. Genez is a placename in Normandy. Anglicized to Jeanes; also de Genes, Jenis, Janes, Jans, J'Anes, Jeanne, Jeynes, Jayne, Jane, Janns.

Jenks is an English Patronymic name derived the long way around from the given name Jenkin (normally suffixes are added rather than taken away), in this case, the Anglo-Norman suffix -in is removed. Jenkin was a Middle English given name that came as a diminutive form of John.

Jennings is an English patronymic name from the Middle English given name Janyn, a diminutive form of John (from Hebrew -- Jehovah has favored me with a son). Variations are Jannings, Jennins, Jennens .

Jennison is a variation of the patronymic name Jane (not to be confused with the female given name Jane, which didn't appear until the 17th century). Jane evolved from Jan , a Middle English version of John, which was found primarily in the Devon and Cornwall areas of England. Jennison is a patronymic form designating the "son of Jan." Other forms are Jain, Jaine, Jean, Jenne, Jenn, Genn, Janet, Jennett, jankin, Janes, jaynes, Jeynes, Jeanes, Jeans, Jeens, Jeneson, Jannis, Jans, Janson, Jenns, Jenness, Jenison, Jennison .

Jeter is a French vocabulary word (pronounced jshuh-tay -- that's as close as I can get without a soft-J pronunciation symbol) that has several contexts with which it is used, but as a place reference, a jeter is a common expression for an "empty river" and may have developed in that context.

Juliard/Julliard/Julianus/Julius : French Patronymic Name....Juliard is a French version of Julian/Julianus/Julius which derived from the Latin Julius meaning youthful looking -- literally as "downy-bearded." Requested by: Paul Pruitt

John is one of the most popular of the medieval names, and took several forms even in medieval times. John derived from Hebrew Yochanan (God has favoured me with a son). I have listed many versions of the name on the website, but certainly not all. Jahncke (Jähncke) is a diminutive form of the German (of Slavic origin) cognate of John, including Jann, Jahn (Low German). Other diminutive forms include Johnikin, Johnigan, Jonikin, Jonigan (English/Irish); Jeannet, Jeanet, Joannet, Jouandet, Jeandet, Jantet, Jentet, Jouanneton, Jeannin, Jouannin, Jouanny, Jany, Janny, Jeandin, Jentin, Jeannenet, Jeannot, Jouanot, Jeandon, Janton, Jenton, Jeannel, Jeandel, Jantel, Jeanneau, Jeandeau, Jenteau, Jeannequin, Jannequin, Johanchon , (French); Giovannelli, Gianelli, Giovannilli, Gianiello, Gianilli, Cianelli, Iannelli, Ianello, Ianniello, Iannilli, Zannelli, Zuanelli, Zuenilli, Vannelli, Nanelli, Giovannetti, Ninotti, Zanetello, Zanettini, Nannini, Notti, Noto (Italian); Jähnel, Jähne, Jäne, Jähndel, Jähnel (German); Juanico (Spain); Johnke, Jönke, Jenne, Jennemann (Low German); Jansema (Frisian); Jähncke, Jäncke, Jänke, Jahnisch, Janisch, Jansch, Jannuscheck, Janoschek, Jenicke, Jentzsch, Jentsch, Genicke, Genike, Gentzsch, Gentsch, Wahnncke, Wanka, Wanjek, Wandtke, Nuschke, Nuscha (German of Slav origin).

Johnson : English Patronymic Name:One of the earliest first names was John (gift of God), which in the 17th century replaced William as the most popular name for a male. As a patronymic name, Johnson from England and Scandinavia became the most widely found name in America, and its Welsh version Jones the fifth-most prolific.

If Joines is not derived as a variation of the English occupational name Joiner (the man who created wooden furniture) it is a patronymic version of the French surname Jouvin, from the Latin given name Iovinus = Jupiter, the principal god of pagan Rome. An early saint in France (obscure now) bore the name, which allowed Jouvin to survive as a given name into the Middle Ages. Jovin, Join, Jouin, Jevain are variations. Diminutive forms include Jovignet, Jovelin, Jovelet, Joindeau, Joinet, Jouon, Jout, Jouet .

Jones : English Patronymic Name:One of the earliest first names was John (gift of God), which in the 17th century replaced William as the most popular name for a male. As a patronymic name, Johnson from England and Scandinavia became the most widely found name in America, and its Welsh version Jones the fifth-most prolific. Requested by: Bev Waller

Josselyn is a variation of Jocelyn, taken from an Old French name by circuitous route, by way of Goscelin, Gosselin, Joscelin, which was brought to England before the Conquest but was spread by the Normans' widespread usage of the given name. Most versions have Germanic origins from Gauzelin, a variation of several names with Gaut (a tribal reference) as part of the name. It was eventually adopted as a diminutive form of the Old French given name Josse. Variations are Joscelyne, Joscelyn, Joselin, Joslen, Josling, Joseland .

Jovan : Slavic Patronymic name...Likely Anglicized version of Jovanovic , a Slavic version of the given name John, which came from the Hebrew Yochanan, which meant `Jehovah has favored me with a son.'

Joy comes from Middle English, by way of Old French joie,joye = joy, which described the cheerful person. Variations are Joye, Joie, Joyet .

Jurista / Yurista are likely variations of a Slav cognate of the surname George, a popular name during the Middle Ages, derived from Germanic georgos = farmer, a compound form of ge = earth + ergein = to work, till. Germanic cognates of Slavic origin include Jerschke, Jurick, Juschke, Juschka, Gorcke, Goricke ; Czech forms are Jirik, Jiricek, Jiricka, Jiracek, Jirasek, Jurasek, Jiranek ; Polish forms are Jurek Juczyk ; Ukrainian is Yurchenko; Patronymic forms include Juris, Jurries, Jorger (German); Yurov, Yurevich (Beloruss) and others.

Justice : English Patronymic name that is derived from the given name Justus which means 'the just,' and in some cases was applied to the man who performed the duties of the judge. If nowhere else -- you can find Justice on these pages! Requested by Herb King


K

Kampert is likely a variation of Kamper, a Low German cognate of the French place name Champ, which described the man who lived near an area of open country or a field and was derived from the vocabulary word champ = field > Latin campus = plain, open expanse.

Kanner is a variation of the German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) occupational name Kannengiesser , which described the man who made vessals from metal, generally speaking, the man who worked in pewter. Variations include Kannegiesser, Kanngiesser, Kannegieter, Kannegeter .

Kantor : German Occupational Name...Kantor is the one who sang liturgical music in the synagogue.

Karle is a variation of Charles, a French, Welsh and English surname, from the Germanic given name Carl = man. Karl, the German cognate form, was not in use as a given name during the Middle Ages, and is rare or unknown as a German surname since it was restricted to nobility. English variations of Charles are Karl, Karle, Carle . French forms are Charle, Charlon, Carle, Chasles, Chasle . Cognate forms are Carlo, Caroli, Carlesi, Carlisi, Carlesso (Italian); Carlos (Spain); Carles (Catalan); Kerl, Kehrl, Keerl (Low German); Karl (Jewish Ashkenazic); Karel, Kares (Czech); Karoly, Karolyi (Hungarian). Patronymic forms include Charleston (t-added); McCarlish (Scottish); De Carlo, De Carli, Di Carlo, De Carolis (Italian); Carlens (Flemish/Dutch); Karlsen, Carlsen (Norwegian); Karlsson, Carlsson (Swedish); Karlowicz, Karolak, Karolczak (Polish).

Kasparek is a Polish diminutive form (if you remove the diacritical marks from the Czech version, it is also the Czech form) of the German and Polish patronymic name Kaspar, from the given name which originally meant "treasurer" in Persian. It is supposed to have been one of the three Magi's names and gained popularity in Europe after the 12th century. Variations include Kasper, Kesper, Casper (German); Kasparski, Kasperski, Kasper, Kaszper, Sperski (Polish). Cognate forms include Jaspar, Jasper, Jesper (Low German); Jesper (Flemish); Jasper (English); Kaspar, Kasper (Czech); Gaspar (Hungarian); Casperii, Gasperi, Gaspero, Gasparri, Gasparro, Gaspardo, Gaspardi, Gasbarri, Parri (Italian).

Keach : is an English nickname given the man who was a little chubby. From the Middle English keech = fat, with variants Keech, Keetch, Keatch, and Keitch.

Keen, the English nickname for the brave man, from Middle English kene > Old English cene = fierce, brave. Keene is a variation, and Kenning is a patronymic form.

Keesee is a variation of Keese, which is a Low German cognate of the occupational name known as Cheeseman in English-speaking countries, which described the maker or seller of cheese. The English word is derived from Old English cyse = cheese + mann = man. Cheesman, Cheseman, Chesman, Cheasman, Chiesman, Chisman, Chessman, Chismon, Cheese, Chiese, Cheesewright, Cheeseright, Cheswright, Cheeswright, Cherrett, Cherritt are variations of the English form. Other cognate forms are Käsmann, Käser, Keser, Käs, Käse (German); Kaasman, Kaas, Keesman (Low German); Caesman (Flemish); Kaes, Kaas, Kaaskooper (Dutch); Keizman, Keyzman (Jewish); Chasier, Casier, Chazier, Chesier, Chezier, Chazerand (French); Casari, Casaro, Caseri, Caser, Casieri, Casiero, Case (Italian); Queyeiro, Queyos (Portuguese).

Kellett is an English place name from so-name locations in Lancashire and Cumbria which derived their names from Old Norse kelda = spring + hlid = slope, hillside. Kellet and Kellitt are variations.

Kelso : Scottish Place name that was used to describe the man who lived near the 'chalky height' -- a place they would have recognized during the Middle Ages when surnames were adoped there. Requested by Liz Kelso

Kempf is a German cognate (same meaning, different language) of the English surname Kemp, the Occupational name for the man who was a champion at jousting or wrestling. It is derived from the Middle English word kempe, which came from Old English cempa = warrior, champion, which itself came from Latin campus = field, plain of battle. Kempe is a variation of the English name, while other cognates include Kampf, Kömpf from Germany; Kempner, Kempe from German Low Regions; Kemper from Holland. Patronymic versions include Kempson, Kempers , and Kemppainen (Finnish).

Kemplay is likely a variation of Kempfle, a diminutive form of Kempf, the German surname for the wrestling or jousting champion.

Kern/Kerns/Curn : Many German names are taken from the short, or pet form of a given name. Kern (of which Curn may be a derivative) is taken from Gernwin (spear, friend) when it isn't the man who emigrated from Kern, the German town. It's a German Patronymic name when not from the town, and a German Place name in that case.

Kerwin, Kirwan and others are commonly accepted as Irish surnames that described the swarthy man, or black-haired man. Spellings are varied because none of these names were Anglo to begin with, but were actually the Gaelic name O Ciardhubhain , which means "descendant of Ciardhubhan" whose name was composed of the elements ciar = dark + dubh = black + the diminutive suffix -an. When the name was Anglicized, it took a number of versions: while Kirwan is the most commonly found, these also derived from O Ciardhubhain -- Kirwen, Kirwin, Kirivan, Kierevan, Kiervan, O'Kirwan, O'Kerevan, O'Kerrywane . Since most of the population was illiterate, spellings were often the whim of whoever recorded the name at a particular point in time, and whether that spelling managed to survive until recorded on deeds or similarly abstracted materials.

Kerr is a Scottish and North English place name for the man who lived by the area of wet ground that was covered with brushy growth, from the Middle English (Northern) term kerr , from Old Norse kjarr . It is generally pronounced like the auto -- car -- which reflects the dialect and a Middle English misconception about the pronunciation of the -er spelling. Similarly, the name for the clerk was pronounced "clark" and the merchant was called the "marchant." Carr is a spelling variation based on the pronunciation. Scholars later re-educuated the public about the sound and some surname pronunciations were changed at the same time. Being in Scotland, and exposed to the Gaelic term cearr (wrong, left-handed), it became part of the local folklore that the Kerr family members were left-handed. Keir, Ker are variations. Kjair, Kiaer are Danish cognate forms. Karrstrom is a Swedish adopted ornamental name from Swedish elements meaning (marsh + river).

Kesterson : Some names are a combination of types: In Germany, the official in charge of the church sacristy was the Kuester (the English equivalent was Sexton) and Kiester, Kester and Koester are variations of that occupational name. The - son at the end is a Patronymic designation that denotes the descendant of the Church Kuester. Requested by Gloria Markus

Ketchum could have been the speedy man, that no matter how quick his prey, he could always ketch'um...just fooling. It sounds plausible, but in reality, Ketchum is an English Place name for the man who resided at Caecca's homestead or settlement, derived from the elements Caecca + ham = homestead, settlement.

The name Kettle is derived from the Old Norse given name Ketill, which was a shortened version of several compound names that had that element included, derived from ketill = cauldron. Variations are Kettel, Kettell, Ketill, Kitell, Kittle, Kell . Patronymic forms include Kilsson, Kjeldsen, Ketelsen, Kettelson, Kells, Kettles, Kettless. Kelling is a diminutive form of the variation Kell.

Keunemann is a Low German diminutive form of the German patronymic surname Konrad, derived from the elements kuoni = daring, brave + rad = counsel, an extremely popular name during the Middle Ages, and found as an hereditary name in several ruling families. Pronunciation is very close to Kinnamon, and other variants of Konrad exhibit an -I- sound. The German equivalent of the saying "every Tom, Dick, and Harry" was Hinz und Kunz which were shortened forms of the name Henry and Konrad. Other German diminutive forms are Kiendl, Kienl, Kienzle, Kienle, Kienlein, Kienle, Kaindl, Kainz, Kuhn, Kuhndel, Kunzelmann, Konzelmann, Kullmann , and Kiehne, among others.

Key : as you might expect, was the man who made keys, or occasionally -- the man in the largely ceremonial office of 'key-bearer.' Kay is another version of that English Occupational name.

Kidd : English Occupational/Nickname...Most surnames relating to animals had their origin in signs that were displayed at inns throughout the countryside. In early times, when travel from one location to another could not be completed in a day -- people took travellers into their homes -- many doing so as a business. Animals pictures were popular additions to the signs. Kidd came from the picture of the "little goat" at an English inn...in France, the counterpart was Chevrolet .

Kille is a variation of the Irish Patronymic name Killeen , which is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Cillin , a dimunitive form of Ceallach . Phew! -- a long way of saying descendant of Kelly . John Kyllyk is the first known bearer of the name. He was a vintner in London whose will was proven in court in 1439.</P>

Kimball and Kimble are English place names from the place so-named in Buckinghamshire that is taken from Old English elements that mean 'royal hill' and the man who emigrated from that town sometimes became known by the name of his former location.

The Old English origin of Kimbrough was cyne = royal + burh = fortress, stronghold. Cyneburh was an Old English female given name derived from those elements. The daughter of King Penda of Mercia, who lived in the 7th Century) bore the name, and was an early convert to Christianity, over her father's oppposition. She founded an abbey, and was venerated as a saint, which led to all kinds of youngsters being named for her. Kimber is another form of the name.

Kincaid : Scottish Place Name...Kincaid was derived from a place near Lennoxtown in Campsie Glen, north of Glascow. It was referenced in 1238 as Kincaith which means 'top pass.'

King is an English nickname, derived from Old English cyning, originally meaning tribal leader, but it evolved to modern vocabulary as king. The name was already in use before the Norman conquest, and was a common nickname for the man who carried himself like royalty, or to the man who had played the part of the king in a medieval pageant (several surnames were derived from medieval pageants -- must have been quite the attraction -- and the players must have been celebrities of sorts, as a result). Rarely, the name was given to the man who worked for royalty as a footman or servant. Among Ashkenazic Jews, it is an Anglicized version of Konig (umlaut over the -O-). Kinge is a variation of the English nickname.

Kingdon : It's an English (Devon) place name from High Kingdon in Alverdiscott, Devon. The name elements are from Old English cyning = king + dun = hill for a literal translation of 'king's hill.'

Kinney : Variant of the Scottish Patronymic name Kenney derived from the Gaelic given name Cionaodha , of unknown origin, but likely composed of the elements cion = respect + Aodh = pagan god of fire. Occasionally Kenney is derived as an Irish Patronymic name through the Anglicizing of O'Coinnigh -- 'descendant of Coinneach . Variations are McKinney, McKenney, McKenna, McKinna , and McKennan , among others.

Kinsey is an English patronymic name derived from the Old English personal name composed of the elements cyne = royal + sige = victory. Kincey, Kynsey, Kinzie are among the variations.

Kirkland : Scottish Place name; the man who took it as a surname lived on land adjacent to the church property, often the parish cemetery. The Scottish church is referred to as the Kirk.

Cline is an Anglicized spelling of the German, Dutch, and Jewish nickname Klein, which described the small man, from German and Dutch klein = small (Yiddish kleyn = small). Cline is generally found among those of Jewish ancestry along with Kleiner, Kleinerman, Kleinman, Klainer, Klain, Klainman, Kline, Kliner, Klyne, Clyne . German variations include Kleintert, Kleiner, Klaint, Kleinmann . Dutch variations are Kleine, Klene, Kleijn, Klijn, Kleyn, Klyn.

Kleinkauf is a Jewish ornamental surname comprised of the Middle High German elements kleine = small + kauff = seller, dealer. Although this has the sound of an occupational name (and it may well be), most of the Klein+suffix names were strictly ornamental and adopted when ordered to do so by the government.

Klink : Dutch Place name for the man who lived near the rushing mountain stream.

Knapp : As an English place name, Knapp was the man who lived at the top of the hill.

Knapik is a diminutive form of the Polish and Czechoslovakian occupational name Knap , which -- in German -- is translated to the name Knapp , from Middle High German knappe = boy, lad...a term used for a servant or squire. Knappe, Knabbe, Knabe are German variations. De Knaap is the Flemish/Dutch form.

Knight : English Status Name from the Old English cniht which referred to a boy or serving lad. During the Middle Ages, Knight was used as a given name before the Norman conquest, after which it became a term for a tenant farmer who defended his lord on horseback. As only those men of some stature owned horses, it became a term for a man of prominence, and later, was converted to an honorary title.

Knopf : is a German and Jewish occupational name for the maker of buttons, or the man who lived by a rounded hillock. In the second case, it's a Place name.

Knutson is found in Sweden and Norway and a patronymic name meaning "son of Knut" or "son of Canute" -- given names that meant "hill" or "white-haired."

Koche is the German occupational name for the cook, taken from the German word Koch = cook. Variations are Kocher, Kochmann .

Kolberg is likely an ornamental name of either Jewish or Swedish extraction. The element -berg means "hill" and is used in a number of ornamental names (names adopted for their pleasing sound, without connotation to the bearer). Kohl is a German word for cabbage, and the element Kol may be derived from this or a similar vocabulary word (usually words that were nature-oriented were selected, as in Lundberg (Swedish grove-hill).

Many surnames were Americanized when the recent arrivals wanted to blend in with their established neighbors, and Coons, Coonce , and others are examples of spelling that was less reflective of their origin. Konrad is a German given name composed of the elements kuoni = daring, brave + rad = counsel. It was extremely popular during the Middle Ages, and as a result led to a number of surnames and variations. Kunrad, Kuhnert, Kunert, Kundert, Kuhnhardt Kuhnt, Kundt, Kurth are variations. Cognates include Konert, Kohnert, Kohrt, Kordt, Kort (Low German); Koenraad (Dutch), Kunrad, Konrad (Czech); Kondrat (Polish); Corradi, Corrado, Cunradi, Cunrado (Italian). Diminutive forms include Kuhn, Kuhne, Kuhndel, Kiehnelt, Kaindl, Kainz, Kunz (from which Coon and Coonce were derived, among others), Kuntz, Kienzelmann, Kunze (German); Cohr, Keuneke, Keunemann, Keuntje, Kohneke, Konneke, Kunneke, Kohnemann , and others (Low German); Koene, Keune (Dutch); Kuna, Kunes, Kunc (Czech); Kondratenkko, Kondratyuk (Ukrainian). There are other versions of this name as well.

I don't have Kostmeyer listed in any of my sources, but it is a German compound name comprised of the elements kost/kostner = sacristy official + meyer = household head servant or officer. It may have designated the man who was the head of the household for the sacristy official, or depending on the family heritage, it may be one of the Jewish compound names that were taken as ornamental surnames when they became required.

Kragh is the Danish cognate for Crow . The nickname was used in numerous languages to describe a man that seemed to fit that monicker, for whatever reason. Krah, Krahe, Kroh, Krohe, Kräh, Krähe, Krehe, Krach, Kray, Kra are all German forms of the name. Krey, Krei are the ones used in the German lowlands. Craey is the Flemish version. Kraaij, Kraay are the Dutch forms. Krag, Kragh are found among the Danes. Crowe is the form found in Ireland, and Craw is an English variation. Crow comes from the Old English word crawa . When of known Irish origin, the name is sometimes a translation of any of the several Gaelic names that meant "raven" or "crow."

Kroeger : From the Middle Ages through colonial times - innkeepers and tavern owners were people of prominence in the community, and were the only place of refuge for travelers. More often than not, the host of the inn took that as a surname: Host and Hostler in England, in Germany it was Krueger, Krug , and Wurtz . The Dutch form was Kroeger .

Kruse/Krusekopf : German Nickname...Kruse is a Low(land)German version of the surname Kraus , which -- along with Kruskopf -- was given as a nickname for one with curly hair. Kraus means curly. Cruise , (as in Tom Cruise) on the other hand, is an English nickname from the Middle English crouse =bold, fierce.

Kusnerek is a Slavic diminutive variation of the German occupational name Kurschner (umlaut over the U) from the Middle High German word kursen = fur garment, which described the man who worked as a furrier. Kurssner, Kierschner, Korschner are variations. Kusnierz is a Polish cognate; Kushnir is found in the Ukraine, Kurshner is a Jewish form Anglicized from German, Kirschner, Kirsner, Kerschner, Kersner are other Jewish cognates.

Kyle : In early times, the man who lived by an important river was referred to by the name of the river. In England, the Kyle River was the "narrow" river. Kyle is an English Place name.

Kyser is a spelling variation of Keiser, which is a variation of Kaiser, the German nickname for the man who lived in a stately manner -- derived from German Kaiser = emperor, from the Latin title Ceasar. It may also have been a nickname for the man who played an emperor in the village pageant (many of the well-played parts stuck as nicknames, which became surnames). Kaiser is also found as a Jewish ornamental name. German variations include Keser, Keiser, Kayser, Keyser . Jewish forms include Kaiserman, Keiserman, Keiser, Keizer . There are also cognate forms in several languages.


L

Lacey is an English and Irish place name of Norman origin, derived from Lassy in Calvados, which got its name from a Gaulish given name Lascius + -acum (a local suffix). Lacey is most common in Nottinghamshire, but is found all over. Variations are Lacy, Lassey, De Lacey, De Lacy, Leacy (the last occasionally found in Ireland).

LaCroux is a Provencal variation of the surname Cross : English Place name for the man who lived near the stone cross set up by the roadside or marketplace, from Old Norse kross . Cognitives include De(la)Croix, Croix , (French); Croux, Lacroux, Lacrouts, De(la)croux (Provencal); Croce, DellaCroce, Croci (Italian); Cruz (Spanish); Kreutzer, Kreuziger (German); Vercruysse (Flemish), Krzyzaniak (Polish), and Van der Kruijs (Dutch).

Laird : is a Scottish name taken from the term used to describe the caretaker of land under which the peasant farmers rented land and sought protection during the height of the feudal period. The laird offered protection to the serfs who fought for him when attacked by neighboring lairds. They tended to raid each other often, for livestock, and as a relief for boredom.

You'd think that Lakey had something to do with a "lake" but that word as we understand it today was an addition to the English language from the French after surnames had already been fairly widely adopted. The Old English word lacu meant "stream" and the man who lived by the stream was often described as lacu, or Lake, Lack, Lakes, Lakeman . Diminutive or pet forms of names are often achieved by the addition of a -y or -ey , much the way Bobby is a pet form of Bob.

Lambert : English/French/German Place name from Old German land =land + berht = famous...literally, famous-land. Requested by Doug Strohl

Lambkin/Lumpkin/Lamkin : English Patronymic names derived from "Little Lamb" which was a pet form of the given name Lambert (land, bright).

Land is an English place name that described the man who lived in the country rather than in a town. The term had a more specialized sense in the Middle Ages, and was also applied to a forest glade from Middle English lande = heath. Occasionally, it described the man from Launde in Leicestershire, which was named from the same term. Lawn is a variation. Cognates include Landt, Land (German); Landh, Landell, Landelius, Landen, Landin (Swedish ornamental); Landberg, Landegren, Landquist, Landstrom (Swedish compound ornamental).

Lamond(e) is a variation of the Scottish and Northern Irish patronymic name Lamont , from the medieval given name Lagman , from Old Norse Logmaðr , with the elements log = law + maðr = mann/man. Lammond, Lamond, Lawman are variations. McLamont, McLamon, McClemment, McClements, McClymond, McClymont are patronymic forms.

Langdon : English Place Name...from settlements in Devon, Dorset, Essex, Kent, and Warwick in medieval times. It is derived from Old English lang + dun , which meant long hill.

Lange is a cognate of the English nickname for a tall person -- the name is Long among English speaking countries and Lange is found among the Dutch, Norwegians, and Germans. Lang, Lange , and Langer are the German versions, while DeLanghe is the Flemish, De Lang is Dutch and Lang and Lange are the Danish and Norwegian versions.

Langworthy : is an English Place name that is derived from two elements, - lang which meant 'long' and - worth which designated an enclosure or settlement. Langworthy was the man who hailed from the long settlement or enclosure. Requested by Lora Langworthy.

