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Subject: Ancestory- do you have an English surname? rss

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According to a website that I just visited:

There are perhaps 45,000 different English surnames, but most had their origins as one of these seven types.

Occupational

Occupational names identified people based on their job or position in society. Calling a man “Thomas Carpenter” indicated that he worked with wood for a living, while someone named Knight bore a sword. Other occupational names include Archer, Baker, Brewer, Butcher, Carter, Clark, Cooper, Cook, Dyer, Farmer, Faulkner, Fisher, Fuller, Gardener, Glover, Head, Hunt or Hunter, Judge, Mason, Page, Parker, Potter, Sawyer, Slater, Smith, Taylor, Thatcher, Turner, Weaver, Woodman, and Wright (or variations such as Cartwright and Wainwright) — and there are many more.

This kind of name also gave a clue about whom a servant worked for. Someone named Vickers might have been a servant to Mr. Vicker ("Vicker's"; belonging to Vicker), and someone named Williams might either have served a William or been adopted by him.

Describing a personal characteristic

Some names, often adjectives, were based on nicknames that described a person. They may have described a person’s size (Short, Long, Little), coloring (Black, White, Green, or Red, which could have evolved into “Reed”), or another character trait (Stern, Strong, Swift). Someone named Peacock might have been considered vain.

From an English place name

A last name may have pointed to where a person was born, lived, worked, or owned land. It might be from the name of a house, farm, hamlet, town, or county. Some examples: Bedford, Burton, Hamilton, Hampshire, Sutton. Writer Jack London’s ancestor may have hailed from London.

From the name of an estate

Those descended from landowners may have taken as their surname the name of their holdings, castle, manor, or estate, such as Ernle or Staunton. Windsor is a famous example — it was the surname George V adopted for the British royal family.

From a geographical feature of the landscape

Some examples are Bridge, Brooks, Bush, Camp, Fields, Forest, Greenwood, Grove, Hill, Knolles, Lake, Moore, Perry, Stone, Wold, Wood, and Woodruff. Author Margaret Atwood is probably descended from someone who lived “at the wood.”

Patronymic, matronymic, or ancestral

Patronymic surnames (those that come from a male given name) include Benson (“the son of Ben”), Davis, Dawson, Evans, Harris, Harrison, Jackson, Jones (Welsh for John), Nicholson, Richardson, Robinson, Rogers, Simpson, Stephenson, Thompson, Watson, and Wilson.

Matronymic ones, surnames derived from a female given name, include Molson (from Moll, for Mary), Madison (from Maud), Emmott (from Emma), and Marriott (from Mary).

Scottish clan names make up one set of ancestral surnames. These include Armstrong, Cameron, Campbell, Crawford, Douglas, Forbes, Grant, Henderson, Hunter, MacDonald, and Stewart.

Signifying patronage

Some surnames honored a patron. Hickman was Hick’s man (Hick being a nickname for Richard). Kilpatrick was a follower of Patrick.

Do you fit into one of these seven types?
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Billy McBoatface
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Yup. My middle name was my mother's maiden name; "Manchester," which is most definitely an English place name.

My last name ("Schubert," americanized in my case by dropping the "c") is German in origin, beyond that I have no idea what it means.
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Boaty McBoatface
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No

My name is freedonioan for "take that bloody thing out of your ear, you have no idea where it has been".
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Boaty McBoatface
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MABBY wrote:
According to a website that I just visited:

There are perhaps 45,000 different English surnames, but most had their origins as one of these seven types.

Occupational

Occupational names identified people based on their job or position in society. Calling a man “Thomas Carpenter” indicated that he worked with wood for a living, while someone named Knight bore a sword. Other occupational names include Archer, Baker, Brewer, Butcher, Carter, Clark, Cooper, Cook, Dyer, Farmer, Faulkner, Fisher, Fuller, Gardener, Glover, Head, Hunt or Hunter, Judge, Mason, Page, Parker, Potter, Sawyer, Slater, Smith, Taylor, Thatcher, Turner, Weaver, Woodman, and Wright (or variations such as Cartwright and Wainwright) — and there are many more.

This kind of name also gave a clue about whom a servant worked for. Someone named Vickers might have been a servant to Mr. Vicker ("Vicker's"; belonging to Vicker), and someone named Williams might either have served a William or been adopted by him.

Describing a personal characteristic

Some names, often adjectives, were based on nicknames that described a person. They may have described a person’s size (Short, Long, Little), coloring (Black, White, Green, or Red, which could have evolved into “Reed”), or another character trait (Stern, Strong, Swift). Someone named Peacock might have been considered vain.

