Browse Submitted Surnames
This is a list of submitted surnames in which the usage is English or American.
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
TOOKE English (Rare)
This unusual English surname is of pre 7th century Old Scandinavian origin.
Means "of Torkington". Torkington is an area in Greater Manchester, England.
From the Old Norse male personal name Tófi
, a shortened form of various compound names beginning with Thorf
- or Thorv
- (e.g. Thorvaldr
), based on the name of the thunder god Thórr
From a medieval nickname for a tricky or deceptive person (from Old French tricheor
TROLLOPE English, Medieval English
Derived from the place name Troughburn in Northumberland, England, originally Trolhop, meaning "troll valley". Derived from Old Norse troll
"troll, supernatural being" and hop
"enclosed valley, enclosed land"
"Trott" is an early recorded surname of the 17th century in America. It is five hundred years older when linked to Medieval Britain.
TROTTER English, Scottish, German
Northern English and Scottish: occupational name for a messenger, from an agent derivative of Middle English trot(en)
'to walk fast' (Old French troter
, of Germanic origin). ... [more]
This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has three distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. ... [more]
English habitational name from Trewhitt in Northumbria, named from Old Norse tyri
‘dry resinous wood’ + possibly an Old English wiht
TRUMP English, German
English (Devon): metonymic occupational name for a trumpeter, from Middle English trumpe
‘trumpet’.German (Bavaria): metonymic occupational name for a drummer, from Middle High German trumpe
This is a late medieval occupation descriptive name given to a professional witness, in effect an early Solicitor, the name deriving from the Olde French "Attester" - one who testifies or vouches for a contract or agreement.
Means "of Tunstall"; Tunstall is a town in the United Kingdom. Derived from the Old English elements tun
meaning "farm" and staell
which has about the same meaning as tun
TURNEY English, Norman
Habitational name from places in France called Tournai, Tournay, or Tourny. All named with the pre-Roman personal name TURNUS
and the locative suffix -acum
Origin unidentified ('Dictionary of American Family Names': "1881 census has 0, Not in RW, EML"), perhaps from the Italian surname Tarantino
TUTTLE English, English (American), Irish
Derived from the Old Norse given name Þorkell
, derived from the elements þórr
) and ketill
"cauldron". The name evolved into Thurkill
in England and came into use as a given name in the Middle Ages... [more]
Most famously borne in the pen name of American author and one time Mississippi riverboat pilot Mark Twain (1835-1910), whose real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens
. The term twain
is an Old English word for "two." The name Mark Twain is derived from a riverboat term meaning a mark of two fathoms depth on a line sunk in the river... [more]
Possibly derived from TWEEDY
perhaps originating from the area around the River Tweed
. Most common in England around the Lincolnshire
area, but also found in Yorkshire
. There are also people called TWIDDY in the USA who probably emigrated from England or the Scottish Borders originally.
English habitational name from any of the numerous places named Twyford, for example in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, and Norfolk, from Old English twi-
‘double’ + ford
From a place name meaning "squatter's holding" from Old English unthanc
(literally "without consent").
From the Old English male personal name Hūnwine
, literally "bearcub-friend" (later confused with Old English unwine
"enemy"). Bearers include British publisher Sir Stanley Unwin (1885-1968) and "Professor" Stanley Unwin (1911-2002), South African-born British purveyor of comical nonsense language.
Most probably an altered spelling of English Upshire, a habitational name from Upshire in Essex, named with Old English upp
"up" and scir
"district". Alternatively, it may be a variant of Upshaw
URBAN English, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Hungarian, Jewish
From a medieval personal name (Latin Urbanus meaning "city dweller", a derivative of urbs meaning "town", "city").
URIE Scottish, English, Irish
From the Scottish Fetteresso parish, Kincardineshire. May mean someone who is brave and loud.
Perhaps a variant of Osselton
, a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place, probably in northeastern England, where this name is most common.