Laporte : French version of the place name Port which described someone who lived near the gateway to the town, or by a harbour.

Lapsley : is an English Patronymic name from the Old English given name, Hlappa + leah =woods, for a literal meaning of 'Hlappa's woods' or more specifically, 'Hlappa's clearing in the woods."

Larson/Larkin/Lawson,/Lorenzo: The name Lawrence was derived from 'laurel' - symbol of victory, and was popularized by St. Lawrence, a papel deacon who was martyed in the Middle Ages. McLaren is the Scottish form of the name, Larson, Larkin , and Lawson are among the English variations and Lorenz is a German form. Spanish speaking languages are among those that would have Lorenz and Lorenzo as a variants of Lawrence, which is a Patronymic name -- from the name of the father with that given name.

Law : is an English and Scottish Patronymic name from a Middle English pet form of the given name Lawrence; occasionally it is an English Place name for the name who lived by the hill, derived from Northern Middle English hlaw = hill or burial mound. Lawes and Lawson are traditional Patronymic versions of Law. Richard Law emigrated to America in 1638 and was one of the founders of Stamford, Connecticut.

Lawton : English Place name from settlements common in Lancashire and Yorkshire, from Buglawton or Church Lawton in Cheshire, which derived their names from Old English hlaw = hill, burial mound + tun = enclosure, settlement. The literal meaning would be "hill settlement" and someone from that place might be identified as Lawton.

Layland is a variation of the English surname Leyland, a place name derived from Middle English layland > Old English lægeland = fallow land, uncultivated. Most bearers of the name have origins in the location so-named in Lancashire.

Leach: is an English occupational name for the doctor, from the Old English word loece (the -o and -e are attached with a long-vowel mark above, something my keyboard cannot duplicate, but you know what I mean...) Originally, the animal was known by that term with reference to ‘healer’ rather than physicians being compared to a bloodsucker -- but times do change. Variations are Leche, Leetch, Leitch .

Lee/Lea : The surname Lea is derived from the Old English word leah , which meant 'clearing in the woods' and the ending -ley- is the second-most common among English surnames. Lee and Lea were also the names of many small towns that were in the valley or the 'clearing in the woods.'There are other versions as well, posted on request. Requested by Stuart Lea.

Lease is a variation of Lees, an English name that is derived from several sources, one of which is the same as Lee and Lea . In medieval times, the Old English word leah meant "wood" or "clearing" and the name Lee (or Lea) described the man who lived near a meadow, pasture, or patch of arable land. Leas/lees is the plural form of 'lee' which was the Middle English form of 'leah.' The man named Lees/Leas (and its variations) lived on or near the fields or pastures. Also, several settlements arose with the name Lee or Lees, and people who lived there were often described that way, when no other description was more appropriate. There is a Lees in Ashton-under-Lyne and a Leece in Barrow-in-Furness. Occasionally -- although somewhat rarely -- Lees is derived as an English Matronymic name. Names taken from the mother are pretty scarce, but in the case of Lees and Lease, some derived their name from the female given name Lece , a short form of Lettice . Finally, some with the name Lease or Lees are descended from Scots with the surname Gillies , where the first part of the name has been lost through aphesis, when a short beginning syllable is dropped through lazy pronunciation, as in squire, derived aphetically from esquire. Gillies is a Scottish Patronymic name from the Gaelic given name Gilla Iosa (servant of Jesus). Variations include Leese, Leece, Leish, Leishman, Leeson, Leason, Lesson , and Lisson .

Leith is a Scottish place name for the port near Edinburgh, which gets its name from the river nearby. The river name is from Gaelic lite = wet, similar to Welsh llaith = damp, moist. Of course, the man who ran the mill on that river was a Miller Lite (yuk yuk < Latin yukkius).

Leitherland is a variation of Litherland -- an English place name from a so-named district consisting of Uplitherland and Downlitherland, and derived from Old Norse hliðar < hlið = slope + land. Leatherland is another variation.

Leo is an Italian version of the English Nickname Lyon , given to the brave or fierce warrior, from the Old French lion , from Latin Leo/Leonis . Also it is taken from the given name Leo = lion, borne by numerous early martyrs and popes. English versions are Lion , and Leon , French are Lion, Leon ; Italian versions are Leoni, Leone, Lione, Liuni , and Lio . The Spanish version is Leon , Portugese is Leao . Patronymic forms are Delion, De Leone, Di Lione, De Lionibus, De Leo, Di Leo , and Leoneschi .

Leonard : Almost all given names that were around during Medieval times have continued through the ages as surnames. Leonard is one such name, the meaning of which is "lion, bold." Requested by Thomas Leonard.

Leavenworth is an English place name as determined by the suffix -worth, from word = enclosure. It isn't listed among my sources -- surprisingly, but it would literally mean "Leaven's enclosure" although the actual name might have been Lefred, Leofroed, Lefric, Leofwaru, Leu, etc.

Leurman is a variant spelling of Lauerman, the German occupational name for the tanner, from Middle High German lowoere = a German reference to the substance extracted from tree bark used to tan leather + mann = man, occupational suffix.

Lewis is an English patronymic name from the given name Lowis, Lodowicus, and comprised of the elements hlod = fame + wig = war. The founder of the Frankish dynasty bore this name, and it was popular throughout France during the Middle Ages before being introduced into England by the conquoring Normans. When of Welsh extraction, it is an Anglicized form of Llywelyn. The Scots version is a local place name for the Hebridean island of Lewis, or as with the Irish, it is sometimes an Anglicized form of the Gaelic MacLughaidh , meaning "son of Lugaidh." Lugh was the Celtic god - 'Brightness.' Among the Jewish heritage, Lewis is a patronmymic form of Levi, or an Anglicized version of a similar Jewish name.

Lichtsinn : is a variant of the surname Licht , which is a German Occupational name for a chandler. It is derived from the German licht =light. Variations include Lichtner, Lichtmann , and Lichtzer , among others.

I don't have Lilegdon listed among my sources, but surnames with the suffix -don are generally derived from Old English dun = hill. I suspect it is an English place name from OE lilie = lily + dun = hill, and would have described a location where the man who first bore the name lived.

Lindsey is a spelling variation of Lindsay, an English and Scottish Place name from Lindsey in Lincolnshire, first found in the form Lindissi , a derivative of the British name Lincoln. The Old English element eg =island was added since the area was virtually cut off from the surrounding fenland. Lincey and Linsey are other variations.

Little is an English nickname given to the small man, or the younger of two men who bore the same given name, from Middle English littel > Old English lytel = little. Variations are Littell, Lyttle, Lytle, Littler . Among the Danish and Norwegians the name is Litle.

Littlefield : English Place Name...Field comes from the Old English word feld which meant pasture or meadow that was flat and uncultivated. Littlefield is a place name given to one who lived near the small uncultivated meadow -- the 'little-field.' Requested by Alan Littlefield

Lytton is a spelling variation of the English place name Litton, which described the man whose original home was in one of the several so-named settlements in Medieval England, which were named from Old English hlyde = torrent + tun = enclosure, settlement, and believed to describe a settlement near a loud or roaring stream.

Livesey is an English place name from the so-named location in Lancashire, derived from Old Norse hlif = protection, shelter + Old English eg = island. Livesay, Livsey , and Livesley are variations.

Logan : Scottish Place name and colonial frontier family, including General Benjamin Logan who founded Logan's Station (Stanford, KY). The name originated in the Scottish Lowlands, and designated the man who lived near the 'little hollow.'

Logerstedt is likely a spelling variation or Americanized spelling of Lagerstedt, a Swedish compound ornamental name derived from words describing natural phenomena that were used when surnames were adopted there in the late 1800's and early 1900's. (They were late bloomers, surname-wise!) Lagerstedt is a combination of lager and stedt, meaning literally "laurel homestead." Other Lager names along the same line (the first element lager = laurel) Lagerbach (stream), Lagerberg (hill), Lagerborg (town), Lagerkrantz (wreath), Lagerdahl (valley), Lagerfeldt (field), Lagerfors (waterfall), Lagergrehn (branch), Lagerquist (twig), Lagerlof (leaf), Lagerstrandt (shore), and Lagerstrom (river).

Long : English Descriptive name. During early times when surnames were being adopted, the man they called Long was especially tall and lanky.

Loomes is a variation of the English place name Lumb , from any of the several so-named lcoations in Lancashire and W. Yorkshire, named from Old English lumm = pool > dialectic lum = well for water in a mine. Lum, Loom, Limb, Loombe, Lombe, Loomes are all variations.

Lopez is a patronymic form of the Spanish surname Lope, which was also a medieval given name, likely from Latin lupus = wolf. Llop is the way the name is found in Catalan, and in Portugal the patronymic form is Lopes.

Lovell is an English diminutive variant of the name Low, when it meant a crafty or dangerous person, a Nickname derived from the Anglo-Norman French lou = wolf + - el , a diminutive suffix. Lovel and Lowell are variations.

The surname Loving comes from Louvain, a place in Belgium that came from a French word meaning 'lions."

Lowery is a variation of Lowry, the English and Scottish patronymic surname, which is a deminutive form of the name Lawrence (man from Laurentum). When of Irish heritage, Lowry is derived as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O Labhradha , "descendant of Labhradha," whose name meant 'spokesman.' Other variations are Lowrey, Lowerie, Lorrie, Lorie, Loury, Lory, Lourie ; Irish variations include O'Lowry, O'Lawry . Patronymic forms are Lowries, Lowrieson, Lorrison, Lorriman .

Lukacsko is a cognate form of the English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Flemish/Dutch patronymic name Lucas, from Greek Loucas = man from Lucania (an area of Southern Italy). Luke, Luck are English versions. Look, Lock (Scotland); Lugg (Devon); Luc (French); Lukas (Flemish/Dutch).

Lund comes from the Old Norse term lundr = grove, and is an English, Swedish, and Danish Norwegian place name for a person who lived in a grove. It is also among the most popular of names adopted by the Swedes when they were compelled to take last names in the 19th century. It is also used in combination with other Swedish nature words, to form compound names such as Lundquist and Lundgren. Variations are Lunt, Lunn (English); Lundh, Lundell, Lunden, Lundin, Lundman (Swedish).

Lumby is an English place name that described the man from the so-named location between Leeds and Selby, the name derived from Old Norse lundr = grove, wood + byr = farm, settlement.

Lundquist : Swedish Acquired Name...Adopted when surnames became required; the Swedes acquiring surnames much later. Acquired names were chosen for a pleasing sound; Lundquist is literally "grove twig." Swedish immigrants to American often added Lund or qvist/quist to surnames because it gave the appearance of increased social status. Lundquist is simply a surname prefix with a suffix attached.

Lux : may be the shortened form of Luxton, a place in Devon, England. The ending -ton came from Old English tun = settlement and Luke's town was eventually known as Luxton .

Lydon is a variation of the Irish patronymic name Leyden, which is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name O'Loideain , which means 'descendant of Loidean ,' which is a given name of unknown origin. Another variation is Leydon.

Lynch is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic O' Loingsigh , meaning "descendant of Loingseach" which was originally a nickname meaning "mariner." It is also derived from the Gaelic Linseach , which was a Gaelic form of the Anglo-Norman-French de Lench , a local name of Norman origin. When derived of English origin, Lynch is a place name for the man who lived on a slope or hillside, from Old English hlinc = ridge, bank, rising ground. O'Lynchy, O'Lynche, O"lensie, Linchey, Linchy , are Irish variations. Linch, Lince, Linck are variations of de Lench. Diminutive forms are O'Lyneseghane, Lynchahan, Lynchehan, O'Loingseachain .


M

Mack is a Scottish patronymic name from an Old Norse given name Makkr , which was a form of Magnus . Occasionally, in the US, the name Mack is an shortened form of any of the many Scottish names that began with the patronymic designator Mc, or Mac. Maccus is a variation.

Mach is a Czech, German and Polish patronymic name, from the given name Mach, a pet form of the Czech name Matej, or the Polish name Maciej. Macha, Machac, Machala, Machal, Machan, Machon are Czech variations. Machala, Machnicki, Machocki are Polish variants. Mache, Macha are among the other forms found in Germany.

MacAulay is a spelling variant of McAulay, a Scottish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Amhalghaidh , meaning son of Amhalghadh. McAullay, McAuley, McAllay, McAlley, McCaulay, McCauley, McCally, Cawley , and Gawley are among the other variations.

MacLeod is a Scottish patronymic name that is an Anglicicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Leoid , from the Old Norse nickname Ljotr = ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though. McCloud is another form of the name. From a MacLeod kinsman: *I see from your page that you correctly have the derivation of "MacLeod" as from "Ljotr" meaning "ugly", but you don't note that the original meaning of "ugly" (in the same time period as when ljotr was in current use as a name) meant not "unpleasing in appearance" but meant "fierce"

Madden and O’Madden are both Irish patronymic names, Anglicized from the Gaelic O Madaidhin , which meant ‘descendant of Madaidhin’ whose name was derived from madadh = hound, mastiff. Variations are Madine, O’Madden, O’Maddane, O’Madagane, O’Madigane, Maddigan , and Madigan.

Madera is a Czech cognate of the Hungarian name Magyar, which means literally "Hungarian." The Magyars originally came from the Ural Mountain area but occupied the Caucasus between the fifth and ninth centuries. Bulgarian expansionism forced them to move westward and were settled in their current location by the end of the ninth century.

Madura is the Polish nickname for the wise or learned man, one of the nicknames that actually had a positive connotation.

Maffin is likely an Americanized version of the Italian surname Maffini, which is a diminutive form of the Italian name Maffii, the cognate form of the English and Scottish name Matthew, which was derived originally from the Hebrew Matityahu = gift of God. Other Italian cognates are Mattea, Mattia, Matteo, Mattei, Mattedi, Mattevi, Maffeo, Maffei, Maffia.

Maheu is a French cognate of the English patronymic name, Mayhew, which was derived from the given name Mahieu, a variation of Matthew. Other French versions are Mahieux, Mahieu, Maheu, Mahu, Maheo, Mehu (Normandy), while English variations are Mahew, Mehew, Mayo , and Mayow.

Maier, Meyer, Meier , and Myer : were the principal officers in charge of large and important households in Germany, and often, an -s- was added as in Meyers and Myers . Later the term came to designate a sustantial farmer. Requested by Marilyn Meyer Roberts.

Malone : is an Irish Patronymic name from the given name Malone (servant of St. John).

Manke : Nicknames or descriptions of people often stuck as surnames, and many were none-too-politically-correct. Manke was what they called the man who was lame or crippled, and some wound up with it as a surname.

Maitland : was a lot like England: Mait and Eng being terms for a grassy field. Eng-land became the name of the realm, and Mait-land became the name of the family that made their home in Eng-land. It's an English Place name.

O'Mara is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic O'Meadhra , which meant "descendant of Meadhra ." That name came from Gaelic meadhar = mirth, joy. Variations are Meara, O'Meara , and as an aphetic form Mara . An Americanized O'Mara isn't to be confused with Mára , a variation of the Czech name Marek, from the given name Marek , which was the Czech form of Mark. Mares, Mára are variations. Marecek, Marsik, Marik are diminutive forms.

Markham is an English place name from the so-named place in Nottinghamshire derived from Old English mearc = boundary + hám = homestead. Occasionally, it is derived among the Irish as an Anglicized form of Ó Marcacháin , which means "descendant of Marcach " whose name meant "knight, horseman."

The name Markowski and many other versions are derived from the Latin Marcus , the given name of Mark the Evangelist, who authored the second Gospel. The etymology of Marcus is unknown, but it may come from the word Mars. It is an old and popular given name which constituted the origin of many surnames. Markowski is a Jewish version of the name, along with Markewitz, Markovski, Markovitz , and numerous others.

Mally is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from O' Maille , meaning 'descendant of the nobleman' from mal = prince, champion. Variations include Malley, Mealley, Meally, Melly, Melia, O'Malley, O'Mally, O'Maillie , and others.

Marsh is an English place name for the man who lived near or on a marsh or fen, and is derived from Old English mersc = marsh. During the period when surnames were adopted, -er was pronounced as -ar, and most surnames of the time retained the ancient pronunciation. Through later academic study of entymology, the correct pronunciation of -er was returned to the language and taught as vocabulary.

Marshall : originally cared for the lord's horses, and acted as an early vet and farrier. Later on, the term evolved to describe an official in a noble's household in charge of the military affairs. It's an English Occupational name, either way.

Marte is an Italian cognate form of the French and German matronymic name (from the name of the mother) Marthe , which is listed in the Greek New Testament as Martha, from Aramaic Marta = Lady, the sister of Lazarus. Other variations are Morthe, Merta . Other cognates are Marte, Marti, Marta . Diminutive forms include Marton, Marthon, Martot, Marthelot .

Marti, Marty are cognate forms of the name Martin found in Provencal. Martin is found as an English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Czech, Flemish, Dutch, Danish, and Norwegian Patronymic surname -- derived from the ancient Latin given name Martinus, derived from Mars/Martis , the Roman god of fertility and war. A fourth-century saint had the name, and those early saints made for a lot of namesakes. Variations are Marten, Martyn, Martine, Lamartine, Martijn among others.

Martinez : Spanish Patronymic Name...St. Martin of Tours was the patron saint of France and made Martin the most common name in that country. As a saint (with a good festival, to boot) Martin was also popular around the world. In Spanish speaking countries, descendants of Martin were called Martinez.

Masters: a patronymic form of the English and Scottish nickname Master, which described the man who behaved in a masterful way, or as an occupational name for the master of a craft. It is derived from Middle English maister > Latin magister. The name was borne in early times by people who were freeholders of enough land that they had laborers who helped them work the land. In Scotland, the eldest sons of Barons held this title, and the name may have been an acquired nickname for the servant of the eldest son of a baron. Meystre is a variant. There are numerous cognates in several languages in addition to patronymic and diminutive forms.

Matney is likely an English place name composed of the elements Matt/Matta (a medieval given name derived from Matthew) + Old English eg = island, raised land in a fen. It would describe the man who lived near Matta's homestead location.

Matthews/Mathis : English Patronymic Name...Matthew means 'gift of Yahweh' as does Matthias -- both were popular first names in early times, and it is almost impossible to determine which derivatives came from which name...at any rate, Matthews and Mathews are English Patronymic names (from the father) and Mathis is the German counterpart. Matthews with the double-t was more popular in Wales.

Mattingly : is an English Place name from an Old English personal name Matting + leah (clearing in the woods) which is literally, Matting's clearing in the woods. Requested by Karen Mattingly.

Maurer is a German occupational name for the builder of defensive walls, or the builder of walls of substantial buildings of brick or stone. It is derived from German mauer = wall. During the Middle Ages, the majority of walls were made of wood or lathe and plaster, so the maurer generally built public buildings and defensive walls. Meurer, Mauer, Mauermann are variations. Mührer, Mührmann are Low German cognate forms; Mularski is the Polish version, and Mulyar is found in the Ukraine.

Mayfield is an English place name from the so-named locale in Sussex which derived its name from Old English mœgðe = mayweed + feld = pasture, open country. The man from that location was described by his new neighbors by their pointing out his place of origin. The surname is also common in Nottinghamshire, and an addition location with the name Mayfield may have been located there.

Mayor, see also: Meyer/Meier : English Occupational Name...The head of a village or town was the mayor, often a position held for life. Henry Fitz Ailwin was the first mayor of London in 1193. Requested by: Bob Meyer

McAllister is a Scottish and Irish patronymic form of the surname Alexander, from the popular given name from Greek Alexandros = defender of men. Other forms of McAllister are McAlester, McAllester, McAlister, McAllaster, McCallister, Mac Alastair .

McArdle/McArdell/McCardle : Scottish/English Patronymic Name...McArdle is an Anglicized version of gaelic Mac Ardghail which came from the given name Ardghal . That name is composed of ard = height + gal = valor, for high valor. Variations are McArdell and McCardle . Requested by Tim McArdle

McCabe is a Scottish and Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Caba , from the name Caba = cape, which described the wearer of a distinctive cape.

McCann : Scottish Patronymic name for the 'son of Annadh' whose name means 'storm.'

McCarthy is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Carthaigh , meaning 'son of Carthach' whose name meant 'loving.' Mccarty, McCartie, McCarhie, McCarha, and McArthy are variations.

McCleaft : Possibly derived from MacCleish , which is Anglicized from Mac Gill'losa which meant `son of the servant of Jesus," and is documented in Dumfrieshire as early as 1376. Requested by Kenneth McCleaft

McClourghity : is an old Irish name, of which most have been Anglicized to one degree or another -- with McClourghity not quite as much as McCafferty , which is another version of Mac Eachmhareaigh , a patronymic surname from the given name Eachmharcach . If it wasn't Anglicized that way then his namesake son would have to sign his check: Eachmharcach Mac Eachmhareaigh , taking up so much space he could only write them for small amounts! Just kidding...

McClure is a Scottish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Gille Uidhir , which means 'son of the servant of St. Odhar.' Variations are McCloor, McLure, McLeur, McAlear, McAleer .

McCluskey is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic ' Mac Bhloscaidhe ' which meant 'son of Bloscadh.' The name probably derived from the Gaelic term blosc = loud noise. Variations are McClusky, McCloskey, McClosky, McCluskie, McLusky , and McLuskie.

McCollough is a variation of the Irish and Scottish name McCulloch, which is an Anglicized form of a Gaelic patronymic name Cullach, from cullach = wild boar. Some families translated the name as Boar rather than Culloch or McCulloch. There is also speculation that the name might be derived from Cu-Uladh , meaning 'Hound of Ulster.' Variations of the name are McCullach, McCullagh, McCully, McCullie , and McCoulie. Thomas Maculagh of Wigtonshire, noted in the year 1296 is the first known bearer of the name in Scotland.

McCallum is a Scottish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Coluim , which is a patronymic form of the name Columba. It is more frequently seen as McCollum , but also exists as variations McAllum, McCollam .

McConville is an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from Gaelic Mac Conmhaoil , a patronymic form of the given name Conmhaol, comprised of the elements cu = hound + maol = bald. McConwell, and Conwell are variations.

McConnell is a Scottish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Dhomhnuill , which meant "son of Domhnall" whose name came from Celtic elements dubno = world + val = might, rule. When the name is of known Irish origin, it is taken from the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Conaill , meaning "son of Conall" whose name was taken from Celtic elements con, cu = hound + gal = valor. Variations include MacConnel, McConnal . Whannell and McWhannell are Scottish variations.

McCormick is the patronymic form of the Scottish surname Cormack, an Anglicized form of the given name Cormac, from the elements corb = raven + mac = son. Cormick is a variant and Cormican is a diminutive form. McCormack, McCormick , and the Gaelic Mac Cormaic are patronymic forms; literally "son of raven's son."

McCracken : Irish Patronymic Name...An Irish sept or clan was a group of people living in the same area with the same surname, and most Irish names used the Mac or O' prefix, as well as the Norman inspired Fitz'. Most of the names were taken from the father's name (patronymic) although many dropped the prefix and most were Anglicized in America. Many Fitz prefixes were replaced with Mac. McCracken was the son of Neachtan , which meant 'pure one.'

McCrary is an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Ruidhri , from the given name Ruaiddhri. Other versions are McCreery, McCreary, McCririe .

McDonald and McDonell are variations of the same surname, both Scottish Patronymic names derived from the Gaelic -- Mac Dhamhnuill , which means 'son of Domhnall ,' a given name from the Gaelic elements dubno =world + val =rule. Other variations are McDonnell, McDonaill, McDonall , and McDaniel .

My guess on MacEachern is a slightly Anglicized version of Mac Eachain , a Scottish Patronymic name from the Gaelic given name Eachan , which means 'each horse.'

McElreavy is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Giolla Riabhaich , which means "son of the brindled lad" and is an Irish patronymic name. McIlwraith is the most commonly found Anglicized version, while other variations include McIlravy, McIlrea, McElwreath, McElreath, McElreavy, McAreavey, McArevey, McGillereogh, McGilrae, Gallery, McCalreogh, McCalreaghe, McCallerie, Colreavy, Culreavy, Callery, Killery . You may be interested to know the name McIlwraith is also found among the Scots as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Gille Riabhaich , with variants McIlwrath, McIlaraith, McIlarith, McIlleriach, McIlreach, McIlurick, McIllrick, McGillreich , among others.

McGary is a variation of McGarry, which is a variant of the Irish name McAree. That name is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name Mac Fhearadhaigh , from the nickname Fhearadhach = manly, brave. Other variations are McHarry, Mahorry, McKarrye, McKerry, McKeary, Mcgarry, Megarry, McFaree, McFarry, McVarry , and McVerry.

McGilvray is a Scottish and/or Irish Patronymic name: It originates in both areas, from similar Gaelic forms. In Ireland, the Irish Gaelic version was Mac Giolla Bhraith , and the Scottish form was Mac Gille Bhrath . They both stem from a given name that means "Servant of Judgement," and Mac meaning "son of..." in the typical Gaelic fashion. The Anglicized version of the name most commonly found is McGillivray, and these other variations exist: McGillvray, McGilvray, McGilvra, McGillavery, McGillivry, McGillivrie, McGillvary, McGilvary, McGilvery .

McGinnis McEnnesse McEnnis McInnes Maguinness Magennis Guinness : Irish Patronymic Name...the Mc designates 'son of' and a literal meaning of "Son of Guinness" which is Anglicized. The Irish version was from the Gaelic Mag Aonghuis and the given name Aonghuis is anglicized to Angus. Requested by: Kathryn McGuinness

Mc Gonigle is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Congail , a patronymic form of the name Congal . The given name Congal is comprised of Old Celtic elements that mean "high, valour," and Mac Congal is literally translated as "Son of Congal." The name is most often found as McGonigle , but McGonagle is a common variation.

