Origin Of Surnames Essay Research Paper Origins

Origin Of Surnames Essay, Research Paper Origins of Surnames In today’s society we all want to know who we are and where are names originated from. Our names are what give us our style and individuality. Our ancestors came from all over the

Origin Of Surnames Essay, Research Paper

Origins of Surnames

In today’s society we all want to know who we are and where are names originated from.

Our names are what give us our style and individuality. Our ancestors came from all over the

world all having names that are a true mystery to us. Surnames or better known as last names

are a very interesting topic, they are like our first names but give us identity through our family.

Looking back into history our names have changed drastically keeping some from knowing what

their surnames really originated. We can all find where our names originated from or what they

represent, by doing some research. There are many ways to do this whether you call a relative,

research in a library or, play on the Internet. If you are curious about what your surname means

or where it originated then I suggest you look into it.

Curious about where my surname originated, I began to research it. I started out on the

Internet and then I headed to the library. I found many things that did not pertain to my current

search, but I kept on plugging away to find what I wanted. I found that my surname was from an

old Cheshire family traced from a Norman Origin before the year of 1100. The surname had

many nobles, castles, estates and manors. The Richardson surname spread throughout Europe in

the eleventh and twelfth century. The first settlers to the states by this name settled in New

England in 1637 and then the name branched off towards Virginia in 1640. Never thinking

about what my surname was until now, I wondered how surnames originated.

The use of surnames originated in Europe in the eleventh and fifteenth century. Also in

Scandinavia around the same time surnames were introduced. The reason there was not

surnames before this time was the fact that most people were illiterate living in small villages in

a country atmosphere. Living out in the country these people had no reason to learn to read or

right, because there lives where lived off the land. They did not need surnames to signify who

they we’re or what they did. They just went by their first names in these villages because people

of the same name did not occur. But when the population of the villages grew it became

important to have surnames to identify between two people with the same name. In the times of

the Bible people used names that went by geography, for example “ Corey of Carlisle.” The use

of surnames showed social class, culture, tradition and, the jobs they worked.

The forming of surnames first came from other names by which someone was called.

The name “Johnson” originated from “the son of John,” and the same goes with my last name

“Richardson.” In some countries they would use their mothers first name for a surname, such as

“Paige”, this being the a mothers name became her son or daughters surname. Jimmy Paige,

from the band Led Zeppelin, could say this of his name. Other origins of surnames came from

places and geographical names. The surname “England” or “Penn” have this quality, obviously

England is a country and Penn is shortened from Pennsylvania. Surnames like “Smith” ( as in

blacksmith ) and “Carpenter” ( one who works with wood ) come from the jobs that these people

held. Surname are also known to originate from description of a particular family. The surname

“Stern” would mean that they family was strong, this being something for them to owner. Alot

of surnames came from nature or their social status. Surnames like Byrd, Foxx, Winters, Spring

are names commonly objects found in nature. And surnames like Bachelor, Knight or, Squire

are based on their social standings. Many of theses surnames have changed over the centuries do

to the spread of the families.

Our current society is often unaware of their true original surnames. When coming to

America the individuals had no choice but to keep the surnames that the clerks at Ellis Island

had given them because of error. Almost all names changed for these people entering America.

“Bauch became Baugh”, “Siminowicz became Simmons.” Then there was the people who

wanted to be Americanized and they changed their own names. In this case their names

generally became shorter or totally different names. In this case “Mlynar became Miller”, and

“Shwarz became Black”…etc. Names are something that is important to people for many reason.

It is important to us to know what our surnames are so we can identify our past. Our past

is something, just like surnames, that say what we represent and what significance we have.

Many of you will find that particular surnames have cultural importance. Presidents or people

with high class social standing and their surnames are remembered because these people

changed our society. Famous surnames will always be remembered, but so will those surnames

that have no significant because each one of our past has something that has changed our culture.

The spellings of your surname, and the pronunciation of it has changed over centuries. In many

cases the change occurred so long ago that people in today’s society are not aware of what it

used to be. The topic of surnames and there origins are very interesting. We can find many

things out from studying our names, who we really are or where our names came from. If this all

interests you the resources are out there to be found, I am sure you will enjoy it!