Topographic name for someone who lived in a valley, Middle English vale
(Old French val
, from Latin vallis
). The surname is now also common in Ireland, where it has been Gaelicized as de Bhál
VALEN English, Scottish
English and Scottish: from a medieval personal name, Latin Valentinus
, a derivative of Valens
(see also Valente
), which was never common in England, but is occasionally found from the end of the 12th century, probably as the result of French influence... [more]
Means "person from Valence", southeastern France (probably "place of the brave").
Topographic name for someone who lived in a valley, Middle English valeye
Status name denoting a serf, Middle English, Old French vass(e)
, from Late Latin vassus
, of Celtic origin. Compare Welsh gwas
"boy", Gaelic foss
Means "dealer in foodstuffs" (from Old French vivres
Probably from a medieval nickname for a bold or slightly reckless person (from a reduced form of Middle English aventurous
"venturesome"). It was borne by British architect and scholar Michael Ventris (1922-1956), decipherer of the Mycenaean Greek Linear B script.
VERDIER French, Norman, English
Occupational name for a forester. Derived from Old French verdier
(from Late Latin viridarius
, a derivative of viridis
"green"). Also an occupational name for someone working in a garden or orchard, or a topographic name for someone living near one... [more]
VERNE French, English
As a French surname refers to someone who lived where alder trees grew. While the English version can mean someone who lived where ferns grew, Verne can also mean a seller of ferns which in medieval times were used in bedding, as floor coverings and as animal feed.
VERNEY English, French
The surname Verney was first found in Buckinghamshire, England, when they arrived from Vernai, a parish in the arrondissement of Bayeux in Normandy.
VICARY English (British)
There are a number of theories as to the origins of the name, Spanish sailors shipwrecked after the Armada and French Huguenots fleeing the Revolution are two of the more romantic ones. It is more likely to have come as someone associated with the church - the vicar, who carried out the pastoral duties on behalf of the absentee holder of a benefice... [more]
Means "son of the vicar". It could also be the name of someone working as a servant of a vicar.
Either (i) from a medieval nickname based on Anglo-Norman vis de leu
, literally "wolf-face"; or (ii) "violinist, fiddle player" (cf. Fiedler
Used as a name for someone who had played the part of Virtue in a medieval mystery play, or as a nickname for someone noted for their virtuousness or (sarcastically) for someone who parades their supposed moral superiority.
VIRTUOSO English (American), Spanish, Italian
This Italian surname could possibly be connected to those whose ancestors were involved in playing a musical instrument or somehow connected to the musical instrument industry.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a boundary, Old French devise
English surname of uncertain origin. May be Anglo-Norman from French vivace
meaning "lively, vigorous", however its pronunciation has led to its connection to various places in southern England called Five Ash Trees.
VIVIS English (Rare)
Found in the 1891, 1901 & 1911 British census, other Ancestry.co.uk records & FreeBMD. Could derive from Vivas from Spanish Catalan
Habitational name from any of various places called Waddington. One near Clitheroe in Lancashire and another in Lincolnshire (Wadintune in Domesday Book) were originally named in Old English as the "settlement" (Old English tūn) associated with Wada.
WAKE English, Scottish
From the Old Norse byname Vakr meaning "wakeful", "vigilant" (from vaka meaning "to remain awake"), or perhaps from a cognate Old English Waca (attested in place names such as Wakeford, Wakeham, and Wakeley).
WAKEHAM English, Cornish
A locational surname for someone who lived in one of three places called Wakeham in various parts of England, including Cornwall and/or Devon.
Habitational name from Wakeley in Hertfordshire, named from the Old English byname Waca
, meaning ‘watchful’ (see Wake) + Old English leah
From the Anglo-Norman male personal name Walquelin
, literally "little Walho
", a Germanic nickname meaning literally "foreigner".
WALD German, English
Topographic name for someone who lived in or near a forest (Old High German wald
, northern Middle English wald
Habitational name from a place in East Yorkshire named Walkington, from an unattested Old English personal name Walca + -ing- denoting association with + tūn.
WALLAS English, Scottish
A variant of Wallace
. The name originates from Scotland and its meaning is "foreigner" or "from the south", taken to mean someone from Wales or England.
