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.
It's a locational surname taken from the village of Birket Houses in Lancashire.
The surname "Birkin" comes from a village in Yorkshire of the same name, first recorded as "Byrcene" in the Yorkshire charters of 1030, and as "Berchine" and "Berchinge" in the Domesday Book. The first known person with the surname "Birkin" was Jon de Birkin, a baron who lived in the late-11th century.
Scottish: habitational name from a place in Morayshire, recorded in the 13th century as Brennach, probably from Gaelic braonach 'damp place'.
a corn merchant; one who made vessels designed to hold or measure out a bushel.
English and southern Scottish: topographic name from Middle English blak(e) ‘black’, ‘dark’ + stok ‘stump’, ‘stock’.
Habitational name from any of various places, for example in Cumbria, Derbyshire, County Durham, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire, named Blackwell, from Old English blæc
"black, dark" and wæll(a)
Literally means "black way", thus referring to a black road near which the original bearer must have lived. A famous bearer of this surname was Jacob Blakeway (b. 1583-?), the biological father of Mayflower
passenger Richard More (1614-1696).
From a medieval nickname applied probably to an effeminate man (from Old French blanche flour
"white flower"). This surname was borne by Northern Irish footballer Danny Blanchflower (1926-1993).
Bland is a habitational name from a place in West Yorkshire called Bland, the origin of which is uncertain. Possibly it is from Old English (ge)bland ‘storm’, ‘commotion’ (from blandan ‘to blend or mingle’), with reference to its exposed situation... [more]
Habitational name from Blandford Forum and other places called Blandford in Dorset (Blaneford in Domesday Book), probably named in Old English with bl?ge 'gudgeon' (genitive plural blægna) + ford 'ford'.
The surname of James P. Blaylock (1950-), an early steampunk author. His surname may mean "black lock" from Middle English blakelok
, originally referring to a person with dark hair.
Comes from a place in Gloucestershire called Bledisloe
, comes from an Old English personal name Blið
From a medieval nickname for a fortunate person. This surname is borne by British actor Brian Blessed (1936-).
From a medieval nickname for a blue-eyed person or one who habitually wore blue clothing (from Middle English bleuet
"cornflower" or bluet
A different form of Blessed
. A bearer of this surname is Luther Blissett (1958-), a Jamaican-born English footballer ("Luther Blissett" has been used since 1994 as a cover name for activists engaging in anti-cultural establishment polemics and spoofs on the internet and elsewhere).
Evidently from Old English blod ‘blood’, but with what significance is not clear. In Middle English the word was in use as a metonymic occupational term for a physician, i.e. one who lets blood, and also as an affectionate term of address for a blood relative.
Metonymic occupational name for an iron worker, from Middle English blome
‘ingot (of iron)’.
This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a locational name from either of the two places thus called in England, one in Staffordshire, and the other in Somerset, or it may be a dialectal variant of Blonville (-sur-Mer) in Calvados, Normandy, and hence a Norman habitation name... [more]
From a medieval nickname for someone with a pale complexion (from Middle English blowe
"pale"). This surname was borne by English composer John Blow (1649-1708) and British fashion editor Isabella Blow (original name Isabella Delves Broughton; 1958-2007); additionally, "Joe Blow" is a name used colloquially (in US, Canadian and Australian English) as representative of the ordinary uncomplicated unsophisticated man, the average man in the street (of which the equivalent in British English is "Joe Bloggs").
BLUFORD English, American (South)
Possibly an English habitational name from a lost or unidentified place. The name occurs in records of the 19th century but is now very rare if not extinct in the British Isles. In the U.S. it is found chiefly in TX and TN.
From the Old French word blund
which means "blonde, fair". It also coincides with the Middle English word blunt
meaning "dull". A famous bearer is Emily Blunt, a British actress.
BOEING English (Anglicized)
Anglicized form of German Böing
. This was the surname of American industrialist William Boeing (1881-1956) who founded The Boeing Company, a manufacturer of airplanes.
Probably a habitational name from the village Boekhoute in northern Belgium, close to the border to The Netherlands.
BOLLARD English, Irish
According to MacLysaght, this surname of Dutch origin which was taken to Ireland early in the 18th century.
