07 October 2014

Family History Month Day 7: Surname Origins

Surnames are interesting. They can come from many different places. Just yesterday I read an article from Ancestry talking about the origins of English surnames. I think it can hold true for many other countries as well.
Some common origins of surnames include occupation, places, characteristics, and ancestry.
For myself, I know that Turner and Carpenter are definitely occupations and Merryweather has to do with someone who is cheerful (a sunny disposition). De Valkeneer is a Falconer, or someone who trains and hunts with falcons (sometimes for royalty). It's not English, but like I said, many other languages/countries use similar naming methods.
If you are unsure about some of your ancestors surnames, you can check them out at Ancestry. It has origins when available, and statistics from all it's records. Pretty neat.