Habitational name from Walmer in Kent, so named from Old English wala
(plural of walh
"Briton") + mere "pool", or from Walmore Common in Gloucestershire.
Either (i) from the Old English personal name Wealdwine
, literally "power-friend"; or (ii) perhaps from the medieval personal name Walwain
, the Anglo-Norman form of Old French Gauvain
From a medieval nickname for an ineffectual person (from Middle English wanles
WARDEN English, Scottish, Northern Irish
From Norman French wardein
meaning "to guard". It coincides the English word warden
and can be used as an occupational surname for a warden.
Northern English topographic name for someone living on the banks of the Washburn river in West Yorkshire, so named from the Old English personal name Walc
+ Old English burna
Probably means "person from Watney", an unidentified place in England (the second syllable means "island, area of dry land in a marsh"; cf. Rodney
). This surname is borne by Watneys, a British brewery company.
The surname Waycaster is German in origin. It means "roll-eater," and was likely derived from a derisive nickname on a baker.
Topographic name or a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place.
WEDMORE English (British)
Habitational name from Wedmore in Somerset, recorded in the 9th century as Wethmor, possibly meaning ‘marsh (Old English mor
) used for hunting (w?the)’.
Originally meant "person from Weekley", Northamptonshire ("wood or clearing by a Romano-British settlement"). British philologist Ernest Weekley (1865-1954) bore this surname.
WEINSTOCK English, German, Hebrew
This surname of WEINSTOCK is the English variant of the German surname WENSTOCK, an occupational name for a producer or seller of wine, derived originally from the Old German WEIN. The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, largely recollecting the prominence of wine in the Jewish Scriptures and its used in Jewish ceremonies... [more]
Habitational name from Welborne in Norfolk, Welbourn in Lincolnshire, or Welburn in North Yorkshire, all named with Old English wella ‘spring’ + burna ‘stream’.
Meant "one who lives in or near a forest (or in a deforested upland area)", from Middle English wold
"forest" or "cleared upland". A famous bearer is American actress Tuesday Weld (1943-).
Topographic name for someone who lived near a spring or stream, Middle English well(e)
(Old English well(a)
WELLER English, German
Either from the Olde English term for a person who extracted salt from seawater, or from the English and German "well(e)," meaning "someone who lived by a spring or stream."... [more]
Habitational name from any of the three places named Wellington, in Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Somerset. All are most probably named with an unattested Old English personal name Weola
+ -ing- (implying association with) + tun
Habitational name from any of various places named Welton, for example in Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and East Yorkshire, from Old English well(a)
‘spring’, ‘stream’ + tun
Habitational name from places in Cambridgeshire and South Yorkshire called Wentworth, probably from the Old English byname Wintra
meaning ‘winter’ + Old English worð
‘enclosure’. It is, however, also possible that the name referred to a settlement inhabited only in winter.
English British surname originating as a place name. There are several Westbury villages, parishes and even Manors across England that have given the name Westbury to people who take up residence in or come from those places... [more]
The name is originated from a term meaning 'winds from the West'. The name could be given to someone who is born in the west.
WESTERMAN English, American
Derived from Old English westerne
meaning "western" and mann
meaning "man", thus making it a topographic surname for someone who lived west of a settlement, or a regional surname for someone who had moved to the west... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived near a west gate in a city, or a habitual surname for someone from Westgate. It is derived from Middle English west
meaning "west" and gate
"gate" (or "street" in northern and eastern areas; from Old Norse gata
Combination of Old English west
"west" and tun
WESTWOOD English, Scottish
Habitational name from any of numerous places named Westwood, from Old English west
"west" and wudu
Habitational name from a place in Derbyshire named Wheeldon, from Old English hweol ‘wheel’ (referring perhaps to a rounded shape) + dun ‘hill’, or from Whielden in Buckinghamshire, which is named with hweol + denu ‘valley’.
Means "person from Whinneray", Cumbria, or "person who lives in a nook of land growing with gorse" (in either case from Old Norse hvin
"whin, gorse" + vrá
"nook of land"). It was borne by New Zealand rugby player Sir Wilson Whineray (1935-2012).