From an English place name

A last name may have pointed to where a person was born, lived, worked, or owned land. It might be from the name of a house, farm, hamlet, town, or county. Some examples: Bedford, Burton, Hamilton, Hampshire, Sutton. Writer Jack London’s ancestor may have hailed from London.

From the name of an estate

Those descended from landowners may have taken as their surname the name of their holdings, castle, manor, or estate, such as Ernle or Staunton. Windsor is a famous example — it was the surname George V adopted for the British royal family.

From a geographical feature of the landscape

Some examples are Bridge, Brooks, Bush, Camp, Fields, Forest, Greenwood, Grove, Hill, Knolles, Lake, Moore, Perry, Stone, Wold, Wood, and Woodruff. Author Margaret Atwood is probably descended from someone who lived “at the wood.”

Patronymic, matronymic, or ancestral

Patronymic surnames (those that come from a male given name) include Benson (“the son of Ben”), Davis, Dawson, Evans, Harris, Harrison, Jackson, Jones (Welsh for John), Nicholson, Richardson, Robinson, Rogers, Simpson, Stephenson, Thompson, Watson, and Wilson.

Matronymic ones, surnames derived from a female given name, include Molson (from Moll, for Mary), Madison (from Maud), Emmott (from Emma), and Marriott (from Mary).

Scottish clan names make up one set of ancestral surnames. These include Armstrong, Cameron, Campbell, Crawford, Douglas, Forbes, Grant, Henderson, Hunter, MacDonald, and Stewart.

Signifying patronage

Some surnames honored a patron. Hickman was Hick’s man (Hick being a nickname for Richard). Kilpatrick was a follower of Patrick.

Do you fit into one of these seven types?
Your a right Fitz.
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Personally, my surname falls under the "English place name" category.
It is the (generic) name of a small town.
My grandparents on my mom's side are both that same way (surname "Welsh" and from Wales, and another generic village name), while my grandfather on my dad's side also has very strong ties and relationships with the Scottish Ancestral category-- Cameron.
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John James
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I heard 'Fitz' means "bastard of", which is why it always ends with a first name like Fitzgerald or Fitzpatrick. While 'Mac' is "son of".
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Billy McBoatface
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MABBY wrote:
Kilpatrick was a follower of Patrick.

A treacherous follower of Patrick, I assume.
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Tim P.
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Occupational

Porter (\p(o)-rter\) is a common English surname and also a given name. The name originates as an Old French occupational name, portier (gatekeeper; doorkeeper), or porteour ("to carry"). Its earliest public record is 1086 at Winchester Castle.[2] With transferred use, Porter also became a masculine given name with varied popularity. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, Porter ranked #433 in 1907, declined to #1002 in 1944, then rebounded to #476 in 2006.
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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oi_you_nutter wrote:
Occupational

Porter (\p(o)-rter\) is a common English surname and also a given name. The name originates as an Old French occupational name, portier (gatekeeper; doorkeeper), or porteour ("to carry"). Its earliest public record is 1086 at Winchester Castle.[2] With transferred use, Porter also became a masculine given name with varied popularity. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, Porter ranked #433 in 1907, declined to #1002 in 1944, then rebounded to #476 in 2006.

Also a delicious, delicious style of beer.
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Doomsword wrote:
I heard 'Fitz' means "bastard of", which is why it always ends with a first name like Fitzgerald or Fitzpatrick. While 'Mac' is "son of".

While that could be true, Wikipedia (for whatever accuracy it has), just says Fitz does just mean "son of", but has a different origin than Mac. Fitz apparently comes from Norman French, while Mac/Mc come from Gaelic. (One article mentioned that Mac could also mean "disciple of" or "student of" and not just "son of" in some cases).
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Chapel is a derivative of Chappella, which is a derivative of cappella. A french word for "little cape".

It comes from St. Martin of Tours. When he was a soldier in the Roman army in Gaul, he gave a beggar a piece of his cape. That night he had a vision of Christ and converted. His cloak became a holy relic that was taunted around battles by Merovingian kings. The priest who cared for the relic were called "cappellani". Churches said to house the relic became known as cappalans. The English version "Chapel" probably came over with the Normans, and small churches became known as Chapels.

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Doomsword wrote:
I heard 'Fitz' means "bastard of", which is why it always ends with a first name like Fitzgerald or Fitzpatrick. While 'Mac' is "son of".

At the risk of sending this to RSP, there's this old joke...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Did you hear about the two gay Irishmen? Patrick Fitzmorris and Morris Fitzpatrick.
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Josh Jennings
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Mine is patronymic. From Jenyn or Janyn (a dimunitive of the personal name John). So my surname means "Son of Little John."
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Kahnt...

The best I have heard is that Kahn is a 'germanized version' of the word Cohen which is Hebrew for a priest (specifically priests of Aaron).

