English Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Name possibly derived from the colour of the bark of trees or the name of the town Reedworth between Durham and Devon
The origins of the Reidhead surname are uncertain. In some instances, it was no doubt derived from the Old English word "read," meaning "red," and was a nickname that came to be a surname. Either way, we may conclude that it meant "red-haired" or "ruddy complexioned."
From the Old French male personal name Riulf
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "power-wolf" (cf. Riculf
RENSHAW English, Scottish
A habitational surname from any of the so-called or like-sounding places in the United Kingdom. These include Renishaw in Derbyshire, Ramshaw in Durham, the lost Renshaw in Cheshire and Radshaw in Yorkshire... [more]
Location name from northern England meaning "brush wood settlement" or place where brush wood, also known as rispe
From a medieval nickname for someone who is full of noisy enthusiasm and energy (from Middle English revel
RHINE German, French, English, Irish
A habitational name for an individual whom lived within close proximity of the River Rhine (see Rhein
). The river name is derived from a Celtic word meaning 'to flow' (Welsh redan
, 'flow').... [more]
This name originates from the small village in Lancashire that shares the same name. Interestingly, most people with the name 'Ribchester' are in Lancashire, but a lot are also found in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
RICHERS English, German
From a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ric
‘power(ful)’ + hari
‘army’. The name was introduced into England by the Normans in the form Richier
, but was largely absorbed by the much more common Richard
Habitational name from any of the numerous places so named, in northern France as well as in England. These are named with the Old French elements riche
"rich, splendid" and mont
RIDDELL Scottish, English
From a Norman personal name, Ridel
. Reaney explains this as a nickname from Old French ridel
‘small hill’ (a diminutive of ride
‘fold’, of Germanic origin), but a more probable source is a Germanic personal name derived from the element rīd
Means "outrider (a municipal or monastic official in the Middle Ages whose job was to ride around the country collecting dues and supervising manors)".
Topographic name for someone who lived on or by a ridge, Middle English rigge
, or a habitational name from any of the places named with this word, as for example Ridge in Hertfordshire. The surname is also fairly common in Ireland, in County Galway, having been taken to Connacht in the early 17th century... [more]
Comes from Middle English 'riggewey'
, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by such a route or a habitational name from any of various places so named, for example in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, and Staffordshire.
Derived from the occupation of "ringer" as in a bell ringer or a person who makes rings.
Means "maker, seller or carrier of baskets" (from a derivative of Middle English rip
RIVETT English, French
English (East Anglia): metonymic occupational name for a metalworker, from Middle English, Old French rivet
‘small nail or bolt’ (from Old French river
‘to fix or secure’, of unknown origin).... [more]
Means "person from Rochester", Kent (probably "Roman town or fort called Rovi"). A fictional bearer of the surname is Mr Rochester, the Byronic hero of Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre' (1847).
Topographic name for someone who lived near a notable crag or outcrop, from Middle English rokke
"rock" (see Roach
), or a habitational name from a place named with this word, as for example Rock in Northumberland.
An altered spelling of English Rochford; alternatively it may be an Americanized form of French Rochefort or Italian Roccaforte.
Means "person from Rockwell", Buckinghamshire and Somerset (respectively "wood frequented by rooks" and "well frequented by rooks"). Famous bearers include American illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) and Utah pioneer Porter Rockwell (1813-1878).
From Roddam in Northumberland. The name is thought to have derived from Germanic *rodum
, meaning 'forest clearing'.
The surname Rodman is an ancient English surname, derived from a trade name, "men who were by the tenure or customs of their lands to ride with or for the lord of the manor about his business". The most famous bearer of this name is the basketball player Dennis Rodman.
Rodwell, a name of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational surname deriving from any one of various places in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Kent, England. In English, the meaning of the name Rodwell is "Lives by the spring near the road".
