English Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
English: habitational name from a place in the parish of Alstonfield, Staffordshire named Beresford, from Old English beofor ‘beaver’ (or possibly from a byname from this word) + Old English ford ‘ford’... [more]
BERLIN German, English
Habitational name from the city in Germany, the name of which is of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from an Old Slavic stem berl-
or from a West Slavic word meaning "river lake".
BERNER English, Norman
From the Norman personal name Bernier
from Old English beornan
‘to burn’, hence an occupational name for a burner of lime (compare German Kalkbrenner
) or charcoal. It may also have denoted someone who baked bricks or distilled spirits, or who carried out any other manufacturing process involving burning... [more]
BERRYCLOTH English (Rare)
This name is of English locational origin, from the place called Barrowclough
near Halifax in West Yorkshire.
Popularly grown surname from the diminuative form of "Elizabeth" during any time of a Queen Elizabeth
BETHENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)Bettencourt
and Bethencourt are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
BETTENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)
Bettencourt and Bethencourt
are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
Habitational name from Bexley (now Bexleyheath in Greater London), which was named from Old English byxe
‘box tree’ + leah
Habitational name from places so named in Devon and Somerset, most of which are most probably named with an Old English personal name Bicca
and Old English cumb
"valley". The first element could alternatively be from bica
BIDDLE English, Irish
Variant of English BEADLE
or German BITTEL
. The name is now popular in the north east region of America, where it was brought by English and Irish immigrants.
Habitational name from a place in England called Big Low meaning "big mound".
Habitational name from any of the various places in England named with northern Middle English bigging
"building" (from Old Norse). This word came to denote especially an outbuilding, and is still used in and around Northumberland and Cumbria.
Derived from the ancient word, "bigga", meaning large.
Ultimately deriving from the toponym of Melcombe Bingham in Dorset. The name was taken to Ireland in the 16th century, by Richard Bingham, a native of Dorset who was appointed governor of Connaught in 1584... [more]
Habitual surname for someone from Bingley in West Yorkshire, derived either from the given name Bynna
or the Old English element bing
meaning "hollow" and leah
meaning "woodland clearing"... [more]
Topographic name for someone living by a bink, a northern dialect term for a flat raised bank of earth or a shelf of flat stone suitable for sitting on. The word is a northern form of modern English bench.
BIRCH English, German, Danish, Swedish (Rare)
From Middle High German birche
, Old English birce
, Old Danish birk
, all meaning "birch". This was likely a topographic name for someone living by a birch tree or a birch forest... [more]
Probably a habitational name from Birchill in Derbyshire or Birchills in Staffordshire, both named in Old English with birce
"birch" + hyll
From the English words bird and song. Possibly an English translation of the German surname Vogelsang.
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)
Metonymic occupational name for a cutler, from Middle English blade
"cutting edge, sword".
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'.
Variant of Blenkinsop
, a surname derived from a place in Northumberland called Blenkinsopp. The place name possibly derives from Cumbric blaen
"top" and kein
"back, ridge", i.e. "top of the ridge", combined with Old English hōp
"valley" (compare Hope
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
The Blennerhassett surname comes from someone having lived in Cumberland, on the Borderlands between Scotland and England. ... [more]
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.
Derived from the Old English byname Blīþa (meaning "happy, blithe").
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.
Occupational name for a person who worked on the deck of a ship.
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.
BOLD German, English
English: nickname from Middle English bold ‘courageous’, ‘daring’ (Old English b(e)ald, cognate with Old High German bald). In some cases it may derive from an Old English personal name (see Bald)... [more]
Franciscanized form of "Bullens", a Dutch surname meaning "son of Baldo (meaning "strong")".
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.
English occupational surname meaning "maker of books."
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]
Possibly from the Old English booth meaning "hut, shack" and royd meaning "clearing (in the woods)".
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 originally French term meaning "hunchback".
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
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
Derived from the Old Norse breithr "broad", or from the Old Norse personal name Breithi
, combined with Old English tun
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.
Habitational name from any of various minor places, for example Brede in Sussex, named with Old English brǣdu
"breadth, broad place" (a derivative of brād
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.
The surname is derived from the old English word brasian, meaning to make out of brass. This would indicate that the original bearer of the name was a brass founder by trade. The name is also derived from the old English Broesian which means to cast in brass and is the occupational name for a worker in brass.
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
Habitational name from a place in England so named. From Old English berned
"burnt" and leah
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
A surname well represented in Cheshire, and Nottinghamshire.
From a place name meaning "gorse field", from Old English brom
"gorse" and feld
"field, open country".
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
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
First found in Languedoc, France, possibly meaning "brown."
Habitational name from the former county seat of the county of Buckinghamshire, Old English Buccingahamm
"water meadow (Old English hamm
) of the people of (-inga-
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
Originated from the Old English personal name Budda, from the word budda
, which means "beetle" or "to swell." Specifically of Celtic Welsh origin.
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).
BUNDY English (American)
This surname is most recognizable in North America as belonging to the serial killer named Ted Bundy who committed his crimes in the 1970s.
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.
BURGESS English, Scottish
Derived from the Middle English word burge(i)s
or the Old French burgeis
which both meant "inhabitant and (usually) freeman of a fortified town" (compare Burke
English: from an Old English personal name, Burgheard
, composed of the elements burh, burg ‘fort’ (see Burke
) + heard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’. ... [more]
English variant of Birkin
, a habitational name from the parish of Birkin in West Yorkshire, so named with Old English bircen
‘birch grove’, a derivative of birce
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
BURNEY English, Irish
Form of the French place name of 'Bernay' or adapted from the personal name Bjorn
, ultimately meaning "bear".
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’.
From the insect Butterfly this Surname is borne by Star Butterfly from Star Vs. the forces of evil.
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
An English place name, earlier Byram, from byre
, meaning "farm" and the suffix -ham
meaning "homestead". Famously borne by the aristocratic poet, Lord Byron.