Noel-Ardinger Line

14 April: A Day to Remember

On this day, 14 April, history happened:

In the year 979, my three-times great-grandfather Æthelred “The Unready” (through his son Edmund II “Ironside”, my twice-over 30th great-grandfather, and through his daughter Ælfgifu, my 31st great-grandmother) was challenged for the throne of England.

In the year 1471, the Battle of Barnet, a decisive battle in the War of the Roses, was fought. The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians, killing Richard Neville (my 17th great-grandfather). This military action, along with the subsequent Battle of Tewkesbury, secured the throne for Edward IV.

In 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater, Washington DC. President Lincoln died the next day.

In 1894, Thomas Edison held his first public showing of the kinetoscope (moving pictures).

In 1903, Dr Harry Plotz developed a vaccine against typhoid.

In 1912, at 11:40 p.m., the Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland. The ship sank a few hours later.

In 1935, Black Sunday, the worst sandstorm in Midwest history, created the Dust Bowl. Twenty “black blizzards” devastated the Great Plains, from Canada to Texas. The dust storms caused extensive damage and turned the day into night. Witnesses reported that they could not see five feet in front of them.

And in 1970, in southern Florida, a baby boy was born.

He was no one famous, and his birth was only important to us, his family.

But on that day, that small child drew his first breath. Two hours later, he breathed his last.

He took with him his father’s name and his family’s love.

Nothing remains of him, not even a photo or a footprint. No stone marks his brief passage in time.

Although his was a life not lived, he was…if only for a moment.

And for that reason, 14 April always will be a memorable day in my family’s history.

 

#familyhistory     #familytree     #genealogy

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Famous Faces and Places, Noel-Ardinger Line, On This Day, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ABCs & Our Family Trees: Letter H

h-flower-fairy

I have always been fascinated by language, specifically where it originates and how it adapts, mutates, and relates to other languages. That is why I found the recent series of blogs by Andrew’s Kindred so intriguing. It combined my love of etymology with my love of genealogy.  I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided to try my hand at chronicling the origins of our families’ surnames.


This is the eighth installment of a series of posts documenting the etymology of many of our families’ surnames (recent and distant, direct and indirect.)

Now that the G names have been discussed, next up is the letter H:

Hægis (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This topographic name might be derived from the Middle High German word hac and from the Middle Dutch word haghe or hæg, meaning enclosure, meadow, or hedge. It also might come from the Old Dutch word hægtes or hægtis, which is a supernatural figure much like a witch or Fury.

Häger (my father’s maternal line)
German—This surname originally is derived from hag, meaning hedge or enclosure, and is a topographic name for someone who lived by a hedged or fenced enclosure. Sometimes, it was used as nickname for a thin man, from the Middle High German word, hager, meaning thin or  gaunt.

Haie (my mother’s paternal line)
English—The surname Haie was first found in Normandy, where this family held a family seat in the castle and barony of Lahaie-du-Puits in the arrondissement of Coutance from about the year 890. But the annals of the family only start about 1066, when Eudo de Lahaie accompanied William the Conqueror in the Norman Conquest of England. The de la Haie family occupied the areas in and around Sussex, Essex, and Suffolk.

Haliburton (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is of pre-7th Century origins. It is a locational name from the village of Halberton in Devonshire. This is recorded as Halsbretone in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as Hauberton in the 1188 Pipe Rolls of the county. The placename derives from the elements haesel, meaning hazel; bearu, meaning the grove; and tun, meaning a village or homestead; hence, the surname means homestead by a hazel grove.

Hall (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line and my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname, generally is considered to be Anglo-Scottish origin, has several possible sources. It might be a topographical name for someone who lived at or near a large house called a hall, or that it could be an occupational name for a person who was employed at such a place. In this case, the derivation can be either from the Old English pre-7th Century word heall, the Old German and later Anglo-Saxon word halla, or even the Old Norse-Viking word holl. All have the same meaning of a large house or building. However, it could also be a locational surname from the villages of Hall in the counties of Carmarthenshire, Lancashire, and Roxburghshire.