Nickname for a timid person, derived from the Middle English ro
meaning "roe"; also a midland and southern form of Ray
There are two small villages named "Roffey". One in England, near Horsham, and one in France, Burgundy. The name is of Norman orgin. First mentioned in (surviving English documents) in 1307 when a George Roffey buys a house... [more]
From the Middle English personal name Rolf
, composed of the Germanic elements hrōd
"renown" and wulf
"wolf". This name was especially popular among Nordic peoples in the contracted form Hrólfr
, and seems to have reached England by two separate channels; partly through its use among pre-Conquest Scandinavian settlers, partly through its popularity among the Normans, who, however, generally used the form Rou(l)
English habitational name from any of various places, such as Rowlston in Lincolnshire, Rolleston in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Staffordshire, or Rowlstone in Herefordshire, near the Welsh border... [more]
ROMAN Catalan, French, Polish, English, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Belorussian
From the Latin personal name Romanus
, which originally meant "Roman". This name was borne by several saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Rouen.
English: habitational name from a place in Kent, so called from an obscure first element, rumen
, + Old English ea
‘river’ (see Rye
From a medieval nickname for someone thought to resemble a rook (e.g. in having black hair or a harsh voice).
ROOT English, Dutch
English: nickname for a cheerful person, from Middle English rote ‘glad’ (Old English rot). ... [more]
English: occupational name for a maker or seller of rope, from an agent derivative of Old English rāp ‘rope’. See also ROOP
Americanized form of Norwegian Røys(e)land
; a habitational name from about 30 farmsteads, many in Agder, named from Old Norse reysi ‘heap of stones’ + land ‘land’, ‘farmstead’.
ROSEVEAR Cornish, English
From the name of a Cornish village near St Mawgan which derives from Celtic ros
"moor, heath" and vur
A topographic name referring to a dwelling with uncultivated ground, ultimately deriving from Olde English ruh meaning "rough".
nickname for a person with red hair, from Middle English, Old French rous ‘red(-haired)’
ROVER English, German (Anglicized)
This surname is derived from Middle English roof
(from Old English hrof
) combined with the agent suffix (i)er
, which denotes someone who does/works with something. Thus, the surname was originally used for a constructor or repairer of roofs.... [more]
English from a medieval personal name composed of the Germanic elements hrod
‘renown’ + wald
‘rule’, which was introduced into England by Scandinavian settlers in the form Róaldr
, and again later by the Normans in the form Rohald
Anglo Saxon Name- locational, comes from several places in England such as in Devonshire, Yorkshire, County Durham and Staffordshire. It means ' rough wood or clearing', from the Old English 'run' meaning rough and 'leah', meaning clearing in a wood.
ROWSON English (British, Anglicized)
The ancestors of the Rowson family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from the Norman given name Ralph. This name, which also occurs as Ralf, Rolf, and Raoul, is adapted from the Old French given name Raol.... [more]
A famous bearer is political activist Mark Rudd.
From the medieval French male personal name Ruffin
, from Latin Rūfīnus
, a derivative of Rūfus
(literally "red-haired one"). A known bearer of the surname is US soul singer Jimmy Ruffin (1939-).
From Rugby, Warwickshire. Originally named *Rocheberie
, from Old English *Hrocaburg
, 'Hroca's fort', the name was altered due to influence fort Danish settlers, with the second element being replaced with Old Norse byr
, 'farm'.... [more]
RULE Scottish, English
Scottish name from the lands of Rule in the parish of Hobkirk, Roxburghshire. The derivation is from the River Rule which flows through the area, and is so called from the ancient Welsh word "rhull" meaning "hasty or rushing".... [more]
Means "person from Rumbelow", the name of various locations in England ("three mounds").
A different form of Rumbold
(from the Norman personal name Rumbald
, of Germanic origin and probably meaning literally "fame-bold"). A fictional bearer of the surname is Horace Rumpole, the eccentric QC created by John Mortimer (originally for a 1975 television play).
RUNCIE English, Scottish
Derived from Latin runcinus, and related to the Old French "roncin", for a horse of little value. Middle English, Rouncy, as in Chaucer's Cantebury Tales.... [more]
RUSBY Scottish, English
Alternative spelling of Busby, a parish in Renfrewshire. A name well represented in the Penistone, and Cawthorne districts of the West Riding of Yorkshire.
