Clues to Our Family Names, 2nd edition


Hundreds of surnames are listed here; many have a description of their use-origins and the root from which they arose. Additionally, the text is laced with anecdotes about the origins of phrases and words commonly used today. In the early Middle Ages, our ancestors in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales identified each other by first names only. As populations grew, the need to uniquely identify two or more villagers with the same name arose; so a second descriptive name was added to the first. These second names originated from nicknames, occupations or trades, first names of parents, and locations or addresses. By 1500 AD, most surnames were inherited and no longer varied with a change in a person's appearance, job or residence.

Lou Stein

(1986, 1988), 2005, 5½x8½, paper, index, 180 pp.

ISBN: 9781556130847