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Apparently there are 7 types of English surname. Can you find yours?
Track the origins of your surname with these seven last name 'types'...
Do you know where your surname comes from? For a lot of you reading this (this writer included) your surname won’t actually have UK origins.
But for those who have, according to ancestry.co.uk there are apparently seven identifiable ‘types’ of English surname. And these different groups might provide some clue to your ancestry. Here’s how they break down.
1) Surnames from a specific town
Some of these are identifiable now, such as London, Derby or Lincoln. But others might be from places which no longer exist, such as Arrington, from an English town originally called Earningaton. The Duchess of Cambridge’s maiden name most likely came from a village called middle tun which meant ‘middle farm or settlement.’
2) Characteristic surnames
Surnames which evolved from observations about physical appearance or characteristics, which were originally thought to be nicknames. These include Short, Little, Wise, Good and Hardy. A person called John with dark hair might become John Black while a blonde-haired man could be John White. If this would going on now would we see a lot of Alice Fringe, Jane Lowlights or even Lily Boobjob?
3) Occupational surnames
These names came into fashion around the time of Edward the Confessor (in the 11th Century). Originally these signified traditionally higher ranking jobs such as Mayor and Bishop, but later on craft surnames became common, such as Dyer, Farmer, Glover and Fisher. Some of these job titles are more unrecognisable now. A Cooper, for example, was originally a medieval craftsman who made tubs or barrels and a Parker was a park keeper.
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