McGowan is a Scottish and Irish Patronymic name from the Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Gobhann (Scottish) and Mac Gabhann (Irish) both from occupational nicknames for the village smith. It is also occasionally derived in Scotland from Mac Owein , a patronymic form of the given name Owen or Ewen. Variations include McGowing, McGowen, McGoune, Magowan, McAgown, McEgown, McIroine , and Gowans .

McGrath is the normal Irish form of the name McCrae, which is a Scottish and Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mag Raith , from the name Rath (grace, prosperity). Variations are McCray, McCrea, McCree, McCrie, McCraw, McCreagh, McCreath, McCraith, McCreith, McCreight, McGraw, McGra, McRay, McRea, McRee, McRie, McRaw, McRaith, McReath, McWray, Magraw, Magraph, Magrath, Megrath, Mackereth .

McGuigan is a fine Irish name, and is actually an Anglicized form of the name Mac Guagain , which is in itself an altered form of Mag Eochagain -- a patronymic form (from the father's name) of the old Gaelic name Eochagan , from eachadhe = horseman. Geoghegan is another name that evolved from this given name. Variations of McGuigan (which is literally translated as "son of the horseman") are McGougan, McGugan, McGuckian, McGuckin, McWiggan .

McGrogan is a rare Anglicized form of the Irish patronymic name Mac Gruagain , that is normally found as Grogan, from O' Gruagain (descendant of Gruagan, whose name was a diminutive form of the word gruag = hair).

McGuire is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mag Uidhir , which meant "son of Odhar" whose name meant 'sallow.' St. Odhar was the charioteer of St. Patrick. Variations are McGwire, McGwir, McGuiver, McGuier, Maguire , and Maguier.

McIlwraith is a Scottish and Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from a Gaelic name -- McIlwraith is the most commonly found Anglicized version, while other variations include McIlravy, McIlrea, McElwreath, McElreath, McElrath, McElreavy, McAreavey, McArevey, McGillereogh, McGilrae, Gallery, McCalreogh, McCalreaghe, McCallerie, Colreavy, Culreavy, Callery, Killery . You may be interested to know the name McIlwraith is also found among the Scots as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Gille Riabhaich , with variants McIlwrath, McIlaraith, McIlarith, McIlleriach, McIlreach, McIlurick, McIllrick, McGillreich , among others.

McInch, McKinch , and McHinch, are among the similar Anglicized variations of the Gaelic name Mag Aonghuis , meaning "descendant of Aonghus" whose name was comprised of the Gaelic elements aon = one + ghus = choice. An 8th century Pictish king bore the name and he was popularly portrayed as being the son of Daghda, the chief god of the Irish, and Boann who have her name to the River Boyne. Angus was a county named for the king, and is still a popular name among Scots -- the early occurrences in honor of Mag Aonghuis . McGuinness is the most commonly found form of this Irish name, with variations McGinnis, McEnnesse, McEnnis, McInnes, Maguinness, Maginness, Maginnis, Magennis, Meginniss , and Guiness, Guinness .

McIntosh : is derived from MacIntosh, a Scottish occupational and patronymic name that means 'son of the chief or leader.'

McKie is a variation of the Scots and Irish patronymic name McKay, which itself is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name Mac Aodha , from the personal name Aodh = Fire, which was originally from the pagan god of fire. Other variations are McKoy, McKey, McKee, McKie, McCay, McCoy, McGhee, McGhie, McHugh, McCue, McEa, McAy, Magee, Quay, Quaye , and Key. The McCoys were half of a legendary feud (with the Hatfields) and the "Real McCoy" was Norman Selby, who was a boxer in the late 1800's under the name 'Kid McCoy' and promoted himself as the genuine article as opposed to one of his contemporaries -- a boxer also named McCoy.

McLaughlin is a Scottish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Lachlainn , a patronymic form of the given name Lachlann which was a Gaelic term for "stranger" and was applied to the Vikings who had settled nearby. It is most often found as McLachlan , but other variations include McLachlane, McLaughlane, McLauchlan, McLaughlin, McLaughlan, McLaughlane, McLaughlin, McLochlin, McLoughlin, McLoghlin, McGloughlin , and Chaplin (Manx form).

McLucas is a Scottish patronymic form of the English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Flemish/Dutch patronymic name Lucas, derived from the given name Lucas, which has its origins in the Greek Loucas, meaning 'man from Loucania.' Loucania was a region of Southern Italy. Variations of Lucas include Luke, Luck, Look, Lock, Lugg, Luc (French), and Lukas (Flemish/Dutch). Cognate forms include Luca, Lucchi, Lucco (Italian); Lluch (Catalan); Lucks, Laux, Lux, Lauks (Low German); Liksch, Lukesch (Low German - Slav origin); Lukáš, Lukeš, Káš (Czech); Lukasz, Lukos, Luczak (Polish); Lukash (Ukranian); Lukacs (Hungarian). Diminutive forms include Luckett, Lockett, Locket, Lockitt, Lockie, Lockey, Lucazeau, Luqueet, Lucot, Lugol, Lucchelli, Luchelli, Lucchetti, Luchetti, Luchini, Lucchini, Lucotti, Lauxmann, Lukascheck, Kaschke, Luasek, Kasek, Kasik, Lukasik, Lulka, Lukashenko, Lukashenya . Patronymic forms include Luckes, Looks, Loukes (English); McLucas, McLuguish, McLugush, McLugish, Mac Lucais (Scottish); De Luca, Di Lucca (Italian); Lukasen, Luxen (Low German); Lucassen (Dutch); Lukinov (Russian); Lukashevich (Ukrainian); Lukaszewicz (Polish); Lukanov (Bulgarian).

McManus is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Maghnuis , a patronymic form of the given name Magnus. Variations include McMannas, McMannes, Mayne, Maynes .

McMath is the name for the Scottish number-cruncher -- just kidding! It's an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Mathghamhna , from the given name Mathghamhain = bear. McMathghamhana, McMaghowney, McMahouna, McMann, McKaghone, McMaghon, McMachan, McMaghone, McMahon are all versions of this name.

McMeeken is of itself altered from its origins -- the Gaelic name Mac Miadhachain , a patronymic form of the given name Miadhachan = honorable. McMeeking, McMikin, McMicking, McMeekan, McMeickan, McMickan, McMeckan, McMeeken, McMiken, McMeechan, McMeecham, McMichan , and McMhychen are all variations.

McKeever : is a variation of McIver which is a Scottish version of an Old Norse given name Ivarr derived from iw = bow + herr = army. The name was adopted at an early date by the Scots, Welsh, and Irish, and most cases indicate Celtic ancestry. Other variations include MacIvor, McIver, McEevor, McEever, McHeever , and McCure . Iverson is the Danish and Norwegian version, while the Swedes opted for Ivarsson and Iwarsson .

McKinley : derived from the given name Finlay a Gaelic tribal leader, whose name came from the given name, Fionnla 'fair hero.'

McLean : Scottish Patronymic from MacLean, 'son of the servant of St. John.'

McMahon is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Mathghamhna , meaning 'son of Mathghamhain ' whose name meant 'bear.' Mcmachon, McMachan, McMaghone, McMaghen, McKaghone,McMann, MacMahouna are among the variations.

McMonagle is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Maonghail , from the given name Maonghal, which is comprised of the elements maoin = wealth + gal = valour. Listed variants are McMunagle, McMenigall .

McMullen is a variation of the Scottish name McMillan, which is an Anglicized version of the patronymic name Mac Maolain , from the given name Maolan, from mao = bald, tonsured. It generally described someone who wore a tonsure and in a transferred sense, to the devotee of a certain saint. Variations are McMillen, McMullan, McMullen, McMullin, McMullon, McMowlane, McMoylan .

McMurtry : possibly Irish Patronymic names, from Anglicized versions of the Gaelic given name Muircheartach , derived from muir = sea + ceardach = skilled, to mean 'skilled navigator of the sea.' The Patronymic forms are McMoriertagh, McMurihertie, McMiritee, McMreaty , and McMearty .

McNutt is an Ulster (Northern Ireland, settled by the Scots in 1610) variation of the Scottish patronymic name McNaughton , which is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Neachdainn , which means "son of Neachdan" whose name is of unknown origin. Other variations are McNaughtan, McNaughten, McNauchton, McNauchtan, McNauton, McNachtan, McNaghten, McNaught, McNeight, McKnight, McNitt .

McNeice (not spelled like niece) is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic patronymic name Mac Naois , a shortened form of Mac Aonghuis , which means 'son of Angus.' Variations are McNeese, McNess, McNisse, McNeish, Mannish, Mannix, Minnish, Minch, McCreesh, Neison , and Neeson.

McNeilly : Scottish Patronymic name from the 'son of Neil' whose name means 'champion.'

McNeilly and McNeill -- although they seem almost identical -- aren’t. McNeilly is an Anglicized Gaelic name, while McNeill is standard patronymics from the given name Neil, although that name is of Gaelic origin (Niall = champion). It is a name common among the English, Scots and Irish. The Norsemen adopted the name as Njall, and Scandinavian settlers brought the name from Ireland to England. The double -L spelling is generally Northern Ireland and Scotland derived. Variations are Neild, Neal, Neele, Neeld, Nel, Niall, Niell, Niel, Nihell, Neels, Niles, Nielson, Nielson, McNeil, McNeille, McNeall, O’Neil, O’Neill, O’Neal , and many others.

McNicol is a Scottish variation of the surname Nicholas, found mainly among the English and Welsh, derived from the Greek given name Nikolaos, from nikan = to conquer + laos = people. It was a popular given name throughout Christian Europe during the Middle Ages. The 4th century bishop Nicholas was venerated by both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and was the subject of many legends (remember Santa ? Klaus is an aphetic shortened form of Nicholas...). Variations of Nicholas are, Nicolas, Niclas, Nickless, Nicholl, Nichol, Nicoll, Nickol, Nicol, Nickel, Nickell, Nickle . Cognates include Nicolas, Nicolau, Niclausse (French); Nicol, Nicoud, Nicoux (Provencal); Niccola, Niccoli, Nicolli (Italy); Niccolai (Tuscany); Nicolás (Spanish); Nicolau (Catalan, Portugal); Nicolaie (Rumania); Nickolaus, Niklaus, Nicklaus, Nicklas, Nücklaus (German); Mikulas, Mikula, Mikulanda (Czech); Mikula, Mikulski (Polish). Other patronymic forms are Nicholls, Nichols, Nicolls, Niccols, Nicholes, Nickoles, Nicholds, Nickolds, Nickalls, Nickells, Nickels, Nicholson, Nickleson (English); McNicholas, McNicol, McNichol, McNicoll, McNickle (Scottish); De Nicola (Italian); Nicolescu Niculescu (Rumanian); Nicolassen, Nicklassen, Nickelsen (German). As a result of the variations, in Rumania the Christmas carole is sung --- Up on the rooftop, whoo, whoo, whoo! Down through the chimney with Nicolescu! (That part isn't true.)

McPherson is an Anglicized version of the Scottish Gaelic name Mac an Phearsain , which means "son of the parson." McPerson is a variation

McQuaig, McQuade, MacQuaid, McQuoide : Scottish/Irish Patronymic Name... The Gaelic given name Wat (pronounced wait, and the same as Walter). The name Walter was brought by the Normans and derived from Wald , meaning rule, and theri , meaning army. Mac Uaid was the son of Wat (Walter). The Anglicized version took many forms, some of which dropped the Mac, and many of which arranged the vowels in combination. Many Gaelic consonants were used interchangeably.

McShan is likely an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name Mac Seain , which meant 'son of Sean' a form of the name John. Shane is a popular Anglicization of Mac Seain , but it also appears as McShane.

McVie is another variation of the Scottish Patronymic name McBeth , from the Gaelic personal name Mac Beatha which meant 'son of life,' that is - man of religion. Other versions are McBeath, McBeith, McBay, McVay, McVey, McVeagh, McVie, McAbee .

Meacham : English occupational name from Machin, derived from Anglo-Norman French machun , which designated the stone mason.

Mearns is a Scottish place name from the place so-named in the former county of Renfrewshire, derived from Gaelic maiorne = office or province of the Mair (officer of the court). The man from there often derived that name as a way for neighbors to describe him after he moved to a new location.

Meeking is a diminutive form of the name May, which is a pet form of the given name Matthew, with Makin generally found in Northern England. Meeking is a patronymic form of the name, as are Makins, Maykings, Meakings, Meakin and Makinson. Variations of Makin are Maykin, Meakin, Meaken , and Making.

Mefford is likely an English place name derived from the Old English description for the crossing point of a stream of water, and may be from OE maed = meadow + ford = ford, crossing. The man who lived near the crossing place often became known by the name given the ford.

Mellanby is an English place name for the man who originally came from a settlement by that name (actually it was called Melmerby in Cumberlandshire and N. Yorkshire). It is derived from the Old Norse name Melmore, by way of Irish Mael-Muire (devotee of the Virgin Mary) and added to the Old Norse term byr = farm, settlement.

Mellow is the American nickname for the laid-back person (just kidding...) Actually, Mellow is a variation of the English place name Mellor, from the so-named locales in Lancashire, Derbyshire, and others, derived from ancient Briton words that evolved as Welsh moel = bare + bre = hill. Mellors, Mellows are other variations.

Menard is a variation of the French and English (Norman) patronymic name Maynard, derived from the Germanic given name Mainard and composed of the elements magin = strength + hard = hardy, brave. Mainerd is an English variation. Meynard, Menard, Mesnard are French versions. Mainardi, Meinardi, Menardo, Minardi, Minardo are Italian cognates. Meinhardt is the German version, while Meiner, Meinert, Mehnert, Menthe are Low German cognates. Minnert and Mint are Frisian forms.

Mercer : English Occupational Name...Mercer was the one who dealt in silks, velvet, and expensive materials, although the term was sometimes applied to merchants in general.

Merlo : derived from the Old French word merle = blackbird -- Merle was used as a French Nickname for simplicity, or for the catcher of blackbirds.

Merrill is an English matronymic name derived from the given name Muriel, which in itself came from Celtic muir = sea + gael = bright. Muriel was a popular name in East Anglia where it was introduced by Breton soldiers with William the Conqueror. Norsemen also brought the name to Northern England from Ireland. Variations include Merril, Merrel, Merrall, Murril, Murrell, Murrills, Merrells, Merralls, Murrells, Mirralls .

Metcaf is a variation of the English nickname Metcalf, from Middle English metecalf = meat calf, and was the name given the herdsman or slaughterer, or sometimes attached as a nickname to the sleek and plump person.

Middlesworth is an English place name that described the settlement located between two others, from Old English midel = middle + worð = settlement. The man who removed from that location to another settlement was sometimes described by his place of origin.

Miles : English Patronymic name by way of Old French and the given name Milo, or occasionally from the given name Michael. Miles is also infrequently derived as an occupational name from the servant or retainer called a miles in medieval times.

Mill : In Medieval times, an center in every village or settlement was the mill, where people took their corn to be ground into flour. The man who worked at the mill, and sometimes the miller himself, might come to be known as Mill, or a variant of the name. In fact, the most common form of Mill is Mills . It has cognative forms in almost every language.

Miller : English Occupational Name for the man who operated the mill from the Middle English term mille. Requested by Darryl Rogers

Mitchell is an English, Scot, and Irish Patronymic name from the given name Michel, the regular vernacular form of Michael. Variants are Mitchel and Michell , while the English patronymic version takes the form of Mitchelson or Michelson .

Mitter : German place name for the farmer whose land was in the middle of two other, particularly when the farmers had the same given name. It's from Middle High German, mitte = middle, and could be used as in Hans mitte, or the Hans in the middle.

Mixon/Mix/Mixson : English Patronymic Name...The archangel Michael was the patron of the 12th century Crusades, and the name Michael was a favorite as a result. 'Of Michael' or 'of Mich/Mick' denoted the son. Mix and Mixon/Mixson also denote son of Mick or Michael. Requested by: Debra Mixon

Moebeck is a Swedish ornamental name comprised of the elements Mo = sand dune + back = stream. The Swedes were among the last to adopt surnames in Europe and chose them strictly for their pleasing sound. Other Mo names are Moberg (dune hill), Mogren (dune branch). Moe, Mohlen, Molen, Mohlin, Molin are variations of the name Mo -- also found as a Swedish surname by itself.

Moen is a variation of the Irish patronymic name Mohan , which was Anglicized from the Gaelic O'Mochain , which means "descendant of Mochan." Mochan, the given name, was derived from Gaelic moch = early, timely. Sometimes the name was translated into English as Early. Other variations are O'Mochaine, O'Moughane, O'Moghan, O'Moughan, O'Moghane, O'Moon, Moohan, Mowen, Moen, Moan .

Moffatt is an English and Scottish Place name derived from a place so-named in the former county of Dumfries, from the Gaelic word magh = plain, field + fada = long. Variations are Moffett, Moffitt, Muffatt, Muffett, Meffat , and Mefet.

Mogk : English Patronymic Name from the Old English personal name Mawa, which was used to describe an important local personality in the settlement or village.

Monday is an English patronymic name derived from the Old Norse given name Mundi, a shortened form of several compound names with the element mundr = protection. Occasionally, it is a nickname for someone who had a particular association with that day of the week, such as having his feudal service due that day. Monday was considered a lucky day to be born, and some may have derived the nickname that way. Finally, Monday is sometimes of Irish origin, an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Giolla Eoin , meaning "son of the servant of Eoin," and the confusion of the Irish in translating Giolla Eoin and Luain (the latter is Monday in Gaelic). Mondy, Mundy, Munday are variations.

Moneymaker is an English nickname for the rich man, or an English occupational name for the moneyer, similar to the name Minter, for the man who minted money. It is derived from Middle English moneye = money, from Old French moneie > Latin moneta.

Moore is an English Place name for the man who lived on a moor, in a fen, or any of the various settlements with this name -- derived from their location near the moor or fen. It comes from the Old English mor . Occasionally, Moore is a nickname for the person with swarthy complexion, from Old French more = Moor/Negro, and sometimes Moore is derived from the Gaelic O'Mordha (descendant of Mordha , a name that meant 'great' or 'proud' in Gaelic) and Anglicized to Moore. Lastly, Moore can be a Scottish or Welsh Nickname for the big man, from Welsh mawr = big, great.

Moran is a variant of the English and French surname Morant, which is an old given name of unknown etymology, but believed to mean 'steadfast' or 'enduring.' When of Irish descent, Moran is derived by Anglicizing O' Morain , (descendant of Moran ), which usually has its accent on the first syllable, as opposed to the English and French version's second syllable accent.

Morgan is a Patronymic name of Welsh, Scot, and Irish origin -- from an old Celtic given name ( Morien in Wales) composed of elements meaning sea + bright. Morgan is one of the most common, and oldest of the Welsh names. There is a Scottish Clan Morgan established in medieval times with connections to the McKays , and was likely developed independently of the Welsh surname. The Irish version is from O'Murchan or O'Morghane , from the Gaelic O'Murchain .

Moriarty/Moirerdagh/Muirihertie : Irish Occupational Name...from very old Celtic terms muir =sea and cheardach =good navigator. Settled in County Kerry, on both sides of Castlemaine Harbor. The name is an anglicized version of Muircheardach or O'Muircheardach , with a literal meaning of skilled navigator of the sea. Variations include McMoirerdagh , and McMuirihertie . Requested by: Erina Moriarty

Morin : French surname for a dark complexion or dark-haired person; Moring may be a variation. The French Nickname Morin became Moreno in Italy and Spain. Requested by Mark Moring.

Morris : Welsh/English/Scottish/Irish Patronymic name from the French given name Maurice which was introduced at the time of the Norman conquest. Requested by Jennifer Morris

Morrison is an English and Scottish patronymic form of the name Morris , an English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish patronymic surname from the given name Maurice . It was introduced to the area by Billy and his conquering Normans in 1066. Maurice is taken from Latin Mauritius, and Maurice was the name borne by a number of early Christian saints. Variations are Morriss, Morrish, Morrice, Maurice, Morse, Morce, Morss . Cognate forms include Maurice, Mauris, Maurisse, Maurize, Morice, Morisse, Morize, Meurice, Meurise (French); Maurizio, Maurizzi, Maurici, Maurigi (Italian); Mauricio (Portugal); Moriz, Moritz (German); Meuris, Risse (Flemish/Dutch); Moricz (Hungarian). Other patronymic forms are McMorris, MacMuiris, McVarish, Mac Mhuiris, McMorris, Fitzmorris, Moritzer, Moritzen, Morissen, Mouritsen, Mouritzen, Mauritzen .

Mortley is an English place name comprised of the Old English elements Morta = OE personal name + leah = wood, clearing...which described the man who lived at or near the homestead of a man named Morta, whose location would have been well-known enough to use as a reference.

Morton is an English and Scottish Place name derived from several places called that, and originated in the Old English elements mor = marsh, fen, moor + tun = enclosure, settlement. It was a name to describe the man who lived at the settlement by the marsh or moor.

Actually, Murrough and Morrow are variations of the same name, and are Anglicized versions of the Gaelic given name Murchadh, composed of the elements muir = sea + cadh = warrior. Variations of Morrow, which is the most commonly found version of the Irish and Scottish name, are Morrough, Murrow , and Murrough, and McMurrough is a patronymic version.

Mosley is a variation of Moseley, an English place name for any of the several locations in Central, West, and Northwest England, derived from Old English mos = peat bog + leah = woods, clearing. The man who originated in that location was often described that way by his new neighbors after moving to their town or settlement.

Moss and Moses are derived from the Hebrew name Moshe > Moses, the Israelite leader in the Book of Exedos, and linked to the Hebrew word msh = to draw (from the water). Mosse, and Mossman are variations of Moss, which are similar in nature to Moseman. Moosmann, Moser, Miester and Mosl are cognates of Moss found in Germany.

Mulcaster is a place name in Northern England; Mulcaster (castle) (now Muncaster) near Ravenglas, belonged to the Pennington Family of Lancashire since the Conquest. Mulcaster is comprised of Celtic mul = bare hill, headland + Old English ceaster = Roman fort. David de Mulcaster the original of the family was son of Benedict Pennington who lived there in the time of King John and assumed the name from the place of nativity for distinction's sake.

Muldowney : Irish Patronymic name from the descendant of Dunadhach , the fortress holder, Gaelic maol = chief + dun = low hill. Requested by Brian Muldowney

Mulholland is an Irish patronymic name, Anglicized from the Gaelic O Maolchalann , which meant "descendant of the devotee of (St.) Calann."

Mullen is an Irish Patronymic name, an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name O'Maolain , which meant 'descendant of Maolan' whose name meant 'devotee' or 'tonsured one.' O'Mullane is a variation of Mullen, as are Mullens, Mullin, Mullins, Millin, Mullings, Mullane, Mulhane, Mullon, Millens, Milling, Mollan,Moylan, Melane, O'Moylane, O'Mullane, O'Mollane , O'Melane .

Muller is a cognate form of the English surname Miller, the occupational name for the man who operated the mill, one of the primary early occupations. Millar is found in Scotland as a variation and Milner is the predominate form in Yorkshire. Meller is another English variation. Cognates include Moulinier, Moliner, Meunier, Munier, Meunie, Mugnier, Mounier, Mounie, Maunier, Monnier, Lemeunier, Lemonnier, Meusnier, Millour, Millinaire (French); Molinaro, Molinari, Monari, Monaro, Munari, Mugnaro, Mugnai (Italian); Molinero (Spain); Moliner, Munne (Catalan); Moliero (Portugal); Morariu (Rumania); Müllner, Müller, Milner, Muller, Molner, Miller, Molitor (German); Möller, Moller (Low German); De Meulder, Mulder, DeMolder, Moller, Moolenaar (Flemish, Dutch); Mlynarski, Mlynski (Polish); Mlynar (Czech); Möller (Swedish); Molnar (Hungarian); Meuller, Muller, Miler, Miller (Jewish Ashkenazik).

Muncy is generally derived from Mounsey , an English place name of Norman origin, from Monceaux or Monchaux, both in present-day France, and originating in the Old French word moncel = hillock. Variations are Mouncey, Moncey, Munsey, Munchay, Mounsie, Muncie .

Murdock : English Patronymic name derived from the old Irish name Murdoch (seaman) which was introduced into England before the Conquest.

Murgatroyd : English (Yorkshire) surname derived from the place of residence. In 1371 the records show that a Johanus de Morgateroyde was appointed the chief constable of Warley. The surname was derived from the area where the clan lived - moor-gate-royd . Literally the clearing by the gate to the moor. There are many variations on the spelling, Murgitroyd, Morgatroyd and Margetroyd being the commonest. Submitted by Ron Murgatroyd

Myatt is an English patronymic name from the given name Myat, which was a truncated form of the given name Mihel (Michael in a vernacular form) + the diminutive suffix -at. Miatt, Myott, Miot are variations.


N

Nagel/Naher/Nager/Neher/Nader : German occupational name for the tailor. Nahen = to sew. Many of these names are also spelled with two dots over the first vowel. (umlaut)

Nations is a variation of the given name Nathan, which came from Hebrew Natan = "given (by God)." Natan, Nusan, Nusen are Jewish variations. Natan, Nation are English versions. Nation has its origin in the West Midlands of England with the alteration attributed to folk etymology. The addition of the -S at the end indicates a patronymic form of the name, as in "Nation's son, John." Or -- "Who's boy is that?" "Nation's."

Naude is a variation of the French surname Naud, which is taken from an aphetic form of several given names of Germanic origin that ended in -wald = rule; such as Arnold or Reynold. Cognates are Noldt, Nolde, Nolte, Noll (German); Naldi (Italian).