From Middle English bolt
meaning "bolt", "bar" (Old English bolt
meaning "arrow’). In part this may have originated as a nickname or byname for a short but powerfully built person, in part as a metonymic occupational name for a maker of bolts... [more]
BONSALL English (British)
This is a locational name which originally derived from the village of Bonsall, near Matlock in Derbyshire. The name is Norse-Viking, pre 10th Century and translates as 'Beorns-Halh' - with 'Beorn' being a personal name meaning 'Hero' and 'Halh' a piece of cultivated land - a farm.
BOOK English (British)
The surname Book originated from the UK. When and where are still under investigation, however we believe it maybe within the Manchester area.
English occupational surname meaning "maker of books."
BOORMAN Anglo-Saxon, English
This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical name for someone who lived in a particularly noteworthy or conspicuous cottage, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bur", bower, cottage, inner room, with "mann", man, or a locational name from any of the various places called Bower(s) in Somerset and Essex, which appear variously as "Bur
" and "Bura
" in the Domesday Book of 1086... [more]
BOOT English, Dutch, German
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of boots, from Middle English, Old French bote (of unknown origin).... [more]
Habitational name for someone from a place called Borek or Borki, from bór
English habitation surname derived from the Old English personal name Bosa
and the Old English leah
"clearing, field". It's also possibly a variant of the French surname Beausoleil meaning "beautiful sun" from the French beau
'beautiful, fair' and soleil
From an English surname which was from a lost or unidentified place name. The second element is clearly Old English wic
"outlying (dairy) farm".
Habitational name from any of several places called Bowden or Bowdon, most of them in England. From Old English boga
"bow" and dun
"hill", or from Old English personal names BUGA
combined with dun
BOWDLER Flemish, English
Originally de Boelare it evolved to Bowdler or Bowdle after Baldwin de Boelare came to England in 1105 & was given a lordship over Montgomery, Wales.
BOWE Medieval English, English, Irish (Anglicized)
There are three possible sources of this surname, the first being that it is a metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of bows, a vital trade in medieval times before the invention of gunpowder, and a derivative of the Old English pre 7th Century 'boga', bow, from 'bugan' to bend... [more]
Nickname from the Norman term of address beu sire ‘fine sir’, given either to a fine gentleman or to someone who made frequent use of this term of address.
English: occupational name for a maker or seller of bows (see Bow
), as opposed to an archer. Compare Bowman
BOYE English, German, Dutch, Frisian, Danish
From a Germanic personal name, Boio or Bogo, of uncertain origin. It may represent a variant of Bothe, with the regular Low German loss of the dental between vowels, but a cognate name appears to have existed in Old English, where this feature does not occur... [more]
Habitational name from any of the places called Bradshaw, for example in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, from Old English brad
"broad" + sceaga
BRAGG English, Welsh
From a nickname for a cheerful or lively person, derived from Middle English bragge
meaning "lively, cheerful, active", also "brave, proud, arrogant".
Northern English habitational name from any of the places in Cumbria and Yorkshire named Braithwaite, from Old Norse breiðr
"broad" + þveit
This surname is taken from the word which refers to a common blackberry (British) or any of several closely related thorny plants in the Rubus genus (US). It also refers to any thorny shrub. The word is derived from Old English bræmbel
with a euphonic -b-
inserted from the earlier bræmel
, which is then derived from Proto-Germanic *bræmaz
meaning "thorny bush."
Place-name derived from the Old Norse
words for a "broad clearing".
BRAUNERSHRITHER German, Dutch, English
This name mean Leather (Tanned) Knight, or a fighter of leather armor, or in Dutch, Leather writer, one who branded print on leather
From a medieval nickname for someone who had achieved notable success in jousts or in battle. Nicholas Breakspear (?1100-1159) was the original name of Pope Hadrian IV, the only English pope.
Probably from a medieval nickname for a likable or popular person (from Middle English breden
"to produce" + love
). This surname is borne by Craig Breedlove (1937-), US land-speed record holder.
BRETON French, English
French and English: ethnic name for a Breton, from Old French bret
(oblique case breton
) (see Brett
BRIGGS English, Flemish
This surname is a variant of the more common name Bridges
, which, contrary to appearances, has two possible origins, one the perhaps obvious English topographical or occupational one, and the other locational, from Belgium... [more]
From a Middle English nickname or personal name, meaning "bright, fair, pretty", from Old English beorht
English locational surname, taken from the town of the same name in Norfolk. The name means "settlement belonging to Brun" - the personal name coming from the Old English
word for "fire, flame".