RUTH English, German (Swiss)
English: from Middle English reuthe ‘pity’ (a derivative of rewen to pity, Old English hreowan) nickname for a charitable person or for a pitiable one. Not related to the given name in this case.... [more]
Either (i) "player of the rote (a medieval stringed instrument played by plucking)"; or (ii) from a medieval nickname for a dishonest or untrustworthy person (from Old French routier
"robber, mugger")... [more]
From any of several places in England named from Old English ryge
"rye" + hyll
RYDELL Swedish, English
Swedish: ornamental name composed of the place name element ryd
‘woodland clearing’ + the common suffix -ell
, from the Latin adjectival ending -elius
SAINT English, French
Nickname for a particularly pious individual, from Middle English, Old French saint
"holy" (Latin sanctus
"blameless, holy"). The vocabulary word was occasionally used in the Middle Ages as a personal name, especially on the Continent, and this may have given rise to some instances of the surname.
SALE English, French
English: from Middle English sale ‘hall’, a topographic name for someone living at a hall or manor house, or a metonymic occupational name for someone employed at a hall or manor house. ... [more]
Habitational name from the city in Wiltshire, the Roman name of which was Sorviodunum (of British origin). In the Old English period the second element (from Celtic dun
‘fortress’) was dropped and Sorvio-
(of unexplained meaning) became Searo-
in Old English as the result of folk etymological association with Old English searu
‘armor’; to this an explanatory burh
‘fortress’, ‘manor’, ‘town’ was added... [more]
"Salthouse" and other variants come from the place name in Northumberland.
From a medieval nickname for a fool (from Middle English samwis
"foolish", literally "half-wise").
Scottish surname of famous merchant family engaged in banking in Scotland and London and in the Port Wine trade in London. The same family were earlier the founders of an obscure Protestant sect the Sandemanians.
From Middle English sanguine
(blood) ,one of the four humours.
SANKEY English, Irish
Habitational name from a place in Lancashire, which derived from the name of an ancient British river, perhaps meaning "sacred, holy." ... [more]
SARD English, French, Spanish, Italian
In the book "Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary by Henry Harrison and Gyda (Pulling) Harrison 1912 - Reprinted 1996.... The Sard surname (which has been in England, Italy and Europe for a long time) is defined thus on page 136...... [more]
SARVER English, Jewish
English and Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic) occupational name from Old French serveur
(an agent derivative of server
‘to serve’), Yiddish sarver
From a place in England named with Old English sætr
"shielding" and Old Norse þveit
A habitational name from an uncertain place in Northern France. This is most likely Sainville, named from Old French saisne
, 'Saxon' and ville
, indicating a settlement.
Habitational name from a place in West Yorkshire, possibly also one in Cambridgeshire, both so named from Old English Seaxe
"Saxons" and tūn
Habitational name from Scarborough on the coast of North Yorkshire, so named from the Old Norse byname Skarði
+ Old Norse borg
"fortress", "fortified town".
SCHADE German, Dutch, Scottish, English
German and Dutch: from schade
‘damage’, a derivative of schaden
‘to do damage’, generally a nickname for a thug or clumsy person, or, more particularly, a robber knight, who raided others’ lands.... [more]
SCHRAM German, English, Yiddish
Derived from German Schramme
(Middle High German schram(me)
) and Yiddish shram
, all of which mean "scar".
SCOGINGS English, Old Danish
A surname of Scandinavian origin from the old Norse and old Danish by-name "Skeggi" or "skoggi", meaning 'the bearded one'. Common in areas invaded and settled by Scandinavians in the 8th and 9th Centuries.
Derived from Scotforth
, the name of a village near Lancaster (in Lancashire) in England. The village's name means "ford of the Scot(s)" and is derived from Old English Scott
"Scot" combined with Old English ford
(i) "person from Scotland"; (ii) "person from Scotland or Scotlandwell", Perth and Kinross; (iii) from the Norman personal name Escotland
, literally "territory of the Scots"
Habitational name from a place in Leicestershire, recorded in Domesday Book as Satgrave and Setgrave; probably named from Old English (ge)set meaning "fold", "pen" (or sēað meaning "pit", "pool") + grāf meaning "grove" or græf meaning "ditch".