Neal is an English patronymic name, a variant of the name Neil. This is the way it is usually spelled in Southern and Central England, and is taken from the Middle English form of the name, Neel. Neale and Neall are variations.

Needham is an English place name comprised of the Old English elements ned > Middle English nede = poverty, hardship + ham = homestead. Need is an English nickname for an impoverished person, based on the same origin. Needham would be the homestead of the man nicknamed "Need" or it may have been the "poor homestead."

Negretti is an Italian diminutive of a cognate form of the French name Noir. Whew! It's not really that complicated. The French name Noir is a nickname for the man with dark hair or complexion, from Old French noir = black > Latin niger = black. The Italian form of the name is Negro, Nero, Negri, LoNero, Nigri, Nieddu . Those names had variations (diminutive forms) that include Negrelli, Negrello, Negrini, Negrino, Negrotto, Neretti, Nerucci, Nerozzi, Nigriello .

Neil is a medieval given name which means "Champion" and evolved into an Irish, Scottish, and English surname. It is derived from the given name of Irish origin -- Niall -- and was brought to England by the Scandinavians. Neill, Neild, Neele, Neel, Neeld, Niall, Niell, Nield, Niel, Nihell, Nihill are variations.

Nelson is an English Patronymic name derived either from the given name Nell or Neil, both of which originated from the Irish given name Niall . It means literally -- Niall's son. It is believed to have meant 'champion' and was brought to England from Ireland by Scandinavian settlers where the 'son of Niall' became known as Niall's son , or Nelson.

Némecek and Némec are both Czechoslovakian nicknames, used to describe a man who came from another country and spoke a different language. The Russian form is Nemchinov , derived from Nemchin = German. In Old Slavic, this word denoted a foreigner and was derived from nemoi = dumb -- in the context of being unable to speak (the same language). Nemtsev is a Russian variation. Other cognates are Nimchuk (Ukraine); Niemiec (Polish); Niemetz, Niemitz, Niembsh (German of Slavic origin), Niemiec, Niemic (Ashkenazic Jewish); Nemet, Nemeth (Hungarian). Patronymic cognates are Niemcewicz (Polish); Nimzowitz (German/slavic origin); Niemocow (Jewish-A). Diminutive forms are Nimchenko, Niemczyk, Nemecek, Niemtschke, Niemczyk, Niemtchik, Niemchenok .

Ness is an English and Scottish place name that described the man who lived at a headland, or came from one of the many places by that name, from Middle English ness = headland.

Neufeld is a German place name comprised of the elements from Middle High German niuwe = new + feld = field, and is similar in nature to Neuberg and Neuberger (new town) which were often Americanized as Newberg and Newberger.

Newham is an English place name that described the man from the so-named locations in Northumberland and North Yorkshire, derived from Old English neowe = new + ham = homestead.

Newport is an English place name, from any of the so-named locations whose names were derived from Old English neowe = new + port = market town. The man who originated in that location would be known by that name when he moved to another locale, as in John-of-Newport > John Newport.

Niblett : English Nickname...Niblett comes from a Middle English word nibbe which meant 'beak,' and was a nickname for someone with a prominent nose. Some of the nicknames that stuck as surnames were none too kind, but by comparison, this is fairly mild. Requested by John Saulsbury Niblett

Nickerson is an English patronymic name derived from a diminutive form of the name Nicholas, from Greek nikan = to conquer + laos = people. Nicholetts, Nix, Nickes, Nickinson, Nickisson are other patronymic forms derived from diminutives. Nickerson was predominately found in the Norfolk area.

Nigro : is a cognizant of Noir , a French nickname for someone with notably dark hair or complexion, from the Old French noir = black. LeNoir is a variant of the name as well.

Niziolek : Polish Nickname...The small or thin man often was referred to by a descriptive word that wound up as a surname -- Niziolek is the Polish version; Littell, Lytle, Short , and Cline are among the English counterparts.

Noble is an English, Scottish, and French nickname given to the man of lofty birth or high character -- or occasionally as an ironic reference to the man of low station and humble birth. It is derived from Old French noble = high born, distinguished. Among Jewish (Ashkenazic) heritage it is an Anglicized version of Knobel, or a similar surname. A French variation is Lenoble. Italian cognates are Nobile, Nobili ; Portuguese call it Nobre; it is De Nobele among the Flemish and Dutch. Nobles and Nobels are patronymic forms of the name.

Noel is an English and French nickname for the man who had some connection with the Christmas season, such as owing some form of work or service (ie. providing a Yule log) as a feudal obligation at that time of year, or having performed in the Christmas pageant and doing a memorable job (it isn't uncommon to find surnames based on a part played in a pageant). Noel was also a given name used for children born at Christmas time. Variations are Nowell, Nowill (English); Nouau, Nouhaud, Nouaud (French).

The name Nordmarken is a compound name, and is among those taken by the Swedes when they were obliged to have a last name (their government required it in the 19th Century, among the last to adopt surnames).
Most of the Swedish names are simply compounds of nice-sounding elements. The government had a list of prefixes and suffixes that were acceptable -- they didn't want any double-entendre or risque last names, so they had an official list. Nord is the Swedish word for North, and mark means land. Nordmark would be north land. While there is a chance that it was a place name to describe a man from the north, most Swedish names are simply pleasant-sounding compounds. Other Nord names include Nordberg, Norberg = north hill; Nordvall = north bank; Nordwall = north bank/wall; Nordlund = north grove; Nordahl = north valley; Nordgren = north branch; Nordquist = north twig; Nordstrom = north river.

The man who came from the North-country during medieval times was described as norð or norðer (that -d like character is called eth, and pronounced like -th). Norris is an English descriptive name for people who lived originally in Scandinavia, Scotland, or sometimes -- just the north of England. Occasionally, Norris is derived from a compound, from Old English norð + hus = house. It described the man who lived in a house at the north end of the settlement. Sometimes Norris is taken from Old French nurice = nurse, and was an occupational name for a wetnurse or foster mother. Variations are Noriss, Norrish, Norie, Norrie, Norreys.

Most of the names that begin with NOR- are derived from the name North, which described the man who lived north of the main settlement, or in the north part of the village. Occasionally, it described the man who had emigrated from another land to the North. Northe, Northern are variations. Cognates include Nordmann, Normann, Noroman, Van Norrden, Van den Noort, Nohr, Norring, Nordh, Norden, Nordin, Nordell, Norlin, Nordlin, Norling, Norelius, Norrman.

Northrop/Northrup : English Place Name...An old Danish word termination was - thorpe which designated 'outlying farmstead or hamlet' was corrupted into - throp and - thrup in early England. North-thorpe -- the north farm -- became Northrop and Northrup as an English place name.

Novak is a Czechoslovakian nickname from the Czech word novy = new, which was used in reference to a newcomer to a place. It occasionally denotes a shoemaker who made new shoes (not a cobbler who repaired old ones) and is the third most common Czech surname. Novotny, Novy are variations. Cognates include Nowak, Nowacki, Nowik, Nowicki (Polish); Nowack, Nowak, Naujock, Naucke (German of Slavic origin); Novak, Nowak, Novik, Novick, Novic, Nowik, Noveck, Novicki, Novitzki (Jewish); Novak (Hungarian). Novacek, Nowaczyk, Novichenko are diminutive forms.

Nuccio : The surname John is universally found, from the Hebrew name Yochanan which meant 'God has favored me with a son.' Each language had its own versions of John and the Italians used a good many, including Giovannelli, Gianelli, Gianiello, Gianilli , and Giannucci , among dozens of others. Giannucci often became Nussi, Nuzzi , and Nucci , to which the final -O- completed Nuccio .

Nuchols isn't among my sources, although Nucklaus is a German cognate of the English patronymic name Nicholas (also the basis for the similar name Nichols ). Nuckols may be a spelling derivative or Americanization of Nucklaus, .

Nugent : Derived from the French nogent which designated the 'fair, wet meadow' and was the name of several towns. It's a French Place name.

There are a number of Swedish compound names that include the first element NY = new. One of them is Nyberg (new hill). The names are ornamental surnames taken by the Swedes in the 1800's when their government required that they do so. Nyberger or Nybarger would be likely variations.


O

O'Connell: Irish Patronymic Name...it originated with the grandson of Conall , whose name meant 'world mighty.'

O'Dungan is Anglicized from O'Donnagain, which mean 'descendant of Donnagan ' a diminutive form of a personal name that meant 'dark' or 'brown.' Donegan is the most common spelling, with variants Dunnigan, Doonican, Dunegain, O'Donegan , and O'Donegaine .

Olejnicazk/Olejniczak : Polish Patronymic/Occupational Name...There a few names that are patronymic (from the father's name) that originate from the father's occupation. The Polish name Olejnicazk/Olejniczak came from the 'son of the maker of oil from seeds for food purposes.' Kind of an Olestra forebear, I guess. (just kidding!)

Oliver : is both an English and a French surname, although the French version is often seen as Olivier. It's a Patronymic name from the given name Oliver, which means 'elf, host.' Requested by Suzy Oliver.

Olney : is an English Place name derived from Old English ollaneg, which meant island of Olla.

Olzack: a variation of the Polish place name Olszewski, so-named from the Polish ‘ olcha, olsza = alder + ew = a possessive suffix + -ski = suffix of local surnames, to describe the man who lived by the alder, or who was from the settlement near the alder called by that name. Other variations are Olszak, Olszacki, Olszycki, Olszanski, Olszynski, Olshevski, Olshevsky, Olchovski, Volchonsky, Olcha , and Olchik.

Ortiz is a patronymic form of the Spanish surname Fuerte and Fuertes -- a name found among the English and French as FORT, a nickname derived from Old French fort = strong, brave -- that was given to the brave man. Occasionally, it was used as a place name for the man who lived near a fortified stronghold.

Oster is a Swedish name for "one from the East." Oster with an umlaut over the -O- is the German word for Easter.

O'Toole is a patronymic variation of the Irish surname Toole, which is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O Tuathail , which means "descendant of Tuathal" which was an old Celtic name meaning "people, tribe" + "rule." Other variations are O'Tuale, O'Toughill, Toughill, Touhill, O'Twohill, Toohill, Tohill, Tohall, Toal , and Toale.

Otter/Otterman : While many animal names derived from the pictures on the roadside inns during the Middle Ages, the surnames Otter and Otterman aren't among those. Otter is a corruption of the Old English names Otthar or Othere, which meant "terrible army." I don't know if that means 'terribly mean army' or just 'terribly bad army." Just kidding...I'm sure Otthar could throw a spear with the best of them!

An Outlaw is a man deprived of the benefit and protection of the law, and in medieval England it was legal to kill such a man...as a surname, it may have derived as a patronymic description of the son. As in John - son of the Outlaw ...or John of the Outlaw -- most of which were condensed by dropping the "son of" or "of the." Remember, the son is not responsible for the sins of the father!

Owens is a patronymic variation of the Welsh surname Owen, from the Welsh personal name Owain, likely drawn from Latin Eugenius. Bowen is another patronymic form, a shortened version of ap'Owen .

Oxford is an English place name from a place in Oxfordshire, at a ford used by oxen. A ford is a crossing place at a river or stream, and a fairly common surname element used to describe the medieval man who lived nearby.

P

Pagnozzi is an Italian diminutive form of the nickname Compagni or Compagno, which meant "good neighbor." Compagnon is the French version, and Pagni is another Italian form. Other diminutives are Pagnotti, Pagnussi, Pagnutti .

Palmer is an English nickname for the man who had been on a pilgramage to the Holy Land, from Middle English, Old French palmer, paumer (they generally brought back a palm branch as proof of the journey's success. Variations are Palmar, Paumier, Palmes . Cognates exist in several languages.

Pare is likely a version of the Scottish place name Peart, which is found throughout Northern England and Scotland, and derived from the place called Pert on the North Esk near Montrose, which was so-named for a Pictish/Celtic term for a woods or copse.

Paris/Parris : French Place Name...Paris is the name taken by many who originated in that French city. Parrish is a variation of the English Place name Parish - the local name given to the man from Paris. The name of the French city came from a Gaulish tribe which was recorded in Latin sources as Parisii -- the original meaning of which was unfortunately lost along the way. Somewhat rarely - the name derived from Paris as a medieval given name, likely an Old French version of Patrick or associated with the Trojan prince Paris whose name has been speculated as having originated with the form Voltuparis or Assoparis (Hawk). The confusion over the -S- in Paris and the -SH- in Parish was compounded over folk etymological association with the church parish, which was a Middle English term. Foundlings left at the church for adoption were sometimes given Parish as a surname during the 17th and 18th centuries -- much later than most surnames were adopted in most of Europe. Parris is another variation found among the English -- cognates of the name appear in several other languages.

Parker : English Occupational name for the man who was the gamekeeper at the medieval park.

Parlee is an English place name derived from Old English par = pear + an atypical spelling of the Old English element leah = wood, clearing. The term leah came to mean meadow, so Parlee could be literally "pear meadow" or in the strict sense of the Old English translation "pear woods." The man who lived in the clearing where the pear trees grew could have been known as Parlee.

Parks : English Occupational name, along with Park, for the dweller in the enclosed woods which was stocked with game for royal use.

Parton, an English place name from several towns called that in medieval England whose names derived from Old English peretun = pear orchard, which was derived from OE pere = pear + tun = enclosure. The pronunciation of -er changed to -ar during the Middle Ages, although some words reverted back through etymological correction.

Patrick is an English patronymic name, from the given name derived from Latin Patricius = son of a noble father, member of the patrician class or aristocracy. Pattrick is a variation, and cognates include (French) Patric, Patrice, Patris, Patrix, Patry; (Portuguese) Patricio. Diminutive forms are Padan, Padyn, Pedan, Patricot , and Patrigeon. McPhedric is a Scottish Patronymic form.

Patton (not to be confused with Pattin, Patten) is a variation of the English and Scottish surname Pate, which is derived from Pat or Patt, a shortened form of Patrick. Patton is a diminutive form of Pate (which occasionally is a nickname for a man with a bald head); Patey is another diminutive form. Pates, McPhaid, McPhade, McFade, McPhate, McFait, McFeate are all patronymic variations of Pate.

Paul is the English, French, German, and Flemish/Dutch patronymic name from the Latin name Paulus = small, a popular name throughout Christian Europe. It was the name adopted by Saul, a Pharisee of Tarsus, who converted to Christianity and was a industrious missionary during the Roman Empire. Numerous early saints bore the name as well, contributing to its popularity. English variations are Paull, Paule, Pawle ; Pol is a French version; Pahl, Pohl and Paulus are found in German heritage, and the Flemish/Dutch were Pauwel or Pauel.

Pavey , an English matronymic name from the female given name Pavia , which is of unknown origin. Listed variations include Pavy, Pavie , and cognate forms include Pavie, Pavy, Pavese . Pavett, Pavitt are diminutive forms.

Payne : is a derivative of Pain, which is an English Patronymic name from the Middle English given name Pain. It comes from the Old French Paien , which came from Latin Paganus -- where pagus meant outlying village. To make the long story short (or to wrap up an already long explanation of its origin), Pain was a civilian instead of a soldier and lived in an outlying area. Derivatives include Paine, Payne, Payen and Payan .

Pawlik/Pawlicki/Pawlak/Pavlik : Polish Patronymic Name...derive from the given name Paul, which was a popular item around the surname-acquiring period. When the spelling used a V as in Pavlik -- the name has the same derivation, but its origin would be Ukrainian.

Payton is an English Place name from Peyton in Sussex, which got its name from the Old English given name Poega + tun = settlement, enclosure, meaning literally" Poega's settlement."

Pearce : and its variations: Pearce, Pearse, Piers, Peers, Perce, Persse, Perris , (and others) are derived from the English given name Piers, which is a form of the name Peter.

Pearsall /Piersol : (and its variations) refer to a medieval English place called Per's Valley and one who lived there or nearby often became known as Pearsall. Requested by Nicki Piersol-Freedman

Peeler is generally a variation of the English nickname Peel, which described the tall, thin man, from Anglo-Norman-French pel = stake, pole. Peele, Peale, Piele, Pelle are variations.

Pendley, Penley, Penly, Pendly are spelling variations of the English place name derived from Old English elements penn = hill, head + leah = wood, clearing. It described the location where those who came to bear the name made their home.

Pennebaker/Pennebakker/Pannebakker : Dutch Occupational Name...Pennebaker evolved from the Dutch penne = tile + bakker = baker; literally tile-baker. The Pannebakker family shield motto is: Mein Siegel ist ein Ziegel - "My Seal is a Tile." September 15, 1463 an edict in Holland forbade thatch and straw roofing and required tiles, making the tile-making a busy trade. Submitted by Paul Pannebakker

The name Pennock is an English place name that is synonymous with the word hillock, which described the man who lived at the small hill. The name is comprised of the elements penn + ock; penn was a Breton word meaning hill that was absorbed into Old English -- ock is a suffix added to words to create a diminutive form. Pennock is literally "hill little" or "small hill" and would have described a recognizable location to describe the man who lived at that place.

Perham is an English place name for the man from any of the several locations by that name, which recieved their name from Old English peru = pear + ham = homestead. Perram is a variant, and several of the locations are now called Parham as a result of Middle English pronunciation development.

Perkins : is a Welsh Patronymic name derived from the given name Peter, which was introduced into the area with William the Conqueror. There were many other varieties in England, but Perkins was most popular in Wales.

Perry : Henry was a popular name during the Middle Ages when surnames were adopted, and one of its pet forms was Harry. To point out a lad who was the 'son of Harry' a person might say "Yon is ap Harry." As a result, ap Harry eventually evolved into Perry for some who adopted the surname. It's an English Patronymic name. Requested by Sean Perry.

Persch is a diminutive form of Petren, which is the German form of Peter, a name derived from the Greek petros = rock, stone. Perschke, Persicke, Perscke, Persich, Persian, Pichan, Pecht, Peche, Peschmann are among the many diminutive German forms of Slavic origin.

One of the most popular given names throughout Christian Europe during the Middle Ages was Peter. It appeared in numerous languages and in numerous forms. Pietrzak is a Polish patronymic form of the name which was derived from Greek petros = rock, stone.

Petrie : Scottish Patronymic name that is derived from the given name Peter. As a given name, Peter became popular after the Norman conquest of England, and Peter was often used as a surname by itself. Petrie is a dimunitive form of Peter, that was more popular in Scotland.

Phelps : In the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries were French kings named Philip, which helped to popularize the name. Among the English variations of Philip, which means 'lover of horses' is Phelps.

Phillips/Philips : Philip was an extremely popular name in medieval times -- Philip was one of the apostles, and four French kings were named Philip from the 11th to the 13th century. The name -- which means 'lover of horses' -- came into England from France at the time of the conquest. Philips is patronymic (named after the father Philip, whose sons would be referred to as Philip's sons). The common Welsh and English version of the surname is spelled with two l's, giving the descendants the surname Phillips. Phillips is a variation of the English, French, Dutch/Flemish, and Danish/Norwegian Patronymic name Phillip/Philip from the Greek name Philippos and elements philein = to love + hippos = horse. Its popularity seems to have been due to medieval stories about Alexander the Great, whose father was Philip of Macedon. Variations are Philipp, Phillip, Philp, Phelp, Phalp (English); Philippe, Phelip, Felip, Phelit, Philip, Phalip (French); Filip (Flemish/Dutch). There are numerous other diminutive, patronymic, and cognative forms.

Pian is an Italian cognate form of the French place name Plain, which described the man who lived on a plateau or plain, derived from Old French plan > Latin planum, plannus = flat, level. Variations of Plain are Plan, Plaine, Duplain, Duplan, Duplant . Other cognates are Plane (English); Plana, Planas, Planaz (Provencal); La Piana, Piana, Lo Piano, Pian, Piani, Del Piano, Delle Piane, Pianese (Italian); Piangiani (Tuscany); Llano, Llanos (Spain); Planas, Plana (Catalan). Diminutive forms include Planet, Planeix, Pianelle, Pianel, Pianeau (French); Pianella, Pianelli, Pianetti (Italian).

Pickard is an English place name that described the man from Picardy in Northern France, which adjoins Normandy, where William the Conqueror left to take on the English, and where many English surnames are derived. Picard (as in Capt. Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise, quoth he, "Engage!") is a French cognate, as are Piccard, Piquard, Picart, Piquart, Lepicard. Italian cognates are Piccardi, Piccardo ; German versions are Pikhardt, Pikhart.

Piercy: a variation of the English (from the Normans) place name Percy, from any of the several places called that in Northern France, from the Gallo-Roman given name Persius + the local suffix -acum, and was given to the man who emigrated from there, likely as one of the followers of William the Conqueror. Other variants are Percey, Persay, Pearcey, Pearsey, Piercey, Piercy, Pericey , and Pursey. William de Percy (1030-1096) was one such follower -- he accompanied William the Conqueror and settled in the Northumbrian area, where his family was instrumental in holding the English border against the Scots.

Pillsbury : English place name and refers to Pil's fort, a place of safety during medieval times. Requested by Peter Hebert

Pine is the English place name that described the man who lived near a conspicuous pine tree, or grove of pines, from Old English pin = pine > Latin pinus. Occasionally, it may have been a nickname for the tall, thin man who resembled such a tree (those green arms may have had something to do with that -- kidding ...) Pyne is a variation. Cognates and Diminutive forms also exist for the name.

Pingree --according to Hanks & Hodges -- is the French nickname for the man who was fond of playing the old game of cockles. If anyone knows what that game is, please let me know so I can include a description. It isn't in any of my references.

Pinson : It's an English nickname based on an Old French word -- pinson -- which meant finch, and was used to describe a cheerful person.

Pinter is listed among the variations of the Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Sefardic Jewish nickname Pinto, for the person with a blotchy complexion, or salt-and-pepper hair. It is derived from the pinto = mottled, from Latin pingere = to paint. Pintado is a Spanish variation; Pinta is found in Portugal, Pintus, Lo Pinto, LaPinta are Italian, Pinter is an Anglicized version of the Jewish version of the name.

Pitt : English Place name...OE pytt ; a pit, hollow, or low valley

The place name for the man who lived near a quick-set fence was Place, derived from Old French pleis > Latin plectere = to plait, interweave. Plex, Plez, Plesse, Play, Place, Leplay, Deplaix, Duplaix, Duplay, Dupleix, Plessis Plessix, Plessy, Platzmann, Plazman, Van der Plaetse are all versions. Place was also the name for the man who lived near the English main market square, and occasionally, the name for the fishseller or the thin man (thin as a fish).

Poe : is a variant of the English nickname Peacock , which described the man who seemed to strut about, or was brightly fashioned. The Flemish version is DePauw/Depaeuw , and the Dutch version is DePaauw . Requested by Cynthia Lux.

Poisson is a French diminutive version of an Italian Occupational name ( Pesce ) which was given to the fisherman, or fish seller. Peschi is a variation of Pesce , and other French versions include Poisson, Poissonnet, Poissenot, Poyssenot .

Poll : is an ancient Gaelic word that means 'pool, pit' and the name Poll would describe the man who lived near the deep pool of water. It's a Place name of Gaelic origin.

Pollard : derived from two sources: the Englishman with a closely-cropped or shorn head was described as 'pollard' and for some the name stuck as an English Descriptive name. Other Pollard families were those who lived near the head or the end of the lake, and wound up with an English Place name.

Pollina is an Italian diminutive cognate of the French occupational name Poule , the name that described the breeder of chickens or -- occasionally -- a nickname for a timid person, from Old French poule = chicken > Latin pulla = young bird. Italian cognate forms are Pollo, Pudda, Puddu ; the English cognate is Poulter. French variations are Poul, Poulle . Other diminutive forms are Poulin, Poulet, Poullet, Poulot, Poullot, Pouleteau (French); Polini, Puddinu (Italian).

Pomeroy is a French Place name given to the person from any of the several locations in France by that name, generally spelled similar to pomeroie , which was Old French for 'apple orchard.' The Pomeroy family of Devon can trace their heritage to a close associate of William the Conqueror, Ralph de la Pomerai, whose descendants lived for over 500 years in a castle near Totnes, Devon.

Pooler is likely an Anglicized spelling of the German Pfuhler, or a variation of the English surname Pool. Pfuhler is the Germanic version of Pool, which is a place name that described the man who lived by a pool of water, or pond. Among the Dutch, Pool is an ethnic name that described the man from Poland. English variations are Poole, Poolman, Polman . Cognates are Pfuhl, Pfuhlmann, Pfuhler (German); Pohl, Pohlmann, Puhlmann, Puhl, Pohler (Low German); Van de Poel, Van der Poel, Peolman (Flemish/Dutch).

Poncelet is a French diminutive cognate form of the English (of Norman origin) name Points, which comes from the Medieval given name Ponche . That name can be traced back to Latin Pontius , which may have come from an Italian cognate of Quintus (fifth-born). Variations of Points are Poyntz, Punch . Other cognate forms are Pons, Ponce, Point (French); Ponzi, Ponzio, Ponzo, Punzi, Punzio, Punzo (Italian); Ponce (Spain); Poms (Dutch). Other diminutive forms include Pointel (English); Ponci, Poncin, Poncet, Punchet, Punchon (French); Ponzetti, Punzetti, Punzetto (Italian).

Poulain is a French cognate of the English occupational name Pullen, which described the horse-breeder or sometimes -- a nickname for the frisky person. It is derived from Old French poulain = colt > Late Latin pullamen, derived from pullus = young animal. Pulleine, Pulleyn, Pullin, Pullan are variations. Poullain, Poulan, Poulenc are other French cognates.