English surname of uncertain meaning. It might be a shortened form of “whippletree”; an early name for the dogwood. It may also be a variation of Whipp – an early surname for someone who carried out judicial punishments.
An English occupational surname, meaning "one who whistles."
English surname which was from either of two place names, that of a port in North Yorkshire (which comes from the Old Norse elements hvítr
"white" (or Hvíti
, a byname derived from it) combined with býr
"farm") or a place in Cheshire (from Old English hwit
"white" (i.e., "stone-built") and burh
WHITEHEAD English, Scottish
Nickname for someone with fair or prematurely white hair, from Middle English whit
"white" and heved
Means "person from Whitgift", Yorkshire ("Hvítr's dowry"). This surname was borne by Anglican churchman John Whitgift (?1530-1604), archbishop of Canterbury 1583-1604 (in addition, Whitgift School is an independent day school for boys in South Croydon, founded in 1595 by John Whitgift; and Whitgift Centre is a complex of shops and offices in the middle of Croydon, Greater London, on a site previously occupied by Whitgift School).
From a medieval nickname for a mild-mannered person (from Middle English whit
"white" + lam
"lamb"). This surname is borne by Australian Labour politician Gough Whitlam (1916-), prime minister 1972-75.
This surname is derived from a place name composed of Old English elements hwit
meaning "white" and leah
meaning "clearing, grove."
Nickname for someone with white or fair hair, from Middle English whit
‘white’ + lock
‘tress’, ‘curl’. Compare Sherlock
. ... [more]
From Middle English whit
‘white’ + man
‘man’, either a nickname with the same sense as White
, or else an occupational name for a servant of a bearer of the nickname White
English habitational name from Whitemarsh, a place in the parish of Sedgehill, Wiltshire, named from Old English hwit
‘white’ (i.e. ‘phosphorescent’) + mersc
‘marsh’. Compare Whitmore
From the medieval female personal name Wyburgh
, literally "war-fortress". (Cf. Germanic cognate Wigburg
WICK English, German
English: topographic name for someone who lived in an outlying settlement dependent on a larger village, Old English wic (Latin vicus), or a habitational name from a place named with this word, of which there are examples in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Worcestershire... [more]
A habitational surname that originates from a lost medieval site or village of Norse origins.... [more]
Two separate surnames, joined together to form Wicksey, when the Vikings invaded England. The name means "Dairy Farmer on the Marsh".
From the Old English male personal name Wihtgār
, literally "elf-spear".
Either (i) from the Germanic male personal name Wīgant
, literally "warrior", introduced into England by the Normans; or (ii) from the Breton male personal name Wiucon
, literally "worthy-noble", introduced into England by the Normans.
Means "person from Wilberfoss", Yorkshire ("Wilburh
's ditch"). This is borne by Wilberforce University, a university in Xenia, Ohio, USA, founded in 1856 and named in honour of the British philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce (1759-1833)... [more]
Originally meant "person from Wilbraham", Cambridgeshire ("Wilburg's homestead or estate").
A habitation name of uncertain origin found in the East Midlands. Speculation includes the possibility of the meaning "well" and "burn, borne" therefore meaning one who lived near a well or spring by a waterway crossing.
WILD Medieval English, English, German, Jewish
English: from Middle English wild
‘wild’, ‘uncontrolled’ (Old English wilde
), hence a nickname for a man of violent and undisciplined character, or a topographic name for someone who lived on a patch of overgrown uncultivated land.... [more]
Occupational name for a trapper or hunter, from Middle English wile
"trap, snare". It could also be a nickname for a devious person.