BRODERICK Irish, Welsh, English
Surname which comes from two distinct sources. As a Welsh surname it is derived from ap Rhydderch
meaning "son of Rhydderch
". As an Irish surname it is an Anglicized form of Ó Bruadair
meaning "descendent of Bruadar"... [more]
From the name of a place in West Yorkshire meaning "valley brook", from Old English broc
"brook" and denu
Habitational name from any of the many places so called in England. Most of them derived from Old English brom
"broom" and leah
Habitational name from any of the many places so called in England. The first name element is derived from Old English broc
"fortress", or beorg
"castle". The second element is derived from Old English tun
BRUGGER German, American
South German variant or Americanized spelling of North German Brügger (see Bruegger
). habitational name for someone from any of various (southern) places called Bruck or Brugg in Bavaria and Austria.
BRUMBY Australian (Rare), English
English habitational name from a place in Lincolnshire named Brumby, from the Old Norse personal name Brúni
or from Old Norse brunnr
‘well’ + býr
Habitational name from any of the many places in southern England (including nine in Devon) named Buckland, from Old English boc
"book" and land
"land", i.e. land held by right of a written charter, as opposed to folcland
, land held by right of custom.
Occupational name for a goatherd (Middle English bukkeman
) or scholar (Old English bucman
"book man"). It could also be a shortened form of BUCKINGHAM
or a variant of BUCKNAM
Nickname from Norman French buge
"mouth" (Late Latin bucca
), applied either to someone with a large or misshapen mouth or to someone who made excessive use of his mouth, i.e. a garrulous, indiscreet, or gluttonous person... [more]
BUELTER German, English
Middle European variant of Butler, also meaning "a vat or large trough used to contain wine." The name originated in southern Germany in the mid-seventeenth century.
From the Old Norse nickname Buggi
, literally "fat man", or from a medieval nickname for an eccentric or strangely behaved person (from Middle English bugge
From a medieval nickname for a "good chap" or amiable companion (from Old French bon enfant
, literally "good child").
(i) from a medieval nickname for a vigorous walker (from Old French bon
"good" + pas
"pace"); (ii) perhaps "person who lives by a place through which travel is easy" (from Old French bon
"good" + pas
English: nickname for a hunchback, from Middle English bunche ‘hump’, ‘swelling’ (of unknown origin).
English: habitational name from places in Wiltshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire, so named with Old English burh ‘fort’ + bæc ‘hill’, ‘ridge’ (dative bece).
English: perhaps a variant of Burbage, altered by folk etymology, or possibly a habitational name from a lost place so named.
BURGER English, German, Dutch
Status name for a freeman of a borough. From Middle English burg
, Middle High German burc
and Middle Dutch burch
"fortified town". Also a German habitational name for someone from a place called Burg.
English: from an Old English personal name, Burgheard
, composed of the elements burh, burg ‘fort’ (see Burke
) + heard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’. ... [more]
Old English occupational name originally meaning "cup bearer" or "butler" for one who dispensed wine and had charge of the cellar. Eventually the name came to mean the chief servant of a royal or noble household and was replaced by the French language inspired named 'Butler,' akin to the world "bottler".
English habitation name from the elements burh
meaning "stronghold or fortified settlement" and leah
meaning "field or clearing".
Habitational name from Bridlington in East Yorkshire, from Old English Bretlintun
Scottish and English: descriptive nickname from Old French burnete, a diminutive of brun "brown" (see Brown
English (Lancashire and Yorkshire): habitational name from Burnley in Lancashire, so named with the Old English river name Brun (from brun ‘brown’ or burna ‘stream’) + leah ‘woodland clearing’... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived by a hill or tumulus, Old English "beorg", a cognate of Old High German berg "hill", ‘mountain’ (see Berg). This name has become confused with derivatives of Old English burh ‘fort’ (see Burke)... [more]
Variant of Burroughs
. A name for someone who lived by a hill or tumulus, also may be a further derivation from Old English bur
"bower" and hus
Habitational name from a place in North Yorkshire, recorded in Domesday Book as Buschebi
, from Old Norse buskr
"bush, shrub" or an Old Norse personal name Buski
"homestead, village", or from some other place so called.