Poulin is a variation of the French occupational name Poule, which described the breeder or keeper of chickens (although it was also known as a nickname for the timid person). It is derived from Old French poule = chicken > Late Latin pullis = young bird. Poule, Poulle are variations. Cognates include Pollo, Pudda, Puddu (Italian); Poulter (English). Diminutive forms are Poulin, Poullet, Poulet, Poullot, Poulot, Pouleteau (French); Pollini, Puddini (Italian). Poulat, Poulas, Polloni, Poulard, Poulastre are other forms.

Poyner is an English nickname for the man who was good with his fists when involved in an argument, from the Old French poigneor = fighter, from Latin pugnator, from pugnare = to fight. Occasionally, the name is of Welsh origin, and is an aphetic form of the patronymic name ap'Ynyr (the Welsh used ap in the same fashion the Scots used Mc to indicate 'son of'). Variations are Poynor, Punyer . Bonner and Bunner are variants of the Welsh version.

Powers : English Descriptive name for the man who had little money. There were many more Powers and Poors in early times, than Richs.

Pratt : English Place name derived from the word used to describe a grassy field during early times. The man who lived there was sometimes referred to as Pratt. Requested by William Hopkins.

Preston is a Northern English Place name from the numerous locations, including Lancashire) derived from Old English preost = Priest + tun = enclosure, used to described a village held by the church or village with a priest.

Prestridge is an English place name derived from the elements preost = priest + hrycg = ridge, which would have described a location such as "ridge where the priest lives" or "ridge near the priest."

Pritchett is a diminutive variation of the English occupational name Pryke , which was the medieval term for the maker of pointed instruments, or occasionally, the nickname for the tall, thin man. It is derived from Middle English prike, prich = point. Diminutive forms include Prickett, Pritchet, Pritchett, Pritchatt .

Prochazka : is a Czech Occupational name for the travelling tradesman, especially the travelling butcher. It is derived from Czech prochazet =to walk, stroll, or saunter. It is among the most common Czech surnames.

Proctor is an English occupational name that described the steward, and is a contracted form of the Old French word procurateour < Latin procurator = agent. The term was used for solicitors, and officials such as collectors of taxes, and agents licensed to collect alms for lepers and monks. Procktor, Procter, Prockter are variations.

The root for Prosser was the given name Rhosier, which was the Welsh form of the name Roger (they called it Rosser). Roger is derived of Germanic elements hrod = reknown + geri = spear, and was introduced to the islands by the invading Normans. The Welsh patronymic designator was ap, and ap'Rhosier and ap'Rosser became Prosser, the reduced form of the name the same way as did many of the Welsh names beginning with -P-.

Prout is a variation of the English nickname Proud, which described the man considered to be vain, or haughty-acting. It is derived from Middle English prod, prud = proud. Proude is another variation.

Provost : English Occupational name...During the Middle Ages serfs elected one of their own to oversee the work on their lord's manor. One title for the position was Provost. It's considered an Occupational name. Requested by Nick Stamos.

Among the Welsh, ap is the patronymic designator similar to Mac, Fitz, and O' among other nationalities. Pugh is the reduced form of ap Hugh , meaning "son of Hugh" in the same fashion as many of the Welsh names beginning with the letter -P-. Hugh was a Norman name introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror. It is actually a shortened form of several Germanic names with the initial element hug = heart, mind, spirit. St. Hugh of Lincoln, who died in the year 1200, founded the first Carthusian monastery in England and helped popularize the name.

Pruitt : English Descriptive Name...Pruitt is a diminutive derivative of an old English term meaning bold, impetuous, brave, soldier. Requested by: Paul Pruitt

Punnett : One version is that it comes from Pugnator or a person who is a fist fighter or boxer. We have tracked back to the 1600's in Punnetts Town in Sussex England, but believe the family originally came from Belgium or Normandy. Submitted by Chris Punnett.

Purcell is an English occupational name for the man who herded pigs, or occasionally, an affectionate nickname derived from Old French pourcel = piglet. In France it is Pourcel, Pourceau ; in Italy it is Porciello, Porcelli, Purcelli . Purcel (Rumanian). Diminutive forms are Porcellino, Porcellini, Porcellotto, Porcelletti .

Putnam : English Place Name...Many English villages were described by attributes, and some surnames were adaptations of those locales. Putta's Homestead was one such settlement and some residents described themselves as being Putnam. Requested by: Glenn Bradford

Pye is indeed an English surname, primarily found in the Lancashire and E. Anglia areas. It is a nickname given to the man who was especially talkative, or occasionally, given to the man who was prone to pilfering things, as in magpie/magpye. Pye was also occasionally the name given to the baker who specialized in pies. In Italy, the name was known as Pica.


Q

Quaite, Quate, Quade, McQuade, MacQuaid, McQuoide : Scottish/Irish Patronymic Name...The Gaelic given name Wat (pronounced wait, and the same as Walter). The name Walter was brought by the Normans and derived from Wald , meaning rule, and theri , meaning army. Mac Uaid was the son of Wat (Walter). The Anglicized version took many forms, some of which dropped the Mac, and many of which arranged the vowels in combination.

Quigg/Quigley/Quigley/Quick/Quickley : English Nickname for an agile person, from Middle English quik or Old English cwic = lively. The surname is also sometimes derived from the place where cinch grass grew – it was a quick-growing grass. Quick and its variations were also derived occasionally from Old English cu = cow + wic = outlying settlement, for the man at the dairy farm.

Quinton : English Place Name...Quinton was the name given to several locations in Gloucester, Northants, and Birmingham that derived from Old English cwen = queen + tun = enclosure, settlement. The name is patronymic when derived from the Old French given name Quentin (Quintin) from Latin Quninus and Quintus meaning fifth(born). The name was introduced by the Normans but never really caught on. Finally, Quinton sometimes derived from a Norman location named for St. Quentin of Amiens, a third Century Roman missionary. Requested by Victoria Quinton.


R

Rabinovich and Ravinovitch are versions of the Jewish Status name Rabin from the Polish rabin = rabbi. Variations include Rabinerson, Rabinsohn, Robinsohn, Robinzon, Rabinow, Robinov, Rabinowicz and others.

Ragsdale : is an English Place name comprised of the elements rag = rough + dale = valley, for a literal translation of 'rough valley.' The letter -S- is added to many names and elements to make them easier to pronounce.

Ralph : Ralf de Tankerville was the chamberlain for William the Conqueror, and from his name a number of given names were derived. From Ralf came: Raff, Ralph, Rand, Randall, Randolph, Rankin, Ransom, Ranson, Rawlings, Rawson , and Rawle . Requested by Dave Rawle.

Ramirez : is a Spanish cognizant of Reinmar, a German Patronymic name from ragin = counsel + meri = fame. The Spanish version was Ramiro , from which the patronymic derivative Ramirez evolved.

Ramsey : is a Scottish place name in Essex and Huntingdonshire from Old English hramsa =wild garlic + eg =island or low land, for a literal meaning of 'wild garlic island.' Someone who lived near the spot where the wild garlic grew became known as Ramsey.

Randall/Randolph : English Patronymic name from the early given name Raedwulf, which means 'shield wolf.' It was popular in England before the Norman Conquest. The name eventually became Radulf and Randolph and Randall are among the derivatives. Requested by Jennifer Turnbull

Ray/Rey/Wray : English Nickname/Place Name...Ray is polygenetic in that it has several sources. One version is an English nickname from Old French rey or roy meaning king, to designate someone who had regal airs (not necessarily regal heirs!). It was also from the Middle English word ray which meant female deer (Ray -- a deer, a female deer...) and was given as a nickname to one who was timid. It also derived from the places Rye and Wray -- for people who were from there.

Rayfield is an English place name derived from Old English ryge = rye + feld = pasture, open country. It described the man who lived near the field where rye was grown.

Rayner/Raynor : French Patronymic name, from the Norman given name Rainer, which was derived from ragin = counsel + hari = army. Requested by Kathy Alsobrooks

Ready/Reed : Scottish Patronymic Name...of the Scotsman Reedie in Angus. Also, in some cases, a Descriptive English name, as in -- always ready. Sometimes, meaning the descendent of Little Read (red), the nickname for a redhead, or the pet form of Redmond "counsel, protection." Requested by: Kathleen Cocuzzo

Regarding Reavey, : it is an Irish name, derived from the Gaelic Riabhach, a nickname meaning 'grizzled.' Other forms of the name are McReavy, McCreavy, McCreevy, McCrevey, McKrevie, McGreavy, McGreevy, McGrievy, McGrevye, McGreave, Magreavy , and Magreevy.

Redman is polygenetic, derived independantly from surnames Read and Roth . When arriving from the former it originates from the Old English read = red and designated the man with the red hair or ruddy complexion. The softening of the -E- sound in OE read to modern English red is not well-explained. Variations of Read are Reade, Reed, Redd, Reid, Redman, Readman, Ride, Ryde, and Ryder . Roth is the German Nickname and Jewish Assumed Ornamental Name for the person with red hair, derived from German rot = red. Variants are Rothe, Rother , and the Jewish variations are Roter, Roiter, Royter , among others.

Reece : There was a family in the south of Wales that favored the given name Rhys: one was Rhys ap Tudor (Rhys the son of Tudor) who led men in stopping the advance of the Normans into South Wales. His grandson was Rhys ap Gruffydd (Rhys of Gruffydd) who became so powerful that he was appointed King's Judiciar for Wales by King Henry II of England. As heroes, they were responsible for a lot of given names, of which some translated into surnames. Reece , Reese , and Rice were all derived as Welsh Patronymic names from the given name Rhys .

Reedy is likely a spelling variation of Reedie, a Scottish place name for the so-named location in the former county of Angus, the name of which has uncertain origins. Readie, Ready, Reidie, Reidy are other spelling variations.

Reichenberg is a Ashkenazic Jewish ornamental surname derived of the elements reich(en) = rich + berg = hill -- literally 'rich hill.' Ornamental surnames were taken for their pleasing sound rather than any significant meaning, and occured when nationalities such as the European Jews and the Swedes adopted surnames in the 1800's.

Reichert is a variation of the patronymic name Richard, found among the English, French, German, Flemish, Dutch, and derived from a Germanic given name of the elements ric = power + hard = hardy, brave. Variations of Richard are Ritchard, Ricard, Riccard, Rickard, Rickerd, Rickert (English); Ricard, Riguard, Rigard (French); Reichhardt, Reichardt, Reichert, Richardt (German); Rickaert, Rykert (Flemish).

Reid/Reed : Scottish Patronymic Name...English nickname from OE read (red) for red hair or complexion.

Renfro is a Scottish place name from the so named location that was named with Gaelic elements that meant "flowing stream." The man who emigrated from there to a new location was sometimes called that as a way to differentiate him from others in his new town who had the same first name.

Reismann is a variation of Reis , the German place name for the man who lived in an overgrown area, from Middle High German rís = undergrowth, brushwood.

Remington is an English place name from Rimington in Yorkshire, which was name as "settlement on the rim, or border." The man who moved away from a location was often known to his new neighbors by his place of origin.

Renaud is a variation of the English patronymic name Reynold, deriving from a Germanic based given name composed of the elements ragin = counsel + wald = rule. Scandinavian settlers first brought the name to England in the Old Norse form that evolved into Ronald, but the French version was reinforced with William the Conqueror. Variations of the English form are Reynell, Rennell, Rennoll, Rennold, Renaud , and Renaut. French Cognates are Reynaud, raynaud, Rainaud, Reynal, Reinaud, Regnault, Reneaud , Reneaultr, Renaut, Rigneault, Renaux . There are numerous other forms and variations.

Reyes : is from the Old French rey=king, and is a nickname for the man who carried himself in a regal fashion, or sometimes - a timid person.

Rheinecker is a German place name derived from the Germanic elements Rhein = Rhine + ecke = corner. The name Eck or Ecker generally describes the man who lived at the corner of two streets in town, or the corner of an area of land. Rhein described the man who lived on the Rhine River. Rheinecker would be the man who lived at a corner, or bend, of the Rhine.

Richey, Richie , and Rich (when not a nickname for the man with money, or ironically for the poor man) are diminutive forms of the English patronymic name Richard; found among the English, French, German, Flemish, Dutch, and derived from a Germanic given name of the elements ric = power + hard = hardy, brave. Variations of Richard are Ritchard, Ricard, Riccard, Rickard, Rickerd, Rickert, Rickett, Ricket (all English versions). There are cognates and patronymic forms as well, in several languages.

Richmond : English Place Name. William the Conqueror brought many French names with him, including Richemont "lofty mountain" which was Anglicized to Richmond.

Riddle is a spelling variation of Riddell, the Scottish and North English place name for the man from Ryedale in North Yorkshire, in the valley (dale) of the river Rye. Riddel, Riddle, Riddall, Ridal, Rideal are variations.

Rideout is a variation of the English surname Ridout - which is of uncertain origin, but discussed as an occupational nickname for a rider, from Middle English riden = to ride + out = out, forth; on the other hand, that could be fancied folklore! Ridoutt is a variation.

Ries is a German nickname for the man who was short and stocky, one of many Germany surnames that evolved from such personal descriptions.

Rigg/Riggs/Ridge/Ruge English Place Name...The person who lived at the ridge or at a range of hills was known in England by various names, including: Rigg, Riggs, Ruge, and Ridge. These names also derive from small settlements by these names within the British Isles. Requested by Bill Rigg

Roach: an English place name for the man who lived by a rocky crag or outcropping. Roche is an Irish variation. Cognate forms are Roche, Roc, Laroche, Desroches (French); Roca, Rocques, Larocque, Larroque (Provencal); Roca, Rocha (Spanish).

The Normans brought the French given name Robert to England at the time of the Conquest. It means 'fame, bright' and was derived from the Old German Hrodebert. Rob, Hob, and Dob were pet forms of the name, and from Rob a number of surnames were derived. The patronymic forms of the name include Roberts and Robertson.

The Normans brought the French given name Robert to England at the time of the Conquest. It means 'fame, bright' and was derived from the Old German Hrodebert. Rob, Hob, and Dob were pet forms of the name, and from Rob a number of surnames were derived -- including the English Patronymic name Robinson. Other versions are Robart (English), Robart, Robard, Rebert, Rospars (French), Ropartz (Brittany), Flobert, Flaubert (also French from a variation), Robbert, Rubbert, Ropert, Ruppert (Low German). Cognates include Roubert, Roubeix (Provencal), Roberti, Roberto, Ruberti, Ruberto, Ruperto, Luberti, Luberto Luparti, Luparto (Italian), Roberto (Portuguese), Rupprecht, Rupprecht, Rauprich (German), and Robberecht (Flemish).

Roch: a French patronymic name from a Germanic given name which may have originally meant 'crow' or may have come from Old English hroc = rest.. Variations are Roz, Rose . Cognates are Ruocco, Rocchi, Roque, Rochus, Ruocco, Rocci Roque is the Portuguese version. Roch and Rochus are found among Low German surnames. .

Rodney was first recorded as Rodenye, and was a medieval settlement in the marshes of England near Markham. The man who emigrated from there to a new location was sometimes described by the name of his former home. Rodenye was named from an Old English given name -- Hroda -- with the suffix eg = island, or dry land. It is literally translated as "Hroda's island."

Rodriguez is a Spanish version of the given name Hrodrick, comprised of the Germanic elements hrod = reknown + ric = power. The Spanish form of the given name is Rodrigo , and the Patronymic form is Rodriguez, meaning 'son of Rodrigo.'

The name Rogier was introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror and the name Roger developed as a surname among the English, French, Catalan, and Low Germans. Variations include Rodgier, Rogger (English); Rodger (Scottish); Rosser (Wales); Rogier, Rogez (French); Rogger, Rottger, Rottcher, Rodinger (Low German). Numerous cognate forms exist, as do patronymics, which include Rodgers, Rogers, Rogerson, Rodgerson , and many others.

Rogers : English/French Patronymic name from the given name Roger which was brought to England by the Normans as Rogier. Its elements are hrod = renown + geri = spear, or `reknowned spearman.' Requested by Darryl Rogers

Roke is an English place name, derived from the Middle English phrase "atter oke" which meant, "at the oak." A misdivision of the phrase sent the -r- to the second syllable, resulting in Roke, often spelled Rock or Roake. The addition of the -er generally designates an occupational name, and the Roker, Rocker, Rooker, Rucker (various spellings) was the spinner of wool or maker of distaffs, from the Middle English word roc = distaff > Old Norse rokkr.

Romaine is a variation of the English, French, Rumanian, Catalan, Polish, Ekrainian, and Belorussian surname Roman, from the Latin given name Romanus , which was the name of several early saints and contributed to its early popularity. Occasionally, it is found as a place name for the man from Rome. Variations are Romain, Romaine, Romayne, Romayn (English), Romain (French for the place name), Roma (Catalan), Romanski (Poland). For the place name, Rome, Roome, Room are English variations. Romano, Romani are Italian cognates; Romeign, Romign, Romeyn are the Dutch forms.

Roncin, a French occupational name for the man in charge of horses used as pack animals, from Old French roncin = workhorse.

If Rone is of Irish heritage, it is likely another Anglicized version of the Gaelic O'Ruadhain, which meant "descendant of Ruadhan " which was a given name that meant "red." Ruane is the commonly found version, with variations O'Ruane, O'Rowane, O'Roan, Roan, Roane, Rouane, Rowan, Rewan, Royan, Raun, Roon .

Rosine is a variation of the English, French, and German surname Rose, from the name of the flower, and as a place name for the man who lived near where they grew, or in the town, for the man who lived at the house with the sign of the rose. Numerous variations exist, as do patronymic, and diminutive forms.

Ross is an English and Scots place name from a place near Caen in Normandy, which was the original home of the family ‘de Ros’ who were located in Kent by the year 1130. Some names have more than one origin depending on the family, and Ross is one of those. Occasionally, it comes from a Gaelic word ros that meant ‘promontory’ or ‘upland’ and there were several locales named with this meaning in mind. Also, somes Ross families are descended from an ancestor who bore the Germanic given name Rozzo, which meant ‘reknown’ in its original sense. Finally, the German breeder or keeper of horses was sometimes called Ross, from the Southern German word ross = horse, or the man who lived at the house displaying the sign of the horse might also come to bear this name. Requested by Drew Ross

Rostan is likely a variation of the French surname Rostaing, from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements hrod = reknown + stan = stone. Variations of the name include Roustaing, Rostang, Rostand, Roustan .

Round/Rounds : When surnames were adopted, sometimes nicknames stuck as in the case of Round and Rounds, which were English Descriptive surnames for the person who was about as wide as he was tall. Requested by Marcus Round.

Rucker is a variation of the English occupational name Rock, for the man who spun wool or made distaffs, from the Middle English term rok = distaff, from Old Norse rokr. Other variations include Rocker and Rooker. The name Rock is generally a place name for the man who lived by a notable boulder or outcrop, from Middle English rocc = rock, or a place name for the man who lived at a settlement by that name. Rocke, and Rocks are variations of the place name.

I don't have Rudderham listed as such, but as an English name, the suffix -ham is taken from Old English 'holm' meaning island, or 'dry place in a fen.' It is used in the case of Place name, which are drawn from a specific locations. I don't know which island or dry spot is described by Rudder exactly, but the Middle English word 'rudde' meant 'red' or 'ruddy,' which could easily have Rudderham as a description for the man who lived at the 'red island.'

Rummler is a variation of the Low German, Dutch, and Flemish nickname Rommel, from Middle Low German rummeln = to make a noise or create a disturbance. It was used to describe the obstreperous person. Variations are Rommele, Rommler, Rummel, Rummele, Rummler .

Rundle : In the Middle Ages, when surnames were being adopted, some were Nicknames that neighbors or relatives pinned on a man to help identify him from others with the same first name. Sometimes they were cruel, sometimes not too bad. Rundle is a diminutive form of the Middle English rund which meant 'round' and was used to describe the man who was slightly round at the middle. Occasionally, Rundle identified the man who was from Rundale, in Shoreham parish, Kent, which derived its name from Old English rumig = roomy. Variants are Rundell , and Rundall .

Rush is an English place name that described the man who lived near a clump of rushes, from the Middle English word for that plant. When it is derived from Irish ancestry, Rush is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O' Ruis, which meant "descendant of Ros" which is a given name from the word 'ros' = wood. In Ulster (the Northern counties of Ireland that were colonized by the Scots in 1610) the name was a translation of O'Fuada or O'Luachara, which are Anglicized as Foody and Loughrey. Variations are Rusher, Rischer ; cognates are Risch, Rische, Roschen, Roschman , and Ruys.

Russell is an English, Scottish, and Irish patronymic name from the given name Rousel, which was a common Anglo-Norman-French nickname for someone with red hair. Variations are Russel, Roussell, Rowsell, Russill . Cognates include Roussel, Rouxel, Leroussel, Rousseaux, Lerousseau (French); Rosselli, Rossiello, Russello (Italian); Rossell (Catalan); Rouselet, Rousselin, Rousselot, Rosselini are patronymic variations.

Rutledge is a variation of Routledge, an English and Scottish name of unknown origin. It is likely a place name, but the specific place has been lost to history. The locale Routledge Burn in Cambridgeshire received its name from a man, rather than the other way around. Rutledge, Rudledge, Rookledge, Rucklidge are known variations.

Rycenga : Dutch surname derived from German town of Rysum combined with Dutch ga = from to designate the man from Rysum, Germany. Variations include Rycenga, Rycinga, Ryzenga, Rijzinga, Rijzenga, Rijsinga, Rijsenga . Submitted by Doug Strohl


S

Sablun/Sabluns : Italian Place name, for the man from the place settled by the ancient Italic people of Central Italy. Requested by Doug Strohl

Sadler : aptly described the Englishman who was the maker of saddles and is derived from the Old English sadol . Varieties include Saddler and Sadlier , among others.

Sagle is likely a spelling variation of the surname Sagel, a French diminutive form of the English and French name Sage, derived from Old French sage = learned, sensible. Lesage is a French variation. Cognate forms include Saiave, Save (Provencal); Saggio, Savi, Savio, Lo Savio, Sapio (Italy). Diminutive forms include Sagel, Saget, Sageon, Sageot, Saivet, Saviotti, Savioli, Saviozzi.

Salisbury/Saluisbury/Saulsbury : English Place Name...Saulsbury is a variation of Salisbury (pronounced the same way as Saulsbury) which was an English city in Wiltshire that was derived from searu = armour and burh which meant town -- for a literal meaning of armour-town. People from their would sometimes use it as a surname. Requested by John Saulsbury Niblett

Salvoto is likely a variation of the Italian patronymic name Salvi , from the name Salvius = safe, from Latin salvus = safe, and borne by a number of early saints. Variations are Salvy, Sauvy, Salvo, Salvio . Diminutive forms include Salvetti, Savlinellli, Salvini, Salvinello, Salvioli, Salvucci, Salvioni, Salvione . A patronymic form is Di Salvo .

Samuel, which is an English, French, German, and Jewish patronymic name, from the given name Samuel, dertive from Hebrew Shemuel = name of God. Samwell is an English variation. Samel is found in Germany. Schmuel, Samuel, Shmil, Schmueli, Schmuely, Shmouel , and Schmoueli are among the Jewish variations. Diminutive and patronymic forms exist in many languages.

Sanders is derived the long way around from the popular given name Alexander. An aphetic version is one where the initial syllable is lost through poor or lazy pronunciation, as in squire evolving from esquire . Alexander became Sander in parts of England, Scotland, and Germany, and the addition of the -S at the end denotes a Patronymic name, as in "son of."

Sandis/Sandison/Sandys/Sand : English/Scottish, German, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish place name for the man who lived near the sandy soil...and occasionally, the son of Alexander. Requested by Doug Strohl

Sanks may be derived from Sankey: an English place name derived from a so-named location in Lancashire named for a river, which may have been named from elements meaning "sacred, holy." Sankey is also derived from Irish heritage, when Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Seanchaidhe (son of the Chronicler). Sanky is a variation. Sanks could be a patronymic form, meaning "son of Sankey."

Sanguino/Sanguinetti : Spanish/Italian Nickname...Both Sanguino and Sanguinetti have as their root -- sanguinis -- the Latin word for blood. The word was also appropriated by Medieval English and Medieval French as a root for words with blood as a reference. The Italians often placed diminutive suffixes on names, which would create "little blood" Sanguinetti. Descriptive names are somewhat rare among the Spanish-speaking languages, and those taken from colors are even more rare; Blanco (white), Castano, Moreno (brown), and Pardo (gray) are the only ones among the top one-thousand Latin American names. Requested by Cris Sanguino

Santi : English and French nickname derived from the word saint, which described a pious person. Requested by Doug Strohl

Sarsfield is an English place name as determined by the suffix -field. The identifying portion of the name may be derived from Old French saracen in the context of "the east, or toward the sunrise," or from the medieval given name Saher, which would have the name mean the "field in the east" or "Saher's field."

Satterfield is an English Place name for the man who lived in a hut in the open field.

Sauer : German Nickname...In England there were several names for the grave or austere man, including Sterne and Stark . Sauer is the German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) nickname for the cross or cantankerous person, and is derived from the German sauer = sour, from Middle High German sur, a cognate of English sour. Mental and moral qualities were often ascribed to people during Medieval times, with the differences in spelling and pronunciation due to the varying dialects and languages. Sauer and Wunderlich both designated the morose or moody man in Germany. Variants are Sauermann and Sauerman, as well as the Jewish variant Zoyer. Suhrmann and Suhr are both Low German cognate forms, while the Danish and Norwegian version is Suhr. Sauerle and Seyerlin are German diminutive forms.Requested by J. Sauer

Saunders : Scottish Patronymic name derived from the popular name Alexander. Three Scottish kings bore the name during Medieval times and there are a large number of variations taken from its pet forms. Sanders and Saunders are among those well represented in Scotland.