WILK Polish, Scottish, English
Polish: from Polish wilk
‘wolf’, probably from an Old Slavic personal name containing this element, but perhaps also applied as a nickname for someone thought to resemble a wolf or connected with wolves.... [more]
Habitational name from a place named Willingham, notably one in Cambridgeshire and one in Suffolk. The first is recorded in Domesday Book as Wivelingham
"homestead (Old English hām
) of the people of a man called Wifel
From the medieval male personal name Willoc
, a pet-form based on the first syllable of any of a range of Old English compound names beginning with willa
Perhaps a deliberate alteration of Impey
. It is borne by George Wimpey, a British construction company, founded in Hammersmith, London in 1880 by George Wimpey (1855-1913). A fictional bearer of the variant Wimpy
is J. Wellington Wimpy, a character in the 'Popeye' cartoons of Elzie C. Segar who is always portrayed eating a hamburger.
from Old English wencel ‘child’, perhaps used to distinguish a son from his father with the same forename or perhaps a nickname for a person with a baby face or childlike manner
WIND English, German, Danish
Nickname for a swift runner, from Middle English wind
"wind", Middle High German wint
"wind", also "greyhound".
Topographic name for someone who lived near a pathway, alleyway, or road, Old English (ge)wind
WINDHAM English, Irish (Anglicized)
English habitational name from Wyndham in West Sussex, near West Grinstead, probably named from an unattested Old English personal name Winda
+ Old English hamm
‘water meadow’; or from Wymondham in Leicestershire and Norfolk, named from the Old English personal name Wigmund
) + Old English ham
From the Old English personal name Winfrith
, literally "friend-peace". A famous bearer of this surname is Oprah Winfrey (1954-), a US television talk-show presenter.
WINNE Dutch, English
Dutch: occupational name for an agricultural worker, Middle Low German winne ‘peasant’. ... [more]
Derived from an unattested Old English given name, *Wyngeofu
, composed of the elements wyn
"joy" and geofu
Means "person from Winstanley", Lancashire ("Wynnstān's glade", Wynnstān
being an Old English male personal name, literally "joy-stone"; cf. Winston
). It was borne by English communist Gerrard Winstanley (?1609-60), leader of the Diggers.
WINTERBOURNE English (British)
Probably meaning "winter stream". A large village in Gloucestershire, From the Thomas Hardy novel "The Woodlanders".
Nickname for a wise or learned person, or in some cases a nickname for someone suspected of being acquainted with the occult arts, from Middle English wise
"wise" (Old English wis
). This name has also absorbed Dutch Wijs
, a nickname meaning "wise", and possibly cognates in other languages.
"Withall" comes from the village of "Cornwall" called "Withiel." There is also a connection to an aristocratic level, in the 15th at Henry VII court a noble man and knight went under the family name "Wit-hall"... [more]
WOLF English, German, Jewish
From Middle High German wolf
meaning "wolf". It can also be given in reference to the Hebrew tribe of Benjamin; the symbol for that tribe was the wolf.
WOLF English, German, Danish, Norwegian, Jewish, Scottish, Irish, Swedish, Dutch, Welsh, Flemish
From the Old English & German wulf
and other Germanic cognates, all meaning 'wolf, wild dog'. (Swedish, Norwegian & Danish ulv
, Scots wouf
, Yiddish volf
& Dutch wolf
WOLF English, Danish, German
From a short form of the various Germanic compound names with a first element wolf
"wolf", or a byname or nickname with this meaning. The wolf was native throughout the forests of Europe, including Britain, until comparatively recently... [more]
From the medieval male personal name Wolfet
(from Old English Wulfgēat
, literally "wolf-Geat" (the name of a Germanic people)). This surname was borne by Sir Donald Wolfit (1902-1968), a British actor and manager.
WOLK German, American
Surname derived from a northern German short form of the given name Walter.
From the medieval male personal name Wulsi
(from Old English Wulfsige
, literally "wolf-victory"). A famous bearer of the surname was English churchman and statesman Thomas Wolsey (Cardinal Wolsey), ?1475-1530.
From the Middle English personal name Wolfstan
, Old English Wulfstan
, composed of the elements wulf
‘wolf’ + stan
stone or a habitational name from any of a large number of places called Woolston(e) or Wollston, all of which are named with Old English personal names containing the first element Wulf
(Wulfheah, Wulfhelm, Wulfric, Wulfsige, and Wulfweard) + Old English tun