This is a locational surname and originates from the hamlet of 'Bousfield', eight miles from the town of Appleby in Cumberland. This hamlet was controlled by Norse Vikings for several centuries until the Norman invasion of 1066... [more]
BUTTER English, German
1. English: nickname for someone with some fancied resemblance to a bittern, perhaps in the booming quality of the voice, from Middle English, Old French butor ‘bittern’ (a word of obscure etymology)... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived by a pasture for cattle or at a dairy farm, or a habitational name from a place named Butterfield (for example in West Yorkshire), from Old English butere ‘butter’ + feld ‘open country’.
1. A habitational name for someone from Buxton in Derbyshire, from the Middle English Buchestanes or Bucstones (meaning "bowing stones"), from Old English būgan
meaning "to bow" and stanes
, meaning "stones".... [more]
Probably means "person from Bytham", Lincolnshire ("homestead in a valley bottom"). Glen Byam Shaw (1904-1986) was a British theatre director.
BYCRAFT English (American, Rare, ?)
Found mostly in the American Great Lakes region and Canada, likely a singular extended family. Likely of 6th century English descent, though there are very few English natives who bear the name. Name either refers to the occupation running some sort of mill machine, the original holder living near a croft (enclosed pasture or tillage) or implies "craftiness" of its original holder.
BYERS Scottish, English
Scottish and northern English topographic name for someone who lived by a cattleshed, Middle English byre
, or a habitational name with the same meaning, from any of several places named with Old English b¯re
, for example Byers Green in County Durham or Byres near Edinburgh.
Probably derived from Old English bȳre
BYTHESEA English (British)
Habitational name for someone who lived near the sea, this name is nearly extinct in England today.
CABELL Catalan, English, German
As a Catalan name, a nickname for "bald" from the Spanish word cabello
. The English name, found primarily in Norfolk and Devon, is occupational for a "maker or seller of nautical rope" that comes from a Norman French word... [more]
CABLE English, German
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker of rope, especially the type of stout rope used in maritime applications, from Anglo-Norman French cable
‘cable’ (Late Latin capulum
‘halter’, of Arabic origin, but associated by folk etymology with Latin capere
‘to seize’).... [more]
From the Middle English cake denoting a flat loaf made from fine flour (Old Norse kaka), hence a metonymic occupational name for a baker who specialized in fancy breads. It was first attested as a surname in the 13th century (Norfolk, Northamptonshire).
Occupational name for a person who finished freshly woven cloth by passing it between heavy rollers to compress the weave. From Old Franch calandrier
CALLOWAY American (Modern, Rare)
Means "pebble". From the Old French cail(ou)
'pebble'. Traditionally an English surname, which is a regional name of French Norman origin from Caillouet-Orgeville in Eure, France.
English (of Norman origin): habitational name for someone from Caen in Normandy, France.English: habitational name from Cam in Gloucestershire, named for the Cam river, a Celtic river name meaning ‘crooked’, ‘winding’.Scottish and Welsh: possibly a nickname from Gaelic and Welsh cam ‘bent’, ‘crooked’, ‘cross-eyed’.Americanized spelling of German Kamm.
From a medieval nickname for someone with a snub nose (from Old French camus
CANADA French, English
It derives from the Middle English "cane", a development of the Old French "cane", meaning cane, reed.
Derived from the medieval English, male first name Gandelyn, of unknown meaning.
Unexplained.There was a family of this name in Roussillon, France, descended from a partisan of James II named Kennedy, who was exiled in France in the 17th century. The family died out in France in 1868, but may have had an American branch.
Means "singer in a chantry chapel", or from a medieval nickname for someone who was continually singing (in either case from Old Northern French cant
Means "person from Canteleu, Canteloup, etc.", the name of various places in northern France ("song of the wolf").
Habitational name from Canterbury in Kent, named in Old English as Cantwaraburg
"fortified town (burgh
) of the people (wara
) of Kent".
From the Domesday Book of 1086, from the old French word 'capele' meaning chapel.
Means "singer in a chantry chapel" (from Old Northern French capelain
, a variant of standard Old French chapelain
Unexplained. Perhaps a habitational name from Cadshaw near Blackburn, Lancashire, although the surname is not found in England.
This is the last name of Juliet from William Shakepeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.
Probably means "spice merchant" (from Middle English carewei
From a medieval nickname for a dark-haired or swarthy person, from Anglo-Norman carbonel
, literally "little charcoal".
