From when did surnames arrive?

United States
July 12, 2016 6:50pm CST
If you've done any kind of research on your own surname, or that of others, you will know that a lot of them, quite literally, translate to a trade. Others, especially of Celtic (Irish and Scottish) origin, translate to "son of" and then the clan name. If your name begins with O it would translate to "Grandson of". The "O" names came about after the Mc/ Mac prefix. On a further side note, a clan's name did not necessarily mean that everyone was related. That's a side note, however, and so I'll leave it at that. I came across this article that will better explain how surnames came to be of existence.
Have you ever wondered where your surname comes from? As Rowena Willard-Wright explains, surnames developed in England after the Norman Conquest in 1066
9 people like this
8 responses
@Corbin5 (103353)
• United States
13 Jul 16
It is fun to know the origin and meaning of our surnames. Will take a look at the article. I believe mine is a name based on looks, "raven-haired," or "raven."
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jul 16
You can gleam a lot from just finding out the origins of your surname. "raven haired", does that mean a lot of your kin have reddish tones of hair?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (103353)
• United States
13 Jul 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum Well, ravens are black, and my sister and Dad have black hair. My brother and I are blonde due to Mom's side of the family.
• United States
13 Jul 16
@Corbin5 Yeah that totally went over my head! I feel a bit embarrassed now as I wasn't even thinking about it being black. For some reason I considered "raven" to be red!
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (14017)
• Malaysia
13 Jul 16
Thank you for sharing this. I have always been wondering how surnames came about. This might be different from Chinese's surname, I will need to find it out soon, as it's interesting to know more.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jul 16
Yes, this doesn't really cover Asian surnames at all. It might be the same or it could be quite different.
1 person likes this
@corvinus (158)
• Philippines
13 Jul 16
In ancient times names are linked with your old family member's name. For example if your name is Joan, people will call you Joan the daughter of Sharon the daughter of Emil or Peter the son of Joey the son of Mark. There was no exact naming that time. Your family, clan or group will tell your identity.
1 person likes this
@JESSY3236 (6289)
• United States
13 Jul 16
I have often wondered how surnames came to exist. Thanks for this info.
• United States
13 Jul 16
You can also look up more about your own surname with the link Mike provided below. I know I didn't really think overly much about it growing up. I hated my maiden surname,actually.
1 person likes this
@JESSY3236 (6289)
• United States
14 Jul 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum I did look at the link below. It didn't have my surname, but it had my biological father's surname. I sorta hated mine surname too because people often misspell it and mispronounce it wrong.
• United States
14 Jul 16
@JESSY3236 They always mispronounced my maiden surname. "Ko-in" was one such mispronounciation. or "kew-in" even.
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (33224)
21 Nov
I know that my father and grandparents had other names and when they came to America they had to go through Ellis Island and their names were changed from what they were originally. I had information more than that before but cannot find it and I want to go back far to see what my ancestry was like and who they were.
@snowy22315 (45700)
• United States
14 Nov 16
I know some of the older surnames on my mothers side of the family. I was in London once, and looked up some of the names...some of them were Norman names..so I guess I have some French in my ancestry.
• United States
13 Jul 16
I don't know about my dad's name, but my mom's surname, I learned, is a combination of her ancestors when they got married. That was the custom in Yemen. that when a couple gets married, the woman doesn't take her husband's anme, but they combine the two surnames to create a new name.
@celticeagle (117837)
• Boise, Idaho
13 Jul 16
Yes, I have found this interesting. Mine is rather odd. Hard to find. Clans are a bit different. Several families in one I would think. But, they could be more distantly related. Some anyway.