The stage Surname of English singer Jay Sean (born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti)
Version of Sayer
. Used in the United States. Famous bearer of the name is Richard Warren Sears, one of the founders of Sears, Roebuck and Co.
"Broad hill" in Old English. A surname that most occurs in Merseyside, and Lancashire.
SEE English, German
Topographic name for someone who lived by the sea-shore or beside a lake, from Middle English see meaning "sea", "lake" (Old English sǣ), Middle High German sē. Alternatively, the English name may denote someone who lived by a watercourse, from an Old English sēoh meaning "watercourse", "drain".
SEGALE English, Italian
Respelling of SEGAL
. A famous bearer is Mario A. Segale, the inspiration for Nintendo's video game character Mario
East Anglian surname, from the medieval English masculine name Saulf
which was derived from the Old English elements sǣ
"sea" and wulf
From the name of the River Severn, which is of unknown meaning. The Severn is Great Britain's longest river, flowing from Wales through much of western England to the Bristol Channel. It is one of Britain’s most ancient river names, recorded as early as the 2nd century AD in the form Sabrina
; its original meaning may have been "slow-moving" or "boundary".
Occupational name for a sieve-maker, Middle English siviere
(from an agent derivative of Old English sife
SEWALL English (British, Modern)Dates back at least to Middle English (1500s or earlier)
; many believe it is Saxon in origin
; "may mean "sea" and "victory" or "war""
Perhaps from a medieval nickname for a man who had had sexual relations with a woman of higher social class (from shag
"to copulate with" (not recorded before the late 17th century) and lady
SHACKLEFORD English, Medieval English
Locational surname deriving from the place called Shackleford in Surrey, near the town of Farnham. The origin of "shackle" is uncertain. It could be derived from Old English sceacan
"to shake"... [more]
SHADE English, German, Dutch, Scottish
Topographic name for someone who lived near a boundary, from Old English scead
‘boundary’.nickname for a very thin man, from Middle English schade
‘shadow’, ‘wraith’.... [more]
Origin unidentified. The name Shadue
is recorded in England in the 12th and 13th centuries, from Middle English shadwe
‘shadow’, Old English sceadu
). However, there is no evidence of its continuation into modern times in this form.
Means "person from Shallcross", Derbyshire ("place by the Shacklecross", an ancient stone cross in the High Peak, its name perhaps denoting a cross to which people could be shackled as a penance).
SHANDY English (Rare)
Shandy appears as a rare surname, mostly found in English-speaking countries going back to the 1600s. This name may originate from the English dialect adjective meaning "boisterous" or "empty headed; half crazy", of which the earliest record dates to 1691, though any further explanation for its origins are unknown... [more]
Habitational name from Sharperton in Northumberland, possibly so named from Old English scearp
"steep" and beorg
"hill", "mound" and tun
A locational name from a family in Chaddock, a hamlet in the parish in Lancashire, England. Also a variant of Chadwick
English surname which was originally from a place name meaning "gap between hills" in Old English.
Meaning unknown, though possibly a variant of Sean. A famous bearer of the surname is actor Charlie Sheen.
From an Old English place name meaning "valley with steep sides".
From a medieval nickname for a dandyish (showy) or vain man, from Middle English scheldrake
, the male of a type of duck with brightly-coloured plumage (itself from the East Anglian dialect term scheld
"variegated" combined with drake
SHENBERGER English (?)
The name Shenberger comes from a common mix up with the archaic Austrian-German surname Schoenberg; meaning "Beautiful Mountain."
"Beautiful town" in Old English. Parishes in Leicestershire, and Cheshire.
Probably from a medieval nickname based on Middle English shere
"bright, fair", with the derogatory suffix -ard
English: nickname for a swift runner, from Middle English schere(n)
‘to shear’ + wind
Metonymic occupational name for an armorer, from Middle English scheld
"shield" (Old English scild