Now, I know some related distant families who dropped the 'h' and went with Kant. More for pronunciation purposes.

My grandfather told me that the 't' was added onto the last name of Kahn in order to allude German officials during the holocaust... and, in his words, "the 't' makes the word opposite -- not Priest (not Jewish)." I am not convinced of this, but it's all I have.

I do want to do some of that genealogy stuff because I really practically know nothing of my overall heritage.

-DK
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John Breckenridge
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Mine is a geographical feature.
Before the spelling got changed in America, back in Scotland we were named for the bracken ridge upon which some ancestor lived.
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shumyum
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MABBY wrote:
Describing a personal characteristic

Some names, often adjectives, were based on nicknames that described a person. They may have described a person’s size (Short, Long, Little), coloring (Black, White, Green, or Red, which could have evolved into “Reed”), or another character trait (Stern, Strong, Swift). Someone named Peacock might have been considered vain.


My last name is Green. Evidently my ancestors were British Martians. Anyway, you know which color meeple I prefer to play.

The Green quadrant of my heritage (i.e., my paternal grandfather's side) is what I know the least about. My grandfather left my grandmother when my dad was a baby, never to be heard from again.

Supposedly (this easily could be BS), he was related to Julia Dent, who was married to U.S. Grant. The Dent family is infamous for being a corrupting influence on what many historians say was the most corrupt presidency in U.S. History.

My two uncles and my dad are named Dent, Kent and Brent in honor of this name. I wonder how the "Dent" name came to be...do I have a forefather with a concave cranium?
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Knapp. Which sounds German to me but I'm told is Scotch-English. Maybe my people were flint-workers?
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shumyum wrote:
Supposedly (this easily could be BS), he was related to Julia Dent, who was married to U.S. Grant.

Dude! We're related! Grant is something like my great-great-grandmother's fourth cousin.

Want to come over to a barbecue this weekend and swap stories about winning wars and mismanaging bureaucracies?
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Levy, of course, comes from the Levites, one of the twelve tribes of Israel (they were the teachers in biblical times). So no English origin there (although it is associated with a profession). My dad's family comes from New York, so my name has the NYC pronounciation (LEE-vee), as opposed to the one used in most of the rest of the U.S. (LEH-vee).
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shumyum
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wmshub wrote:
shumyum wrote:
Supposedly (this easily could be BS), he was related to Julia Dent, who was married to U.S. Grant.

Dude! We're related! Grant is something like my great-great-grandmother's fourth cousin.

Want to come over to a barbecue this weekend and swap stories about winning wars and mismanaging bureaucracies?

LOL, as long as we can drink Grant's favorite whiskey (as in all of them).
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Scott Russell
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Son of Red, so presumably a patronymic. It's also Anglicized Norman French (the Normans kicked ass [or got lucky, depending on how Brittania plays out). Unless it's from the German nickname for renown.

And, of course, a German friend of mine points out that it means an elephant's trunk.

My ancestors of note are McCoy, (paternal grandmother also patronymic) (not sure if they were anti-Hatfield types) and one of my great-grandmother was a cousin of George Patton. My maternal grandfather was also a Mc-something. My mom was raised by stepfather with name, Talley which is yet another patronymic of the Gaelic sort. And just when I thought I might have a non-patronymic name within a few generations, I looked up Jones, my maternal grandmother's maiden name, yup, John's son.

My wife's maiden (and my son's first) name is also patronymic (Hanson). Her mom's maiden name, Haworth, is a place name or possibly a hedged enclosure.
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Robert Wesley
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Whence 'moi' recently played "Boggle", it was 'unveiled' as thusly then since I'm a "Jr.":
your
edup
lica
teds
whistle oh, some "Religious" background even...
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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GROGnads wrote:
Whence 'moi' recently played "Boggle", it was 'unveiled' as thusly then since I'm a "Jr.":
your
edup
lica
teds
whistle oh, some "Religious" background even...


Your posts usually boggle my mind, Grogs.
I'm no expert, but I think a Lea is a meadow, so West Lea → Wesley is not a big stretch.
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shumyum
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GROGnads wrote:
Whence 'moi' recently played "Boggle", it was 'unveiled' as thusly then since I'm a "Jr.":
your
edup
lica
teds
whistle oh, some "Religious" background even...


yodeled is my best word.
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Billy McBoatface
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shumyum wrote:
GROGnads wrote:
Whence 'moi' recently played "Boggle", it was 'unveiled' as thusly then since I'm a "Jr.":
your
edup
lica
teds
whistle oh, some "Religious" background even...


yodeled is my best word.

ICE-T, PRUDE, and LIED are there. I think Grog is trying to tell us something.
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