Savage is an English nickname for a 'wild or uncouth person,' derived from a Middle English version of Old French salvage , sauvage = untamed. Variants include Sauvage, Salvage, Savidge, Savege . French congitives are Lesauvage and Sauvage ; Italian = Salvaggi, Selvaggio, Salvatici , and French diminutive versions are Sauvageon, Sauvageau , and Sauvageot .

Schachet : a variation of Shoikhet , a Jewish (Southern Ashkenazic) name for the ritual slaughterer, from Yiddish shoykhet , with variants: Shoichet, Schochet, Shohet, Szoachet , and Schauchet .

Schechter : The Jewish (Ashkenazic) Occupational name for a ritual slaughterer is Schechter , of which there are a number of variations, derived from German Schachter (agent deriv. of schachten , from the Yid. verb shekhtn , whose stem is from Hebrew shachat - to slaughter. Variations include Schachter, Schaechter, Schacter, Schechter, Schecter, Szechter, Scherchner , and Schechterman .

Scheidtz/Sheets : German place name used to describe the man who lived by a boundary or a watershed. Requested by Robert Sheets

Schoff : German Occupational Name...German occupational name for a shepard and derived from the element schaf = sheep.

Schoener is a variation of Schön , the German nickname for the handsome man, from German schön = fine, beautiful, bright, refined. There are numerous variations including Schöne, Schöner, Schönert, Schönemann, Schönherr, Schon, Shon, Schoen, Scheiner, Scheyn, Shain, Szejn, Szajner . In addition, there are dozens of compound names taken up by the Ashkenzac Jewish families when the government began requiring the use of surnames. They are in this form: Schoenbach (lovely stream); Schoenbaum (lovely tree); Schoenbrot (lovely bread); Schoenherz (lovely heart) -- you get the idea.

Schreiber is the German occupational name for the clerk, from the German word schreiben = to write. Occasionally, it is found as a Jewish (Ashkenazic) name from Yiddish shrayber = writer, adapted from Hebrew Sofer = scribe. A variation of the German form is Schreber , and Szreiber, Schreibman, Schreibmann are Jewish variations. Schriever is a Low German cognate as are Schriever, Schriefer, Schriwer . Schrijver is the Dutch version, and Skriver is found among the Danes and Norwegians.

Schroeder : In Germany, the Schroeder drove a dray, which was a low, wheeled cart with detachable sides -- the drayman, or schroeder , was the driver.

Schwalb is usually a German nickname for the man who resembled (presumably in grace or swiftness, -- those crazy medieval namers!) the swallow. Back/Bach is the German reference to the man who lived by the stream so Schwalbach would be literally, "swallow stream" and could be a reference to a small river or stream named Schwalb (such a stream is located in England, known by the English term Swallow).

Schwertz is from schwert , a German Occupational name from the word for sword, which described the man who worked as an armourer for soldiers.

Scott is an English and Scottish ethnic name that was used to identify the man from Scotland, or the man who spoke Gaelic within Scotland. Cognate forms include Escot, Lescot, Lecot, Lescaut, Lescaux (French); Scoto, Scoti, Scuotto (Italian); Schotte, Schott (German); Schot (Flemish/Dutch); Skotte (Norwegian/Danish). Schottle is a German diminutive form and Scotts, Scotson are English patronymic versions.

Seigneur was an unflattering nickname given to the peasant man who gave himself airs, or carried himself above his station. Occasionally, it described the man who worked for a great lord. As an Italian cognate, it evolved into a title of respect for professional men such as notaries. Signorella is a diminutive form of the Italian versions, which include Signori, Signore, Sire , and Seri. Variations of the French form are Sieru, Lesieur, Lesieux, Sire , and Lesire.

Seal/Seale/Seales : English place name from Sale in Manchester, or as an occupational name for the maker of seals or saddles. It was also occasionally used as a nickname for a plump person.

Sells : English Place Name given to the man who lived in the rough hut that was designed for animals – that person was usually the herdsman who was in there watching over the animals. Requested by Jane Cowart

Saverance: I suspect it is derived from the same origin as Severn, one of Britain's most ancient river names, which flows from Wales through W. England to the Bristol Channel. The man who lived on the banks of the river was identified as Severn or Severne. Severence and Saverence may have indicated someone from there who emigrated to another area, in the sense of "from Severn." The river's name, by the way, means "slow-moving."

Scarisbrick is an English place name derived from the place near Liverpool that bears the name, which came to be called that through a combination of the Old Norse given name Skar added to the Old Norse vocabulary word brekka = slope, hill. The settlement at that location was literally "Skar's hill" or "Scar's brekka." Any man who formerly lived at that settlement, but moved to a new village could be described by his new neighbors by the reference to his former place of residence (to differentiate him from others already in the village with the same given name). Variations are Sizebrick, Siosbrick . Most who bear the name today are descended from Gilbert de Scaresbrec, who was lord of the manor of Scarisbrick in the 1200's.

Scull is an English nickname for the bald-headed man, from Middle English scholle = skull. Scullard as a name of English derivation would be a variation on that surname.

Sewell is polygenetic, in that it was derived from separate sources at the time names were being acquired. Some Sewells are wearing an English Patronymic name, and are descended from Sewel (victory, strength) and others have an English Place name, from an ancestor who lived near Bedfordshire or Oxfordshire -- both had places called Sewell, which designated 'seven wells.' Requested by Johnny Sewell.

Sexton is an English occupational name for the sexton or church maintainer, who also cared for the cemetery and dug the graves, from Old English sexteyn , derived through Old French from Latin sacristanus . When of known Irish origin, it is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name O Seastnain , meaning descendant of Seastnan , whose name is of unknown origin. Sexten, Sexston, Sexon, Seckerson, Secretan, Saxton, Saxon are variations. Cognate forms include Sagreestain, Segrestan, Segreta, Segretain, Segretin, Secretain (French); Sacriste, Sacreste (Provencal); Sacristan (Spanish); Siegrist, Sigrist, Siegerist (German).

Shand is a Scottish name, Shands is the Patronymic version of the name, that is, the equivalent of "son of Shand." The origin of Shand itself is uncertain, but may be a shortened form of Alexander. It may also be a Place name from Chandai, located in Orne, and recorded in the 12th century. Shand : A rare but old surname in Scotland. The surname of Shand seems originally to have been confined to the north-eastern counties, particularly Aberdeenshire, and in that county more especially to the districts comprising the parishes of Turriff, Forgue, Drumblade, Auchterless, Culsalmond, Fyvie, King-Edward, and Gamrie. In old times it was variously spelled Schawand, Schaand (1696), Schande, Schand (1528), and Shand...We have also Shandscross given to certain lands on the estate of Delgarty. Magister Robert Schawnd was prebendary of Arnaldston, 1522. Probably French, Philibert de Shaunde was created earl of Bath in 1485; but nothing is known of him, except that he was a native of Brittany. The Surnames of Scotland by George F. Black, 1946

Sharma : in sanskrit means brahmin or uppercaste men. The caste system in ancient India consisted of Brahmin, Kshatryas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Brahmin = priestly or educated class, Kshatryas = kingly/warrior, vaishyas = business class, and Shudras = untouchables.

Sharp is an English Nickname given to the man who was keen, active, and quick; derived from the Middle English term scharp . Variations include Sharpe , and Shairp (the second of which is primarily Scottish). Scharff and Scharfe had the same meaning in Germany, while Scherpe is the Flemish and Dutch version.

Schaub is a shortened form of Schauber, which in itself is a variation of the German occupational name Schauer, the name given the official inspector -- of a market, for example, from the Middle High German schouwer > schouwen = to look, inspect. Other variations are Schauert, Schauber .

Schimmel is a German and Dutch nickname for the man with the grey or white hair, from Middle High German and Middle Dutch schimel, which denoted both 'mildew' and 'white horse.' Occasionally, when of Jewish heritage, it was assigned as a surname by a non-Jewish government official as an unflattering nickname.

Sevigny is a spelling variant of Sevigne (with apostrophe marks over both -e’s) which is a French place name that described the man from Ille-et-Vilaine and the place in that location called Sevigne.

Shaffer is a variation of Schaffer , the German occupational name for a steward or baliff, from German schaffen = go manage, run. Schaffner, Scheffner, Schaffer, Schofer are other variants.

Shaid is likely a spelling variation of Shade, the Scottish and English place name for the man who lived near a boundary, from Old English scead, from sceadan = to divide. Schade is another version.

Shank when a variation of Schenck is derived from Schenke , the German occupational name for the man who served as a cup-bearer, or server of wine, from Middle High German Scenko , from scenken = to pour out. The vocabulary word schenke came to be used as an occupational name for the innkeeper, and later it was used as an honorary title for a high court official. Variations are Shenk, Schenke, Schenker (tavern keeper). Shenker, Schenker, Sheinker, Sheinkar, Szenkier are all Ashkenazic Jewish versions (a common name, as at one time only Jews were allowed to sell alcohol in the Russian Empire).

Shanks is an English (primarily Northern England) and Scottish nickname for the man with the long legs, or strident gait, derived from Old English sceanca = shin-bone, leg. In Scotland, the word survived as a vocabulary word, but was replaced in the English standard by Old Norse leggr. Cruikshank was crooked legs, Longshanks was somewhat redundant, Sheepshanks was the man with the odd gait or walk. Shank is a variation of Shanks.

Shaulis is likely a variation of the English, French, German, and Italian patronymic name Saul, which is Hebrew for "asked for" (in the context of child, as in -- the child who was prayed for). Saul was the name of the first king of Israel, but was not a particularly common given name during medieval times -- likely due to the nature of his reign (somewhat troubled). Also, the name was somewhat stigmatized by the story of St. Paul who was originally named Saul, but changed his name when he converted and ended his persecution of Christians. As a result, the surname is comparatively rare. Variations include Sauil, Sawle, Saulle, Saule, Saulli, Saullo, Shaul, Shauli, Shauly, Shaulsky, Saulino, Shaulick, Shaulson, Shaulov, Shauloff.

Shaw : English place name for a copse or thicket, and would have been given to someone living near the thicket.

Sheffield and Shaffield are English Place names from Sheffield in South Yorkshire, so called from the river Sheaf, meaning 'boundary.'

Shelanskey isn't listed among my several references, but the -skey, -sky, -ski suffix is indicative of Eastern European place names, and generally found in Poland, where first uses were descriptive place names as in Zukowski = from Zukow. Later, the suffix was attached to many names as a status indicator, such as the prefix "Von" was used in Germany to indicate higher status. The name is likely Americanized from a name similar to Szellenski , derived from szell = wind, a place name that described the man who lived in a place that was habitually windy -- or Szczcinsky , which described the man from the seaport of Szczecin in NW Poland.

Shelley is an English place name that described the man from any of the so-named locations in Sussex, Essex, Suffolk, Yorkshire -- derived from Old English scylf = shelf + leah = wood, clearing. Shelly is a variation.

Sherrer : Variation of Scheuer , a German Place name for the man who lived near the tithe-barn, or an Occupational name for the official who was responsible for collecting the tithes of the farmers, derived from Middle High German schiur (barn, granary). Versions include Scheurer, Scheurermann, Scheuerman, Scheier , and Schaier . Sherrer is likely an Americanized version, which was a common practice among immigrants.

Shields is a Patronymnic version of Shield , an English Occupational name for an armourer, the man who provided arms and implements to the soldiers. It is occasionally derived as a place name from a locale in Northumberland called Shields, and more infrequently is from the Old English term scieldu , which designated the shallow part of the river, and denoted the man who lived near there. Also, somewhat less frequently than all of the above, Shields can be an Anglicized version of O'Siaghail , which means "descendant of Siadhal " a Gaelic personal name of unknown meaning.

Shireman is an English occupational name for the man of authority in the county, derived from Old English scir = office, charge, authority + mann = man.

Shirer , Sherer , and others are variants of Shearer , the man who used scissors to trim finished cloth, or the sheep-shearer.

Shirley is an English place name from any of the so-named locations in Surrey, Derbyshire, and others, derived from Old English scir = bright + leah = wood, clearing.

Shoffner is derived from Schaffner , which is a variation of Schaffer , the German occupation name for the bailiff or steward, and derived from German schaffen = to manage, run. Variations are Schaffner, Scheffner, Schaffer, Schofer . The Czech cognate form is Safar . Diminutive forms include Schafferlin, Safarik . Scheffers is the Low German patronymic form.

Short is an English nickname derived from Middle English schort and Old English sceort = short...which described the man of non-NBA stature. When of Irish origin, it is derived from Gaelic Mac an Ghirr , which means "son of the short man" and was often translated to Short, when Anglicized. Shortman, Shortt are variations.

Shultz is likely an Americanized version of Schultz, the title given to a German village headman who collected dues or rents and paying them to the lord of the manor, from Middle High German schultheize > sulca = debt, due + heiz = to command.

Sicilia : (which also appears as Sciliani and Sciliano ) is an Italian/Spanish Place name for the man who was from Sicily, which was part of Aragon from 1282 to 1713.

Silkstone is an English place name from a so-named place in South Yorkshire, from the Old English name Sigelac (victory, play-sport) + tun = enclosure, settlement.

Silvester is an English and German patronymic name, from the Latin Silvester > silva = wood and a name borne by three popes, which added to its early popularity. Selvester, Sylvester, Siviter, Seveter and English variations; Vehster, Vester, Fehster , and Fester are German variants.

Simson : is an English Patronymic name derived from the Medieval given name Sim. It has a number of variations that include: Simson, Simms, Symms , and Symes .

Simpson : English Patronymic from the popular given name Simon (gracious hearing) from which evolved many surnames, including the two most popular versions: Simmons and Simpson .

Sigmund/Siegmund : and other variants are German patronymic names from sigi = victory + mund = protection. Siemund and Seemund are among the other versions.

Silver and Silber are cognates of the same name, the first an English nickname for the rich man, or the man with silvery-gray hair. Occasionally, it comes from the occupation of silversmith. Silber is the German version of the name, with variations Silbert and Silbermann , among others.

Sisson is one of the somewhat uncommon matronymic names, taken from the name of the mother -- Sisley, Cecilie -- from Latin Caecilia. It was the name of a Roman virgin martyr of the 2nd or 3rd century who was regarded as the patron saint of music. Sisley is the most common form of the name, and Sicely is a variation. Sisson is a diminutive form. Cognates include Cecille, Cecile, Cicile, Cicille (French) and Cacilie (German).

Skipper was derived chiefly in the Norfolk area of England as an Occupational name for the master of a ship, although occasionally it originated from the Middle English term skip(en) which meant to 'jump' or 'spring' and described an acrobat or professional tumbler. Skepper and Skipp are variations.

Sladden is also an English place name, but the original location has been lost to history, although its elements are derived from Old English sloh = slough + denu = valley.

Slaughter : English occupational name for the man who slaughtered the animals for the butcher, and also a place name for the person who lived by the muddy spot, or the sloe tree.

Slight/Slightam : Scottish Descriptive name from Middle English sleght = smooth or slim.

Sloan : Scottish/Northern Irish patronymic name from the Anglicized version of the Gaelic Sluaghadhan , a diminutive form of Sluaghadh . The family emigrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland during `Great Plantation' of Ulster during the reign of King James I. Sir Hans Sloan (1660-1753) a collector of papers, manuscripts and curios, donated his holdings to the government, and they became the basis for the British Museum.

Smalley is an English place name that described the man from Smalley in Derbyshire or Smalley in Lancashire -- both of which derived their names from the Old English words smoel = narrow + leah = wood, clearing. Smally is a variation of the name.

Smallwood is an English place name from the so-named location in Cheshire comprised of the Old English elements smœl = narrow + wudu = wood.

Smart is an English nickname for the brisk or active person, stemming from the Middle English word smart = quick, prompt -- which came from Old English smeart = stinging, painful. Smartman is a variation. Sir John Smart was a Garter Knight during the reign of King Edward IV (1461-1483).

Smedley is an English Place name from Old English smede = smooth + leah = clearing, for a literal translation of "smooth clearing" in the woods.

Smith : is an English Occupational name for man who works with metal, one of the earliest jobs for which specialist skills were required. It is a craft that was practiced in all countries, making the surname and its cognizants the most widely found of all occupational names in Europe. Medieval Smiths made horseshoes, plows, and items for the house. English variations are Smyth , and Smither ; German = Schmidt ; Flemish = De Smid ; Dutch = Smit ; Norwegian = Smidth ; Polish = Szmyt ; Czechoslovakian = Smid ; Jewish = Schmieder . Even the gypsies had the name: the Romany Petulengro translates to Smith.

Snyder : Dutch form of Taylor, an occupational name for the person who stitched coats and clothing.

Sobek is a Polish diminutive form of the Czech surname Sobota , derived from the given name Sobéslav , from the elements "take for oneself" + "glory". Sobiech Sobieski, Sobanski, Sobinski, Sobalski are Polish cognates. Diminutive forms include Sobotka (Czech); Sobek, Sobczyk, Sobieszek (Polish). Occasionally, Sobota is derived from the Polish and Czech word Sobota = Saturday, the name given to the man who was born, baptized, or converted on a Saturday.

Solis is an English surname taken from a medieval given name bestowed on a child born after the death of a sibling, from the Middle English term solace = comfort, consolation. Soliss and Solass are variations, Soulas is the French version.

Solis/Soltis : Polish occupational name for the magistrate or the mayor of the town.

Sommerfeld is a Jewish compound ornamental name comprised of the Germanic elements sommer = summer + feldt = field. Summer is an English nickname for the person with a warm personality, or the man who was associated with the season in some fashion. Occasionally, Summer is a variant of Sumner (the summoner) or Sumpter (the carrier). Other Jewish compounds are Somerfreund (summer friend), Somerschein (summer sunshine), Somerstein (summer stone). These ornamental names were chosen for their pleasing sound when surnames were bestowed on the Jews by government officials in central Europe. Variations of Summer are Somer, Sommer, Simmer ; cognates of the English Summer are Sommer (German), De Somer (Dutch/Flemish); Sommer (Danish/Norwegian).

Sorrell is a variation of the English place name Soar, which described the man who lived near the river Soar, which was name from Breton sar = to flow. Occasionally, Soar derived as a nickname for the man with reddish hair, from Anglo-Norman-French sor = chestnut (as in the color of dried leaves). Sor, Saur, Saura are cognates. Diminutive forms are Sorrel, Sorrell, Sorrill, Sorel, Soreau, Saurel, Soret, Sauret, Saurin, Saury .

Southworth is an English place name, from the location in Cheshire (formerly South Lancashire) so named, and comprised of the Old English elements suod = south + worod = enclosure, originally to identify the enclosed settlement lying in the south.

Speakman is an English nickname (or occupational name) given to the man who acted as a spokesman for the settlement in dealing with outsiders. It is derived from Middle English spekeman = advocate, spokesman. Spackman is a variation.

Spears : is among the many variations of the English Nickname for the tall, thin person, or for the man who used the spear with great skill. It derives from Old English spere = spear. It occasionally is derived from the maker of spears. Variations include: Spear, Speir, Spier (Scotland) and Speer (N. Ireland). When the -S- is present at the end of the name, it generally denotes a Patronymic version, as in the 'son of Spear.'

Spence/Spencer : English Occupational name for the person at the manor who dispensed the lord's provisions to those who lived on his land and worked at his estate. Requested by Walter Spence.

Spires is a patronymic variant of the surname Spire (that is, one would have identified the son of Spire by saying he was Spire's...). Spire is an English Nickname from the Middle English word spir = stalk or stem, and was used to describe the tall, thin man. By the way, church steeples, sometimes called spires, were not known as such until the 1500's, well after the surname was established.

Springer , Weller , and Wilder are examples of names that end in -er that are NOT occupational names. Most that do -- are. These three surnames are English Place names derived from colloquialisms at the time for a woods or forest, and the man designated as Springer lived nearby.

Stafford : is an English Place name that was adopted by the man who lived near a river or creek at a crossing point -- which was called a ford. The particular crossing point was a 'stony ford, or ford by a landing place.'

Stanbrook is an English place name -- it is derived from stan = stone + brook, and the man who lived near the stony stream was described by that name.

Stancil (also Stansell, Stansill ): When English, of joint Saxon-Viking origin with links to a farmstead and Roman villa of the same name in SouthYorkshire. The name refers to a stone chamber, or stane-sell, possibly within a church in the village of Stancil. In antiquity, the name is most often found in Yorkshire near the village of Doncaster, as well as in Berkshire and Kent. Submitted by David Stancil

Standen is the English place name derived from Old English stan = stone + denu = valley (which described the man who lived in the stony valley). Standing is a variation of Standen.

Standish : is an English Place name for the location in Lancashire (now Greater Manchester) from OE stan =stone + edisc =pasture, for a literal meaning of 'stone pasture.'

Stanier/Stonyer/Stanyer/Stonier : English Occupational Name...for stone cutter. Old English stan =stone. A stan sawyer or stan'yer was a cutter of stone.

Stanley is an English place name derived from the Old English elements stan = stone + leah = wood, clearing, and described the man who lived at the stony clearing in the woods, or a similar known geographic location.

Stanton is an English place name, from Old English stan = stone + tun = settlement, enclosure. The man from the "settlement on stony ground" was described as "stan-tun." There are numerous locations throughout England with the name, and the man who left one of those locations for a new settlement would also be referred to in that fashion by his new neighbors, to designate him as the new guy from that town.

Starnes is a regional variation of Stearnes , a patronymic variation of Stern , the English nickname for the severe person, from Middle English sterne = strict, austere. The son the the man they nicknamed Stern was Stern's boy, or Stern's son, or simply -- Sterns. The spelling variations are common -- surname spellings were not standardized until well after the American Civil War. Sterne, Stearne, Stearn are also common variations.

Staron is a Polish cognate of the Russian patronymic name Starikov, from the nickname Starik (Old Man) derived from stary = old. Other cognate forms include Starski, Starzycki, Staron (Polish); Stary (Czech); Starik, Starski (Jewish). Patronymic cognates include Starov (Bulgarian); Starikov, Staricoff (Jewish Ashkenazic). Diminutive forms are Starek, Starzyk, Starczyk (Polish); Starek (Czech) Starshenko (Ukrainian); Starcevic (Croatian). Starzynski, Starczewski are Polish place names with the same origin that served as origins for some surnames.

Starr : English Place name... Many surnames derived from the signs at the roadside inns during early times, when people didn't read signs as much as they looked at the pictures – and innkeepers sometimes took their sign's picture as a surname. Most were animals, birds or fish, but occasionally the innkeeper displayed other signs, such as the star, by which they became known.

Starrett, Sterritt, etc are among the variations of the English and Irish place name Start, derived from Old English steort = tail, and used in a transferred sense to describe the spur of a hill. The man who lived at that location would have been the first to be known by that name. Cognates are Stertz (German), Sterdt, Stert, Steert (Low German), Stertzel (Low German diminutive form). Starte, Stert, Sturt are other English versions, and Sterritt is the form chiefly found in Northern Ireland (the land originally settled by the Scotsmen who came to be known as Scotch-Irish).

Steele : English Place name, from 'stile' or a place of steep ascent.

The suffix is actually - ski , or - sky -- which was originally associated with names in the same fashion the English suffix - ish was associated with nouns, ie. bookish, pertaining or related to books. The - ski suffix is found among the Polish and Ashkenazic Jewish, and later came to be associated with status in the same fashion that de - and von - were used among the French and Germans, respectively, to indicate gentry status.
Sterba ( štérba is close...the -e should actually have the same mark above it as the -s) is a Czech nickname for someone with a tooth missing, from the Czech word štérba = gap. Many of the Czech surnames had suffixes or other alterations that weren't literal variations.

Sterling is a variation of the Scottish place name Stirling, from the city in central Scotland which was recorded as early as the 12th century, and may have been derived from the name of a river, although it's origin is unclear. The name described the man who emigrated from that city during Medieval times.

Stevenson is a variation of the English Patronymic name Stephen/Steven, which originated in the Greek given name Stephanos , meaning 'crown.' Stephen was the first Christian martyr, stoned to death three years after the death of Christ, and his name was widely adopted throughout the Christian countries in the Middle Ages. Among the numerous variations are Stephenson, Stevenson, Steven, Stiven, Steffen, Steffan . French cognates are Stephan, Stephane , Estienne, Etienne . Other cognates include Estievan, Etievant, Tievant, Thevand (Provencal), Stefano, Stifano, Stephano, Stievano, Steffani (Italian), Esteban (Spanish), Esteva, Esteve (Portuguese), Stefan (Rumanian), Stoffen (Bavaria), Stevaen (Flemish), Schippang, Zschepang, Schoppan (German of Slav origin), and many, many others.

Stiehr, Stier, Steer: German occupational names for the man who watched the livestock.

The Old English word stille = quiet + burna = brook, stream -- stille burna would easily evolve into Stilborn and its variants, to describe the man who lived by the quiet stream.

Stilling is likely a diminutive form of the English and German nickname Still, given to the placid person, from Middle English and Middle High German still = calm, quiet. The "little placid one" would be a stilling.

Strickland is an English place name, from the so-named location in Cumberland and derived from Old English styric = bullock + land = pasture. Stirland is a variation. In the year 1230, Sir Walter de Stirkeland was the holder of Stirkland Manor in Cumberland.

Stoddard is a variation of the English occupational name Stoddart, who was the keeper and breeder of horses. The name derived from Old English stod = place where horses were kept for breeding + hierde = herdsman, keeper. Variations are Stodhart, Stoddard, Studart, Studdeard, Studdert, Stiddard, Stothard, Stothart, Stothert, Stuttard .

