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About family name - home

This section of names provides background information about selected families.

Family Names - Background Information

Every family has origins in terms of their family name, where the family originated geographically, who they were and how a family then developed over the decades and even centuries.

Origins of Family Names

Family names may have been created and modified over hundreds of years - click on this bar to reveal some examples [and to clsoe it]:


Until individuals were taxed the majority of people did not have a need for a surname. They lived locally all their lives and everyone knew them by their common name. Once taxation was administered the personal name identifier had to be unambiguous over a much wider area than a village or working estate.

The source of most surnames can be assigned to one of four main types:

  • Topographical: after an area, place or feature eg John Horton [ton ~ tun ~ settlement]
  • Lineage: after a parent eg Mark Richardson [a]
  • Occupation: after their work eg Adam Baker
  • Characteristic: after a personal trait eg Paul Power [power ~ a poor person]

[a] See an extensive list of name affixes from wikipedia HERE

Public Resources

We are unlikely to ever be able to unearth much of that information beyond the 18thC because records do not exlst or are sufficiently authoritative.

The names pages (see listings below) document what we currently do know about a particular family, where they lived, who the individuals were, the partners and what they did for a living.

Earlier than the 19thC we have to search parish registers - which are poor in terms of being able to check that an entry is the one you are looking for.

Please refer to the Resources pages for more background on records.

Family Names Listings

On the Names Selection page you can select one of the displayed family names to find out more about their background.

Reports - Select here:

Site Status

Version: 5.1.00
Status: Published
Complete: 100%
Platform: KRYSTAL
Date: April 2022

Last Updated: v1.01 | 2022-02-20 17:00

Status: To be finalised


Site Main Listings | Last Updated: 06 Apr 2022 21:30



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