English: metonymic occupational name for someone who carded wool (i.e. disentangled it), preparatory to spinning, from Middle English, Old French card(e) ‘carder’, an implement used for this purpose... [more]
From the traditionally British surname, which is a variant of the British surname Caldwell, a from the Old English cald
"cold" and well(a)
Occupational name for a locksmith, Middle English keyere, kayer, an agent derivative of keye.
Carisbrooke is a village on the Isle of Wight; the name is thought to mean "Carey's brook". When in 1917 the British royal family changed its name from the "House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha" to the "House of Windsor" and renounced all German titles, the title of Marquess of Carisbrooke was created for the erstwhile German Prince Alexander of Battenberg.
English: from Old French carrel, ‘pillow’, ‘bolster’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of these. In some cases perhaps an altered spelling of Irish Carroll
. In other cases perhaps an altered spelling of French Carrel
CARRINGTON English, Scottish
English: habitational name from a place in Greater Manchester (formerly in Cheshire) called Carrington, probably named with an unattested Old English personal name Cara
denoting association + tun
CARSTAIRS English (British)
From the manor or barony of the same name in the parish of Carstairs (= 1170 Casteltarres, 'Castle of Tarres').
From Anglo-Norman French cas(s)e
"case, container" (from Latin capsa
), hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of boxes or chests.
Habitational name for someone from Cawston in Norfolk; the form of the surname reflects the local pronunciation of the place name, which is from the Old Scandinavian personal name Kalfr
and Old English tun
Either (i) "person from Cassel", northern France, or "person from Kassel", Germany ("fort"); or (ii) a different form of Castle
("person who lives by or lives or works in a castle"). Cassell & Company is a British publishing company, established in 1848 by John Cassell (1817-1865).
Meant "bailiff, especially (originally) one who could seize domestic animals in lieu of tax or debt" (from Anglo-Norman cachepol
, from cacher
"to chase" + pol
English patronymic from the Old Norse byname Káti
Means "person from Catley", Herefordshire and Lincolnshire ("glade frequented by cats"). It was borne by the British botanical patron William Cattley (1788-1835).
This surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, is an English locational name from Catterall, near Garstang in Lancashire, which appeared as "Catrehala" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and "Caterhale" in the Book of Fees of 1212... [more]
Nickname for a bald man, from a diminutive of Anglo-Norman French cauf
English surname, a variant of the English surname Calverley, itself derived from the Old English calf
"calf" and leag
Traditional English habitational surname meaning "jackdaw wood" from the Old English ca
referring to 'jackdaw' (a member of the crow family), and wudu
Means "person from Cawthorn or Cawthorne", both in Yorkshire ("cold thorn bush").
CENA English (American), English
Cena is a prominently used English name. It is derived from the word "see", however it rather than referring to the ability to see it, what it actually refers to is the inability to see as the other half of the name ("-na") means "naw" a synonym for "no"... [more]
Probably from a medieval nickname for a touchy or quarrelsome person (from a derivative of Middle English chalangen
"to challenge"). A fictional bearer is Professor George Challenger, irascible scientist and explorer, leader of the expedition to Amazonia in Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Lost World' (1912).
CHAMPLIN Belgian, English
Means Champion, was a family name in Belgium, a status and influence that was envied by the princes of the region.... [more]
Means "singer in a chantry chapel" or "one who lives by a chantry chapel". A chantry
was a type of chapel, one endowed for the singing of Masses for the soul of the founder (from Old French chanterie
, from chanter
English form of Chappell
. Derived from the Old French word chape
meaning "cape", "hooded cloak" or "hat". This surname is for a person who makes hats / capes or a wearer of hats and / or capes... [more]
Of uncertain origin. Possibly from Norman French habitation names Chancé or an American adaptation of a German place name of Schanze located on the Upper Rhine. Could also be a short form of Chancellor
Means "goatherd", or from a medieval nickname for someone thought to resemble a goat (e.g. in capriciousness) (in either case from Anglo-Norman chivere
"goat"). It was borne by American author John Cheever (1912-1982).
From Middle English chirie
"cherry", hence a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of cherries, or possibly a nickname for someone with rosy cheeks.... [more]
Habitational name from a place in Somerset named Chew Magna, which is named for the river on which it stands, a Celtic name, perhaps cognate with Welsh cyw ‘young animal or bird’, ‘chicken’.