Stokes is a patronymic form of the name Stoke , an English place name derived from the numerous places thoughout England by that name. They were named from Old English stoc = "place, house, dwelling" and generally referred to an outlying settlement away from a larger one. Variations are Stokes, Stoak, Stook, Stookes, Stoker .

Stonham is a variation of the English place name Stoneham , the names of two villages in Hampshire which got their names from Old English stan = stone + ham = homestead. Stonham is also a place is Sussex that would serve as an place of origin for many with this name.

Stout is an English nickname for the brave or steadfast man, from the Middle English term stout = steadfast. Occasionally, it is derived from Old Norse Stutr = gnat, which is just the opposite of the English term. Stoute, Stoutt, Stutt are variations.

Strobel : German nickname that is derived from Straub, which comes from Middle High German strup = rough, and was given to the "shock-headed man" for his hair style.

Stroman is a variation of the German cognate of Straw, the English occupational name for the man who dealt in straw, from Old English streaw = straw, or occasionally, a nickname for the man with the straw-colored hair. Other German forms of the name are Stroh, Strohmann, Stroman, Strohman . Jewish versions are Shtroy, Shtroi (from the Yiddish pronunciation of straw).

Stroud is an English place name from the so-named locations in Gloucester and Middlesex derived from Old English strod = ground overgrown with brushwood. The man who emigrated from one location to another was often referred to by his place of origin, and thereby adopted the surname. Strood and Strode are variations.

Stroupe : comes from the Middle High German word strup , which means 'rough, unkempt' and is a German Descriptive name for the 'shock-headed' man.

The German name Stucker is a place name for the man who lived near the prominent tree stump, while the German name Stuck is a place name from the so-named town whose name origin means "plot of land."

Stukeley: Stukley, Stucley , and Stukeley are variations of a habitation name from a place in the county of Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire) which got its name from Old English styfic = stump + leah = wood. A family by the name of Stucley can be traced to Richard Stucley (died 1441) who is also recorded as Richard Styuecle.

Sullivan/Sullivant : Anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Suileabhain , descendant of Suileabhan , a given name composed of the elements suil = eye + dubh = black, dark + the diminutive suffix -an.

Susko is a variation of Zisin, a Jewish metronymic name derived from Zise, a Yiddish female name that meant "sweet" + the suffix -in. Zissin, Susin, Zisovich, Ziszovics are variations. Diminutive forms include Ziske, Ziskis, Ziskin, Zyskin, Siskin, Suskin, Susskin, Ziskovitch, Ziskovich, Ziskovitz, Zuscovitch, Susskovich, Suskovich, Susko, Zislis, Zislin, Sislin, Zisslowicz.

Sutherland is a Scottish regional name that described the man who came from the former county by this name, which got its name from Old Norse suðroen = southern + land = land. It was called the South land because it was south of Scandinavia and south of the Norse colonies of Orkney and Shetland Islands. The man who came from that area of Scotland was referred to by his former place of residence.

Sweeny is an Irish patronymic name, from an Anglicized form of Mac Suibhne , which meant ‘son of Suibhne’ whose name was a nickname meaning ‘pleasant.’ Variations include McSeveny, McSween, McSweeney, McSwiney, McSwine, McQueenie, McQueen, McQueyn McQuine, Magueen, McWhin , and McWhan.

Swann/Swan : English Nickname for a person noted for purity of excellence (attributes of the swan, supposedly), from Old English swan . Some Swan surnames derived from the signs at the roadside inns during early times, when people didn't read signs as much as they looked at the pictures – and innkeepers sometimes took their sign's picture as a surname. (Most were animals, birds or fish.) Occasionally, Swan is derived as an Occupational name for the servant or retainer as a variant of Swain . Cognates include Schwan (German), De Swaen (Flemish), De Swaan , Van den Swaan, Van den Zwaan (Dutch), Svane (Norwegian), and Svahn, Swahn (Swedish).

Sweet : Swett is a variation of Sweet, an English Nickname for a popular person, derived from Old English swete . Given names Swet(a) -- masculine, and Swete -- feminine, were derived from this word, and survived into the early Middle Ages, and may be the source of the surname. Swett isn't the only variant: Swetman, Sweetman, Sweatman, and Swatman are among the English varieties. There are cognative versions many countries including Sussman (German), DeZoete (Flemish), and Susser (Jewish).

Syri : English Patronymic Name... from given name Syred and elements sige = victory + roed = counsel

Szczepanski is a Polish cognate of the patronymic surname Stephen, which has its origins in the Greek Stephanos = crown, and was a popular name throughout the Christian countries in Medieval times. Stefanski is another Polish form. Polish patronymics (that is, "son of Stephen or Stefanski") are Stefanek, Stefanczyk, Szczepanik, Szczepanek .

Szymczyk/Szymczak : Polish Patronymic Name...from the popular name Simon, which means 'gracious hearing' and was common during the Middle Ages. It was due to affection for Simon Bar-Jonah surnamed Peter, rather than to Simeon -- the second son of Jacob by Leah. (from Elsdon Smith)


T

Taber/Tabor : was the man who beat the tabor, a small drum. It's an English Occupational name.

Taylor is an English occupational name for the tailor, from Old French tailleur < late Latin taliare = to cut. It is among the most commonly found surnames, due to its popularity as a medieval occupation. Variations are Tayler, Tailour, Taylour . Cognate forms include Tailleur, Letailleur, Taillandier, Tallendier. Taylorson, Taylerson are patronymic forms of the name.

Tasker is an English occupational name for the man who did piece-work, especially in reference to the man who threshed corn with a flail. It is derived from Anglo-Norman-French tasque = task, from Old French tasche = task. Tascher is the French version of the name, and Taschereau is a French diminutive form.

Tartarka is a cognate form of the Russian patronymic name Tatarinov, derived from the name Tatarin, Tatar = stammerer (the word is actually of Turkish origin). It was used as a nickname among the Czechs, Italians, and others, as a reference to an uncontrollable person, or a wild-acting person. Tatarintsev is a Russian variant. Tatarski, Tatar, Tartari, Tartaro, Tatarowicz, Tatarkiewicz, Tatarewicz, Tatarek, Tartarini, Tartarino, Taterini, Tartarelli, Tartaroni are other Czech, Polish, and Italian forms.

Teal is an English nickname for the man who was said to somehow resemble the so-named bird in some way, from Middle English tele = teal. Teale is the most common version, while Teall is a variation.

Tello is a Spanish patronymic name from a medieval given name which was similar to the Germanic given name Tila (as represented in Old English). Tellez is a patronymic form and Tesles is a Portuguese patronymic form. It is also found among Italians in this way DeTello , D'Tello and is a place name meaning "from Tello " or some location similar to that spelling.

Templeton is a Scottish place name from Templeton near Dundonald in the former county Ayreshire, now part of Strathclyde. It was so-named for Middle English temple = house of the Knights Templar + toun = settlement. There are also places named Templeton in Wales and other locations, but likely derived their names from someone with the surname, rather than the other way around.

Tenberg was originally Ten Berge , which is a Dutch form of the name Berg , which is a place name for the medieval man who lived by a hill or mountain. It comes from an Old Norse word bjarg which means "hill" or "mountain."
Different cultures used various means to say "from the mountain" or "from the town of Paris" and so on. The Germans used the prefix -von, and the French used the prefix "de." John de'Paris would be "John from Paris." Erik von Berlin would be "Erik from Berlin." The Dutch used several prefixes, including Van den; Van der; Van -- which meant "from" or "from the." Andy Van den Berg would be "Andy from the hill."
Another prefix used was "tot" -- which meant "of." "Andy tot den berg" -- means "Andy of the hill." The "tot" and the "den" were said so quickly that they became a single word -- "ten." It is sort of like a contraction, where "can not" becomes "can't."

Terrell : is an English Patronymic name, with a little Nordic influence. (remember, they invaded early on...) Thurold or Thorold were given names that mean 'Thor, strong' and have lapsed into disuse these days...but during the Middle Ages there were enough that their sons were sometimes known as Terrell, meaning the 'son of Thurold' or 'son of Thorold.'

Terry : is derived from the pet form of the given name Terence, which means 'smooth, tender.' It's an English Patronymic name from a Latin given name. Requested by Philip Terry

Tew : English Place name from the Old English word tiewe which meant row, or ridge, and the person living near the ridge became known as Tew. Requested by Karen Tew

Theodore is a French patronymic name, derived from Greek Theodoros, and the elements theos = God + doron = gift, and was a popular Middle Ages given name. The Russian version of the name is Fyodor. Cognates are Tudor (Welsh); Teodori, Teodoro, Toderi, Todeo (Italian); Teodoro (Portuguese); Joder (German/Swiss); Teodorski, Fedorski, Fedynski (Polish). Diminutive forms include Doret, Dorin (French); Toderini, Todarini (Italian); Tedorenko, Fedoronko, Fedorchenko, Fedorchik, Fedorchak, Fesenko (Ukranian). Other patronymic forms and diminutive forms exist as well.

Thiele is a Low German diminutive form of the surname Terry from the Norman given name Terry from Old French Thierri, derived from Germanic elements peudo = race, people + ric = power. Variations are Terrey, Tarry, Torrey, Torrie, Todrick ; cognates include Thierry, Thiery, Thery, Thiry, Tery (French); Tiark, Tjark, Jark, Jarck (Frisian). Diminutive forms include Thiriet, Thiriez, Theuriet, Thiriot, Theriot, Thriion, Thirieau (French); Tietzel, Tietze, Thielsch, Tilke, Tillich (German); Thiede, Tiedmann, Thiedemann, Theimann, Thede, Thieke, Tiecke, Theeck, Tietze, Tietzmann, Titze, Tetze, Thiele, Thiel, Tiel (Low German). Many other forms exist as patronymic, pejorative, and diminutive cognates.

Thomas is one of the most common given names, and as a result, it created a HUGE number of surnames found throughout Europe. Cognates of Thomas are Tomas (Spanish); Tome (Portugal); Tomas (Catalan); Toma (Rumania); Tuma, Toman, Tomas, Tomes, Tomsa (Czech); Tomasz, Toma (Poland); Tamaasi (Hungarian). Diminutive forms are Thomazin, Thompsett, Thom, Tomalin, Tomabling, Tamblyn, Tompkin, Tonkin (English); Thomasset, Thomazet, Thome, Thomassin, Thomelin, Thoumasson, Thomazon, Thomesson, Thomasseau, Thomazeau (French); Tomassini, Tommasini, Tommasino, Tomadini, Tomaini, Tomaino, Tumini, Tummaselli, Tommasetti, Tumiotto (Italian); Thomel, Domel, Theml, Teml, Dehmel, Demelt, Thamel, Thamelt, Dahmel, Thumnel (German); Thoma, Thomann, Dohmann, Themann, Demann, Thumann, Thomke, Domke, Demke, Demchenm, Dumke (Low German); Tomasek, Demaschek, Tomaschke, Domaschke, Damaschke (German/Slavic influence).

Thomas has so many variations and forms, I couldn't list them all at the time, but Tompkins is a diminutive of the English form, along with Tomazin, Thompsett, Tompsett, Thom, Tomalin, Tombling, Tombin, Tomkin, Tonkin.

Thomasson : English Patronymic name derived from the given name Thomas, which was the preferred usage in Wales, while in England the Patronymic surname evolved as Thoma, Thomasson, Thompkins, Tomlinson, and Toombs .

Thompson : English and Scottish Patronymic name from Thomas (twin) which was a popular name in the Middle Ages (and still is...). Requested by Philip Terry

Thomson : Thomas was a popular given name in the Middle Ages, and it has endured through the years. Thom is a pet form and the man who had Thom for a Dad, was Thom'son. It's an English Patronymic name. Requested by Ronald Thomson

Thurman : Thor was the ancient god of thunder, and was known in Old Norse as Porr (not exactly the correct P as the Norse wrote it, but it's the best this keyboard will do). Porr + mundr = Thor's protection, and that became a given name in Old Norse -- Pormundr , which evolved into the Middle English version Thurmond. Thurman is an English Patronymic Name derived from Thurmond as a given name.

Tipton : English Place name from Staffordshire which described Tibba's homestead. Requested by Philip Terry

Todd : English Occupational Name...In the north of England, a fox was commonly referred to as a 'todd' and the picture of the fox or todd often appeared on the sign outside a roadside inn. (Many couldn't read and the signs used pictures instead.) The animal on the signs often were adopted as surnames by those who lived there.

Surnames ending in the suffix -land generally are place names referencing a field or part of a field. The Old English word toll = tribute, tax gatherer (the meaning carried through to modern English fairly clearly). The toll-land would be the field where the tax collector lived, and Toland would identify a man who lived nearby.

Tolbert is a French and Norman patronymic name from the Germanic personal name derived from Tol = (meaning unclear) + behrt = bright, famous.

Tomlin : English Patronymic name...another derivative of the given name Thomas. Thomas was the preferred usage in Wales, while in England the Patronymic surname evolved as Tomlin, Thoma, Thomasson, Thompkins, Tomlinson, and Toombs . Requested by James Tomlin

Tonin is a variation of the surname Toney, from the medieval given name Toney (Tony), an aphetic form of Anthony. Cognates are Thoine, Toin, Thoin (French); Toni (Catalan); Togni, Ton (Italy); Thon (Germany). There are numerous diminutive forms as well.

Toomey, O'Toomey and Twomey are Anglicized versions of the Gaelic O'Tuama (descendant of Tuama) with Tuama being a personal name derived from tuaim 'which meant "small hill." Other variations are Twoomy, Tuomy, Towmey, O'Twomey, and O'Toomey .

Tourneur is the French version of the English and Scottish occupational name Turner, which was the name for the man who made small objects from wood or metal by turning them on a lathe, from Old French tornier = turn. Variations of the French form are Tornier, Tournier, Tourneux, Letourneur, Letourneux. Tornadou, Tornadour, Tournadre are Provencal cognates.

Towery is likely a variation of the English place name Tower, for the man who lived near a tower or defensive watchtower. It is derived from Middle English tur > Latin turris = tower. Cognates are T our, Latour, Delatour (French); Torres (Provencal); La Torre, Torri, Turri, Della Torre, Torrese, Torrese, Torrisi, Turrisi (Italian); Torre, Torra (Catalan).

Townsend is nearly a literally vocabulary expression for the man who lived at the "town's end" and is derived from Middle English tun,tone = village, settlement + end = end. Variations are Townhend, Townend, Townen .

Tracy : English Place name based on a French town called Tracy which meant 'terrace.' Many English surnames were those based on the name of the former home of those who emigrated with William the Conqueror or soon after. Requested by William Tracy.

Traube is the German occupational name for the grower of grapes for winemaking, from German traube = grape > Middle High German trube = bunch of grapes. In some cases, in may have come from the sign at the inn displaying a bunch of grapes, where the keeper of the house would become known by that name. Variations are Traube, Trubner, Traubner, Traubmann, Traubel, Treibel, Trauble .

Travere is a variation of Travers , the English and French place name that described the man who lived near a bridge or ford, or occasionally as an occupational name for the collector of tolls at such a location. It is derived from Old French traverser = to cross > Late Latin transversare. English variations are T raves, Travis, Traviss, Trevis ; French versions include Traverse, Traver, Travert . Cognate forms include Traversa, Traverso, Traversi (Italian); Travieso (Spain); Traversini is a diminutive Italian form.

Treat : The surname Treat is an English descriptive name that originated with a 'friendly, beloved person' whose company was well-enjoyed, as any treat today would be!

Tremble, Trumble , and Tromble were all descended of men named Trumbold, from elements meaning "strong, bold" and are English patronymic names.

Tricker is a variation of the English nickname Trick, which was given to the crafty or cunning person, from the Middle English word trick = strategem, device. Trickett is a diminutive form.

Trotter is an English and Scottish occupational name for a messenger, from Middle English troten = to walk fast. When of German heritage, Trotter is the occupational name for the grape-treader, from Middle High German trotte = winepress. Trott and Trotman are variants of the messenger, while Trott, Trottmann and Trotmann are versions of the German name.

Trowbridge is an English place name from the so-named location in Wiltshire, derived from Old English treow = tree + brycg = bridge, which referenced a fallen tree serving as a bridge. Troubridge, Trobridge, Trubridge are variations.

Troy : French Place name from Troyes, a place known for "the Gaulish tribe, the Tricassii."

True is a variation of the English nickname Trow, which is derived from Old English trowe = faithful -- and described the man who was trustworthy and steadfast. Variations are Trew, True, Trueman . Cognate forms include Treu, Treue (German); Treu, Treumann Treiman, Getreuer, Getroir, Getrouer (Jewish Ashkenazic).

Trussell is an English name that is either a diminutive form of the Middle English word truss = bundle or package, which would describe a peddler, or it may be a variant of the English Nickname Thrussell, which described a happy, singing person, from a word used to describe a songbird -- throstle. Trussel and Truswell are variations.

Although the origin of Tyrer isn't absolutely certain, it is believed to have come from the Middle English word tiren = to equip, dress -- from Old French atirier , which came from the phrase " a tire " meaning "in order." In that context it would be an occupational name for the man in charge of the wardrobe of an important person of that medieval time and specific location.

Tull is an English patronymic name, believed to have originated in the Old English given name Tula , whose name is of uncertain origin.

Tullos/Tulloh/Tulloch/Tullock : Scottish Place Name near Dingwall on the Firth of Cromarty which got its name from the Gaelic tulach = hillock, or hill.

Tune is a variation of the English place name Toner , which described the person who lived in a village, as opposed to an outlying area like a farm or family settlement. It comes from the Middle English word tune / tone from Old English tun , which meant fence at the time, but came to mean "enclosure" from its usage as a description of primative settlements. When of known Irish heritage, however, it is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O'Tomhrair , meaning descendant of Tomhrar , whose name meant "protection." Variations are Town, Towne, Toon, Toone, Tune, Townee, Towne, Towning . Cognate forms include Van den Tuin (Dutch), Tuijnman, Tuynman. Zauner is a German cognate form that retained its original meaning of "fence."

Turnbull : Some names are derived from descriptions of their originators...like the Englishman strong enough to 'turn a bull.' Requested by Jennifer Turnbull

Turner : English/Scottish Occupational Name...from the French turnier = turn for the man who used a lathe to turn objects from wood or metal. Requested by Phil Hopkins

Turvey : English Place name from a place by that name whose elements are comprised of OE turf = grassy + eg '= island. Requested by Brock Vodden

Tutt is generally an English patronymic name from the Old English given name Tutta, which can be found among some surviving place names, but isn’t all that popular as a name for boys any longer. Tutnall, and Tuttington are among place names derived from Tutta, which died out as a given name in the Middle Ages.

Tweedy/Tweedie : English Place Name...traced back to the Scotsman who came from the land of Tweedie (which means 'hemming in') in Stonehouse parish, Lanarkshire.

Twigg is an English nickname that described the thin man, and is derived from the Old English word twigge = twig, shoot. It is believed to have been borrowed from Old Norse, since the word occurs late in the Old English period and was confined to the Northern dialects. Twigge is a variation. Zweig is a German cognate, Cwaig, Zeigenhaft, Cwaigenhaft are Jewish Ashkenazic versions, and Tweig, Zweigle , and Zweigel are Jewish versions of Polish origin

Tyler is a spelling variation of the English occupational name Tiler, the man who made and laid tiles, derived from Middle English tile = tile > Old English tigele > Latin tegula, tegere = cover. Tiles were used in floors and pavements in the Middle Ages, but the roof aspect came in the 1500's. Tyler, Tylor are variations. Cognate forms include Thuiller, Tuilier, Thuillier, Tivolier, Tivollier, Thiolier, Thioller, Theolier, Teulier, Teulie, Tullier, Tulliez (French); Tejero (Spain); Ziegler (German and Jewish); Tegler, Tegeler, Tiegeler (Low German); Tichelaar (Dutch).

Tyrrell as a surname is of unclear origin, but it is believed to have derived from Old French tirer = to pull, which when used in the context of an animal and reins and applied to a person, was intended to mean stubborn.' Other variations of the name include Tyrell, Tirrell, Terrill, Terrell, Terrall, Turrell, Tearall, Tirial . Cognates are Tirand, Tirant , and Tirard (French).


U

Uberuaga : originates from Bizkaia, the Basque Country, Spain, and means Hot Springs in English, derived from the elements ur = water + bero = hot + aga = place of. Submitted by B. Uberuaga.

Ulmer : Research indicates that the original Ulmer who came to Charleston, South Carolina from Germany was named Baron Heinrich Philip Von Ulm. Some sources say that he changed his name in England before coming to the colonies in order to receive a land grant. Submitted by Jim Ulmer. Von Ulm is a Place designation that references Ulm, a city in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

Ungerleider is a variation of the German, Czech, and Jewish ethnic name Unger , which described the Magyar or the man from Hungary. In some instances, it denoted a man who had trade connections in Hungary. Variations include Ungar, Hunger, Hungar, Ungerer, Ungermann, Ungerland, Ungerman, Hungerer, Hungerland . There are many cognate forms in other languages as well.

Uusimake : Finnish Acquired/ornamental Name... Like many other nationalities, the Finnish people often constructed surnames that pleased the ear; maki = hill


V

Valdez/Valdes : Spanish Place Name...The Spanish and Portugese were fond of bestowing as a surname, the name of the place from which the person had departed. Valdez ends in -ez, so it is Spanish rather than Portuguese where -es is preferred. Valdes was the name of the town that gave its name to those who came to be known as Valdez.

Vail is a variation of the English place name Vale, which described the man who lived in a valley from Old French val and ultimately Latin vallis. Cognates are Val, Vaux, Lavalle, Lavaud, Lavault, Leval, Leveau, Delaval, Deveaux (French) Valle, Valli, Valla, La Valle, Da Valle (Italian); Valles (Spanish); Valeano (Rumanian). Several diminutive forms also exist.

Valentine : means 'vigorous or healthy' and was originally a Latin given name that found its way to various countries. Valentino was a derivative in a number of countries. It's Patronymic in that it was derived from the father's name.

Valerio is an Italian patronymic name, from the medieval given name Valerius (Latin origin) which was the name of several minor Christian saints in the 4th and 5th centuries. Valeri, Valleri Valier, Valer are variations. Cognates include Valere Valeri, Valery (French); Vallier, Valier (Provencal); Valero (Catalan); Valério (Portuguese); Valerius (German).

Dutchmen whose names were those of cities, towns, or districts were identified by the prefix Van- which means "from" or "of the," which also was used in reference to nicknames. I don't have VanCuren listed among my sources, but it means literally "from Curen" or "of the curen" and would identify the man who originated in that locale. If Curen is not an existing Dutch locale, it may be a vocabulary word used as a nickname.

Van den is 'of the' - so if Abbeele is a type of tree, then Van den Abbeele is "of the poplar tree (or whatever type tree it translates to).

The name van der Grinten is Dutch. A grint is a river wash where fine gravel which was washed up has built an island or low-land, for example, Valkengrind, near Roermond, Holland. Contributed by Wolfgang van der Grinten.

Van is a prefix that means "from the" or "of the" and is used in such names as Van Geest , a Dutch name for the man who lived by the barren sandy soil -- literally, "of the sandy soil."

Van Horn is a Dutch place name for the man who lived at the horn-shaped spur of a hill. Van is a prefix that denotes "of" or "from."

Varn : Variation of Fern, an English Place name for someone who lived in a place where many ferns were growing, derived from Old English fearn = fern. Variations include Fearn, Fairn, Feirn, Fearne, Ferns, Farnes, Vern, Verne, Varn, Varne , and Varnes .

Varner is a French version of the German patronymic name Warner, comprised of Germanic elements warin = guard + heri = army. The name was introduced into England by the conquering Normans. Garnier, Gasnier, Guernier, Vernier are other French versions.

Vass/Voss : English Occupational name... OE vassus = serf, Gaelic foss = servant

Veale/Veal : English Nickname...Veale is a name that was influenced by the Normans. Old French viel meant old, and the nickname referred to an old man or the elder of two brothers that had the same given name American heavyweight boxer George Foreman named several of his sons George, so it still happens!). Requested by Kylie Lacey

Veitch/Veach/Vetch/Veath : Veitch is a Norman (Old French) cognitive of the name Veath/Vacca (Italian) which described 'one who herds cows.'

Verdon is predominately derived from Vardon , a Norman name brought to England with William the Conquerer. Verdun is a name held by several locations in France, and is of Gaulic origin, deriving from the elements vern = alder + dun = hill, fortress. Many of the men bearing the name originated from La Manche, and the village called Verdun in that area. During the middle ages there was a dialectic change in which -er was pronounced as if -ar; for example, the cloth-seller was called a marchant, which meant merchant. Later, the erroneous pronunciation was corrected by scholars. Vardon has remained as the predominant version of Verdun, which was corrected in the case of Verdon. Variations of the name are V arden, Derdon Verden, Verduin, Verdin, Verduyn . The French form of the name is Verdu/Verdun . In Catalan it was called Verdu (accent over the -u). The name can also be a French form of the Italian name Verde , from the Italian word verde = green. It is presumed to have been a nickname for someone who always dressed in green. The diminutive form of the French version was often Verdon. Variations of Verde are Verdi, Virde, Virdi, Lo Verde . French forms of Verde are Vert, Vert, Ver, Levert . Other diminutive forms of the name (as in Little Green, Greenie, Greenette, etc.) are Verdelli, Verdini, Verdicchio , (all Italian); Verdel, Verdelet, Verdet, Verdon, Verdonnet (French).

Verdoorn/VanDoorn/Van den Doorne/Doorneman : Dutch Place/Patronymic...A version of the English name THORN; a person living by the thorn bush/hedge, or from the Danish version of "tower". With the prefix Van it becomes "the son of Thorn/Tower" and Ver would denote "from Doorn," a place of thorns. Requested by: David Verdoorn, Jr.

Vermillion is likely a Dutch place name from van der million in a collapsed form, and meaning "from the mill" or a town named in that sense.

The German nickname Vetter is derived from fater = father, by way of Old High German fetiro, which was a generic term for male relatives. The modern German word vetter means 'cousin.' The surname evolved from Middle High German vetere = uncle, nephew - in the sense of father's brother, or brother's son. In Northern Germany, it was also used as a given name. Votter is a variation found in Bavaria; Vetterle, Votterl are diminutive forms.

Vick is derived from separate sources (polygenetic, as it is called). Frederick is an English patronymic name from a Germanic given name composed of the elements frid = peace + ric = power, which was introduced into England by the invading Normans. (Actually, they introduced the name after the invasion, when the fighting settled down.) Vick is a Frisian diminutive form of the name, as are Freddercke, Fedde, Feck , and Fick. If the heritage is known to be English, the name is an English nickname, drawn from the Anglo-Norman-French word l'eveske , which means 'the bishop.' The phrase was erroneously divided as though 'le vick' and the Vick retained, although technically, it should have been Evick. Variations of the English version are Livick, Livock, Leffeck, Veck, and Vick.

Vidal : Italian Patronymic name from Vitale, a name derived from the Latin Vitalis and its root vita which means life. It was a popular name among Italians professing their early Christian faith.

Vinzenz is the German cognate of the English and French patronymic name Vincent from a medieval given name, derived from Latin vincere = to conquer. Vienzenz is another German form, and other German diminutives are Vinz, Vinzel, Finzel, Zentz, Vietze, Fietz, Fietze, Wientzek, Fietzek, Fietzke .

Virgin is a variation of the English surname Virgo, of uncertain origin, but believed to have derived from Latin virgo = maiden, and used as a nickname to describe the man who played the part of the Virgin Mary in the medieval pageant, or simply, nicknames for shy men. Other variations are Virgoe, Vergo, Virgine, Verge .


W

Wachsmann is the German occupational name for the collector of beeswax, which was used in candle making and in document seals. Vaks, Vaksman, Vacksman, Vax, Vaxman are cognate forms of Yiddish origin.

Waddell is a Scottish place name from Wedale, near Edinburgh. The exact meaning of the town's name isn't clear, but the surname arrived as a way to identify a man who hailed from there. In Scotland, the emphasis is placed on the first syllable, but elsewhere it is generally emphasized on the second to avoid confusion with waddle. Waddel, Waddle, Weddell, Woddell , and Weddle are among the variations. Hugh Waddell was an early American who served in the North Carolina militia and defended the western frontier of that colony during the French and Indian War.

Wadsworth and Wordsworth both derived from the settlement called Wadsworth near Halifax in West Yorkshire, which got its name from the Old English elements Woeddi (a Medieval given name) + worð = enclosure. It described an enclosed settlement headed by a man named Woeddi. A man who removed from there and relocated somewhere else might be described by his new neighbors by pointing out where his place of origin.

Wagner/Waggoner : German/English Occupation Name...One who drove the high-sided carts or wagons carrying produce between manors was called the Waggoner in England, and the German counterpart is Wagner. Among the Pennsylvania Germans who were among the first non-English settlers of the American colony, Wagner also denoted a wagon-maker. According to one survey, Wagner is 116th on the list of most-frequently found surnames in America. Requested by Susan Davenport-Wagner

Wahl is an Ashkenazic Jewish name that is taken from the German word wahl = election, from Old High German wala = choice. It was taken as a name by the descendants of Saul Katzenellenbogen, who was born in 1541 and died circa 1617. According to a Jewish legend, he was elected King of Poland for a single day during a period when Poland was an elective monarchy.

Walker is the English and Scottish occupational name for the fuller (also a surname) from the Old English elements wealcere/wealcan = to walk, tread. The fuller was the dresser of cloth, which was readied by beating it, or soaking it in water and trampling, or walking on it. Walker is sometimes derived also from a place in Northumberland by that name from Middle English wall = Roman wall + kerr = marsh.

Wall/Walls/Waller : English Place and Occupational Name...one who lived by the wall (medieval towns always used them for protection) was Wall/Walls/Waller, and the name was also used to designate the one who did the repair. Requested by: Bev Waller

Walsh : English/Welsh place name. In England, the man from Wales would be described as Walsh, Welsh, Wallace , or Welch -- that is, foreigner or stranger.

Walt : Walter means "rule, army" and has been a popular name since the Middle Ages. There were a number of surnames derived from the given name -- including the pet form Walt. The son of Walt was Walts . It's an English Patronymic name.

Walton : The ending -ton comes from the Old English/Norse -tun which designated a town or settlement. Walton was the 'walled' town or the 'wood' town and is an English Place name.

Wankel is likely a diminutive form of the Low German (of Slavic origin) name Wanke, which is a cognate of the English name John. One of the earliest first names was John, derived from Hebrew Yochanan (gift of God), which in the 17th century replaced William as the most popular name for a male child. Low German cognates of Slavic origin are Wanka, Wahncke, Wancke, Wahnke, Gentzsch, Geniscke, Jentzsch, Jenicke, Janoscheck, Jahncke, Jahnisch , among others.

Wantz is likely a variation of the German (of Slavic origin) patronymic name Wenzel, from that given name, which was a diminutive form of the name Wenze, wilth the diminutive suffix -el added. It was a shortened form of the Old Czech given name Vececlav and was borrowed before the Czech language lost their nasal vowels. Variations are Wentzel, Wanzel, Fenslein, Wetzel, Wodtzel, Watzold, Wentzke, Wenzke, Wentzig, Wetsig . Dimutive German forms are Wenz, Wach, Fach, Feche , among others.

Ward is an English occupational name for the watchman or guard, from Old English weard = guard. It is occasionally derived as an Anglicized version of the Irish (Gaelic) patronymic name Mac an Bhaird . Variations are Warde, Wardman , and Wordman . Wards is a patronymic form.

Ward is the English occupational name for the watchman or guard, from the Old English term weard = guard. Occasionally, it is derived as an Irish patronymic name, as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac an Bhaird , or as an Anglicization of the Jewish surname Warszawczyk. Variations of the occupational name are Warde, Wardman , and Wordman. Wards is a patronymic form.

Warf : is taken from the Old English word hwearf =shipyard and as an English name would designate a man who works at the docks, and the word evolved into our lexicon as wharf. The Dutch equivalent is Van Der Werf .

Warner/Warren : both names were derived from the job of the man who watched over the wildlife at a park. They are both English Occupational names. Requested by Lori Warner.

Waterhouse is an English place name that described the man who lived in a house by a body of water. The name was found primarily in the Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Midlands areas of England as the geographic location of its origin.

Waters is a patronymic variation of the English surname Water, which in itself is a variation of the name Walter -- actually it is the way Walter was pronounced in medieval times. Occasionally it is derived as a place name for the man who lived near a body of water, or from the Irish as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O Fuarisce and associated with the word fouran = water, spring. Wasser is the German version, Van den Water is found among the Flemish and Dutch. Watters, Warters, Worters, Watterson , Fitzwater are all patronymic forms in addition to Waters.

Warren : English Place Name...(Norman) from La Varrenne in Seine-Maritime which means sandy soil.

Waterworth is an English occupational name that described the 'water bailiff' or the overseer at the water, collector of fees at the water's edge. The name was found primarily in the area of the banks of the now drained freshwater lake Martin Mere in West Lancashire, and was derived from Waterward, from the Middle English elements water + ward = bailiff, guard > Old English woerd = watchman, guard.

Watson is a patronymic form of the English and Scottish name Watt, which came from the extremely popular Middle English given name Wat or Watt, which was a pet form of the name Walter. Diminutive forms of Watt are Watkin, Watking, Watling, Whatling ; patronymic forms are Wattis, Watts, Watson ; patronymics from diminutives are Whatkins, Watkiss, Watkeys, Gwatkins (Wales) Swatkins (Gloucester), and Watkinson.

The name Wayne is actually a spelling variation on one of the oldest professions, that of a wheelwright, or " Wain " wright, as they were called. They were also called Cartwrights (as in Bonanza, the TV show...), from the Middle English word wain = cart, wagon (from Old English woegen ). Sometimes Wain was a place name that described the man who lived at the house that bore a sign of the astronomical constellation of the Plough, which was known in medieval times as Charles' Wain (Charles being short for Charlemagne) -- but that was the exception to the naming rule. Variations include Wayne, Wane, Waine, Waines, Wainman, Whenman, Wenman . In Germany, the man of that profession was called Wegenmann .

Webster is a variation of te English occupational name Webb, who was a weaver, from early Middle English webbe > Old English webba = to weave. By the time the name was adopted, the word webbe was almost obsolete, and the -ster and -er suffixes had found their place in the language, which led to Webster. Webbe, Webber , and Web are variations. Noah Webster was the man behind the book where suffixes and prefixes are readily available, and was a descendant of John Webster, the governor of Conn (1656).

Weeks is a patronymic form of the name Week, which is an English place name that described the man who lived in an outlying village or settlement, removed from the main town or village of the area -- from Old English wic = outlying settlement, farm. In that sense, Week is a variation of the surname Wick, which has the same meaning. Occasionally, Week is a nickname that described the man in poor shape, from Middle English wayke = weak, feeble. Variations are Weake (the more commonly found version), Week, Weekes, Wheeker .

Weiler is polygenetic...one form is the German cognate of the English (Norman) name Villiers, a place name that described the man from any of the so-named locations. The Germans called the same man Weiler. Villers, Villars, Villis , are English variations. Villers, Devilliers, Deviller, Divillier are French versions. Weiler is also a Jewish (Ashkenasic) place name for the man from any of the locations name Weil, in Baden, Wurttemberg, or Bavaria.

Wells is a patronymic form of the English place name Well, which described the man who lived by the spring or stream, and derived from the Old English term wella = well, spring. Variations of Well include: Wells, Weller, Welling, Wellings, Wellman, Welman, Wall, Will, Wool. Cognate forms include Weller, Welle, Wellman (Low German); Van der Wel, Van Wel, Van Wells, Welman (Dutch).

Welter is a Low German cognate of the name Walter, which is derived from Germanic elements wald = rule + heri = army. Wolter, Wolder, Wohlder, Wohldert, Wohlert, Wohler are other Low German versions. Gaultier, Galtier, Galtie, Gauthier, Gautier are among the many French variations; Gualtieri, Gualtiero, Gualdieri (Italian); Walther, Waldherr (German); Wauter, Wouter (Flemish/Dutch).

Wessel : is a Frisian cognative of the name Warner. The Frisian Islands are in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands and near Denmark. It's a patronymic name from the given name Warner (guard).

Westcott is an English place name from any of several so-named locations in Surrey, Berkshire, and others, named from the Old English elements west = west + cot = cottage, shelter. A man who came from that location would be identified by his new neighbors as the man from the "west-cot" ie. John Westcott.

Westmoreland is a spelling derivation of Westmorland, the English place name that described someone from the former county by that name, which was originally called Westmoringaland in Old English, and described the "territory of the people living west of the moors.'

Westwick is an English place name composed of the Old English west = west + wic = outlying settlement. It described the man who lived in the smaller, outlying settlement that depended on a nearby larger settlement (like a suburb, of sorts).

Whaley : English Place Name for the meadow by the road or hill.

Wheeldon is an English place name derived from Old English elements hweol = Wheel + dun = hill, and described the man who lived by the rounded hill.

Whetstone : normally whet is a derivative of white, and white stone would be a place name for one who lived near a prominent white stone...but the Old English word whetten = to make keen + ston = stone --combine for whetstone, an abrasive stone for sharpening tools, which could have been adopted as a surname by the man who used it.

In the Middle Ages, the word -cock- was a generic term for a young man. It originally was used to applied to the young man who strutted proudly about (like the rooster), or was cock-sure of himself, but came to be applied to any young man who was self-assured, or a leader of his peers. As a result, it was applied to several names as a suffix that better-defined the youngish man by his personality. The name Wilcox is a compound name with the elements Will = pet form of William + cock = self-assured young man. Variations are Wilcock, Wilcocke ; Patronymic forms are Wilcocks, Willcocks, Wilcox, Willcox, Willcockson , and Willcoxon.

Whitt is a variation of the Scottish, English, and Irish nickname White, which described the man with white hair, or a pale complexion. There was also a Middle Ages given name Whita, which bore the same meaning (pale complexion), and the name is sometimes a patronymic identifier from that given name . Whyte, Whitte, Witte, Witt are other variations. Cognate forms exist such as Weiss, Weisse, Weisser, Weissert, Wyss (German); Weissmann (Switzerland); Witte, Witt (Low German); DeWitt, DeWitte, DeWit (Flemish, Dutch); Wajs, Wajsowski (Polish). There are also a number of compound surnames among the Jewish (Ashkenazic) names that use Weis or Weiss as the first element of an ornamental surname.

Whitfield is an English place name that describes the man who originally lived in any of the settlements known by that name, found in Kent, Derbyshire, Northumberland, and other locations. The settlements got their names from Old English hwit = white + feld = pasture, open country...and were described that way because of the chalky soil. Whitefield is a variation.

Whitehead is an old English and Scottish nickname, that described the man with the fully grey (white) hair, particularly when it was on the head of a man considered too young to be that way. It is derived from Middle English whit = white + heved = head. Occasionally, it is derived as a mistaken translation of the Irish Gaelic name Canavan, incorrectly using the terms ceann = head + ban = white. Whytehead is a variation of the English and Scottish name.

Wilkerson is a variation of the English patronymic name Wilkin, which was taken from a medieval given name, Wilkin, derived from a shortened form of William (Will) with the addition of a suffix -kin to form a diminutive or pet form of the name. Wilken is a variation; other patronymic forms are Wilkins, Wilkens, Wilkinson, Wilkenson, Wilkerson .

William is among the most commonly found Medieval given names, and as a result, is among the most common surnames. Williams is a patronymic form. William is derived from an Old French given name with Germanic elements wil = desire, will + helm = helmet, protection. It was introduced by followers of William the Conqueror and became in short order one of the most popular given names in England. Bill the Conqueror may have had an influence there... Variations are Welliam, Gilliam, Gillam, Gilham, Gillham Gillum. Cognate, diminutive, and other forms exist in great number.

Winegardner is likely an Americanized form of an occupational surname found in many countries -- although it may be a simple spelling variation. In Germany, the man who lived by the vineyard, or who worked in the vineyard, was known as Weingardt, Weingartz, Wingert, Weingartner, Weingarter . In England, (where wine production was more common in medieval times than today) the man was called Winyard, Wynyard, Wingard , and Winnard. The Flemish form is Wijnyaerd or Van de Wijngaerden . The Dutch is Wijngaard or Van Wijngaarden , and the Ashkenazic Jewish form is Weingarten . In Denmark and Norway the name is spelled Wiingard and Wiingaard .

Winrow is an English surname of uncertain origin found chiefly in Lancashire, possibly a place name from the Old Norse elements hvin = whin, gorse + vra = nook, corner. Variations are Whinrow, Whinwray, Whineray, Whinnerah .

White : English/Scottish/Irish Nickname for the man with white hair, or pale skin, from the Middle English whit = white. Requested by Darryl Rogers

Whitehead : is an English Nickname that described the man with the fair hair, or the prematurely white hair. It's from the Old English whit =white + heved =head.

Whitelock/Whitlock/Whitlatch : English Descriptive name for the man who had an especially white head of hair. Requested by James Whitlatch

Whitmer/Whitemore : English Place name derived from Whitemore, in county Staffordshire. It was a white barren ground, and the man who lived near could easily be identified by his dwelling's location.

Wien : German/Jewish Place Name for a city in Vienna of Celtic origin. There was a large Jewish population in Vienna previous to the Holocaust. Requested by Jane Cowart

Wiesenhunt : German place name from Middle High German wise = meadow. Requested by Jane Cowart

Wiesner is a variation of the German place name Wiese which described the man who lived near a patch of meadowland, from the Old High German wisa = meadow. Wieser, Wiesener, Wiesemann are other variations. Iterwies is found among the Lowland Germans, while Wiesner and Wiesen are variations found among Jewish ancestries (Wiesner is polygenetic, in that it has multiple origins).

Wiggins is a patronymic variation of the English name Wiggin, derived from the Breton given name Wiucon, with elements meaning worthy + high, noble. The name was brought to England by followers of William the Conqueror. Occasionally, the name is derived from the given name Wigant, which originally was a nickname meaning 'warrior' and also introduced during the Conquest. Variations are Wigin, Wigan , and Wigand. Cognates in Germany are Weigand, Weigang, Weigt, Weicht, Wiegandt , and Wiegank. Other patronymic versions are Wiggans and Wigens.

Willmon is a diminutive variation of the English patronymic name William, from the Norman form of an Old French given name composed of the Germanic elements will = will, desire + helm = helmet, protection. The name was introduced into England with William the Conqueror. Other diminutive variants among the English are Willmett, Wilmot, Willimott, Willmin, Wilmin, Willimont .

Wilcynski : is a Polish Place name and is derived from the Polish wilk which means wolf. Wilk was generally used to describe someone wolf-like -- but in the case of Wilcynski, it indicates a place name, and could be for the man who lived near the wolves.

Wiley : Some names were taken from the places where the home was kept...in the case of the man who became known as Wiley, he lived near the Wiley River in England, which was so-called as a "tricky" river.

Wilson/Willson/Will : Scottish/N.English Patronymic name derived from the given name William. It was also sometimes an English Place name for the person who lived by the stream or well from the Saxon wiell = well.

Wimberly is an English place name that described the man who lived near the windy wood or clearing, and is comprised of the Old English elements windbaere = windy + leah = woods, clearing. Settlements found at the "leah" were often described by the man who headed the settlement, as in "Wilmoer's leah" which is the origin for the surname Womersley . It may be possible that the name Wimberly corresponds to a given name that is now lost. There other names, though, that reflect a continually windy area.

Windt is a variation of the English place name Wind, which described the man who lived near a path or alley, or particular road. It is derived from Old English gewind > windan = to go, proceed. Occasionally it was the nickname for a swift runner. Winde is another variation. If it is from German origin, it is likely a variation of Wendt, from Wend, an ethnic name for the people who once occupied a large section of Northern Germany and contributed greatly to the names of the locale.

Wlodylo is a Polish cognate variation of the Russian and Bulgarian patronymic surname Vladimirov, from the given name Vladimir, comprised of the Slavic elements vlad = wealth, rule + mer = famous, glorious. St. Vladimir was extremely popular during his time (died 1015) and as a result Vladimir was one of the few Slavic names that were accepted for Orthodox baptisms. Volodimerov is a Russian variation. Polish cognates include Wlodzimirski, Wlodzimierski ; Jewish cognates are Vladimirski, Vladimirsky ; Rumanian cognates (patronymic) are Vladimiresco, Vladimirescu ; Other diminutives are Volodko (Ukraine); Volodzhko (Belorussian); Wlodek, Wolodko (Polish), Wlodasch, Wlotska, Wlotzke (German of Slavic origin).

Wingate : English Place Name...taken from the Wingate, Durham area of England. Wingate was the 'pass where the wind blows.'

Wirth is the German and Ashkenzic Jewish occupational name for the innkeeper, from the German word Wirt = host, and occasionally is found as a German status name for the head of the household, in the sense of "provider." Wurth is a variation; Wurthle, Wirthgen are diminutive forms. Wirtz, Wirths are patronymic versions.

Wöhrlein is derived from Germanic elements warin = guard + heri, hari = army and is a patronymic cognate of Warner. Low German patronymic forms include Werning, Wereking, Warnkonig, Warnkes, Warnken, Warning . Warner is English of Norman import, with cognates in several languages.

Womack : English Place name that designated a 'hollow or crooked oak' tree. The person who wound up with the surname was the one who lived nearby. Requested by Mark Womack

Normally, the name Wood described the man who lived in or near a wood, but it sometimes was used as an occupational name for the woodcutter. It is derived from the Middle English word wode = wood, from Old English wudu = wood. Variations are Woode, Woods, Wooder, Wooding, Woodings, Wooddin, Woodin, Attwood, Bywood . Cognate forms are idde, Wehde, Wede, Wehe, Weh, Wedemann, Wehmann (Low German); Wedin, Vedin (Swedish). Wedberg is a Swedish compound ornamental name that is literally translated as "wood hill."

The standard Place-name suffix -ford (occasionally spelled - forde ) was sometimes corrupted into - fork , as a result of colloquial dialect, misunderstanding, or just 'fooling around.' At any rate, the root name of Woodfork is Woodford, which is an English and Scottish Place name that described a man who came from any of the so-named settlements, found in Essex, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Northampton, and other areas of medieval England and Scotland. Woodford is comprised of the Old English elements wudu meaning wood + ford. A ford is a place of crossing at a stream or river. The wood-ford was the stream or river crossing near the woods, which is what the settlements that were established there became known as, and a number of the inhabitants of the settlement became known as, when surnames helped identify a particular person. Other variations of Woodford are Woodforde, Woodfords , and Woodforks.

Wooster is an English place name from Worcester, derived from Old English ceaster = roman fort, which was added to a now-unrecognized tribal name. Wostear, Worcester, Worster are variations.

Wojcik/Wojtas : Polish Patronymic Name...The Czech missionary who converted Poland to Christianity was Voitech, which meant 'noble, bright.' The Polish version of the name was Wojciech which became a family name in Poland, and another form of the name was Wojcik , as was Wojtas .

Word : is an English (and German) place name for the man who lived near the thicket. Or near a winding brook. Or the man who inhavited an open place in a village. Or the man who had an ancestor named Werdo, which was a pet form of the name Werdmann or Werdheri. In the case of the latter, it's a Patronymic name.

Wyatt : the word wido was Old German for 'wood' and was brought to England with the Normans as the given name Guy. Diminutive forms include Wyatt which was adopted as a Patronymic surname.


X,Y,Z

Nearly every name that begins with Yak is a form of the name Jacob, and the -son suffix is a patronymic indicator, which would indicate "son of Jacob" for Yakerson, and is similar in form to the many Jewish patronymic names of the same order, such as; Yakoboff, Yakubov, Jakubowski, Yakubowski, Yakobovitch , etc.

Yates is a patronymic form of Yate, the North English place name for the man who lived near a gate, or occasionally an occupational name for a gatekeeper, from Old English geat = gate. Yeats, Yeates, Yetts, Yeatman, Yetman are variations.

Yisek is a variation of the Jewish, English, and French name Isaac, derived from the given name Yitschak , derived from Hebrew tsachak = to laugh. Isaac has always been a popular name among Jews but was widely used by Christians as well during medieval times, and as a result, gentile families bear the last name as well. Variations are Isac, Isaak , Issac, Issak, Izac, Izak, Itshak, Itzshak, Yitzhak, Yitzhok, Jzak, Eisik, Eisig, Aizik, Aizic, Aysik, Ajsik, Ishaki, Izchaki, Izhaki, Izhaky, Yitschaky, Yitshaki, Yitzchaki, Yizhaki, Yithaky, Jizhaki, Itzchaki . Numerous patronymic forms exist as well.

Young : Comparitive age was an easy way to reference men with a common name -- for example, John, the young -- as opposite to John, the elder. It is sometimes found with the old spelling Yong, and is found in other languages. Jung is the version found in Germany, and Jaros is the Polish variety.

Youngblood is an English nickname, a compound name derived from the words Old English geong = young + blód = blood, which meant "young relative." Young generally designated one of two men with the same given name, and blood was an affectionate term for a blood relative.

When of English origin, the name Zell is a variation of the place name Sell, derived from Old English (ge)sell, which described the man who lived in a rough hut generally occupied by animals - many times the man living there was the herdsman. Selle, Sells , and Zelle are other variants.

Zillwood is derived from a forest on the Somerset / Wiltshire border in the southern UK, "Sellwood Forest". The first reference to the forest was in 878AD as Selewudu , meaning Sallow Wood or Willow Forest. The sallow part seems to originate from the latin for "aspirin like effect" of the under layer of the willow bark, salicylates (Latin Salix = willow) The Wessex dialect and the inability of the majority of its people to read or write led to the Parish Priest or Recorder spelling the name phonetically and changing it over time from Sel(l)wood to Zillwood. Submitted by John Zillwood

Zimmerman is the German form of the occupational name Carpenter, derived from Middle High German zimbermann , formed from zimber, zimmer = timber, wood + mann = man. Zimmerer, Zimmer, Zimerman, Cimerman, Cymerman Cymmermann, Cimermann, Timmerman, Timmermann are variations.

Susko is a variation of Zisin, a Jewish metronymic name derived from Zise, a Yiddish female name that meant "sweet" + the suffix -in. Zissin, Susin, Zisovich, Ziszovics are variations. Diminutive forms include Ziske, Ziskis, Ziskin, Zyskin, Siskin, Suskin, Susskin, Ziskovitch, Ziskovich, Ziskovitz, Zuscovitch, Susskovich, Suskovich, Susko, Zislis, Zislin, Sislin, Zisslowicz .

Among the Slavic countries, the names Ziv, Zivin , and Zivney had their origins in descriptions of people and became nicknames for the "vigorous, alert" man.

Zumberge is a variation of the Germanic place name Berg , with addition of the prefix -zum (at the) generally found among the Lowland Germans, Swiss, and Dutch. Berg comes from Old High German berg and Old Norse bjarg -- and both meant "hill" or "mountain."

Zumwalt/Zumwald : The prefix -zum is the German indicator for "at the" or "of" and Zumwalt and Zumwald are "at the woods," or "of the woods."

Zweiacker : is two German words, Zwei and Acker, Zwei is the number 2 and Acker means field. Submitted by a Zweiacker surnamer.

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