Halm (my father’s paternal line)
German—This surname is a metonymic occupational name for a maker of hats or helmets from the Anglo-Saxon word helm, meaning helmet.

Halstead (my mother’s paternal line)
English—The origin of this surname is locational from places in Essex, Kent, Leicester, and in early Yorkshire. It is derived from the Old English elements (ge)heald, a shelter or stable for animals, and stede, a place or building, thus a place of shelter for cattle.

Hamilton (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line)
English—Of Anglo-Saxon origin, this is a locational name from any of the various places throughout England. The name is derived from the Old English pre-7th Century words hamel, meaning bare/scarred/treeless, and dun, meaning hill.

Hammerton (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is locational, usually from the villages of Hamerton near Huntingdon, Kirk and York. The place names according to Ekwall’s Dictionary of English Place Names mean the village on the rock, derived from the pre-7th Century word hamor, meaning a rocky mound. This description may loosely apply to Green Hammerton, which is on a slight escarpment, but both the Huntingdon Hamerton and Kirk Hammerton are on level ground. This suggests that the derivation instead was derived from the word hamm, meaning flat.

Hammond (my father’s maternal line)
English—This surname could be of Norman origin from a personal name Hamo(n), which is generally from a continental Germanic name Haimo, derived from the word haim, meaning home. It could also be from the Old Norse personal name Hámundr, composed of the elements hár, meaning high, and mund, meaning protection.

Hanisko (my stepfather’s family)
Slovak—This surname is probably locational in origin, referring to one of two villages in eastern Slovakia by the name of Haniska. The first village in the Košice-okolie District, and the second is in the Prešov District.

Hanson (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
English—This surname can be either a patronymic or a metronymic, meaning it may be derived from the name of the first bearer’s father or mother. As a patronymic, it derives from “Han(n)”, a Flemish form of John from the Hebrew Yochanan, meaning Jehovah has favored (me with a son). Hann(e) was a very popular Christian name in 13th Century Yorkshire, appearing frequently in the 1274-1297 Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield.

Hare (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname was most likely derived from the Old English pre-7th Century word hara, meaning a hare or rabbit; hence, this would be a nickname either for a fast runner or someone with stamina The name could also be topographical from the Old English word haer, meaning stony ground.

Harman (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
English—This English comes from mainly the southeast area of the country. Introduced by the Normans after the Conquest, this surname is derived from the Germanic word heer, meaning army, and mann, meaning man.

Harrington (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This is a locational surname from places in Cumbria, Lincolnshire, and Northamptonshire. This surname might have been derived from the Old English word hæring, meaning stony place, or haring, meaning gray wood, plus the word tun, meaning settlement

Hartley (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This is a locational surname for someone who resided in Hartley, Devon, Hampshire, or Kent. It is derived from the Old English word heorot, meaning hart or stag, plus the word leah, meaning wood or clearing.

Haslep (my mother’s maternal line)
English—A variation of the Haslip or Hyslop surname, this surname is derived from the Old English word hæsel, meaning hazel, plus the word hop, meaning enclosed valley or hollow between two hills.

Hasslerin (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
German—This is a topographic name for someone who lived in a place where hazels grew, from Middle High German word hasel, meaning hazel; plus  the suffix -er, denoting an inhabitant; plus the suffix -in  which denotes the feminine (e.g. female surname Mayerin—the wife of Mayer.)

Hastings (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname might be derived from the Old English tribal name Hæstingas, meaning Hæsta’s people or the family/followers of Hæsta, which was later transferred to their settlement. Another possible origin might be a patronymic surname derived from the Anglo-Norman personal name Hasten(c) or Hastang.

Hatton (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line and my mother’s paternal line)
English—Mainly from the Lancashire area, this locational name from any of the various places named Hatton. This name is derived from the Old English word hæþ, meaning heath or heather, plus the word tun, meaning enclosure or settlement.

Hauer (my spouse’s stepmother’s family)
German—This surname is derived from the Middle High German word houwer (an agent derivative of houwen, meaning to chop. It is an occupational name for a woodcutter, a butcher, or a stonemason.

Hawes/Haws (my mother’s paternal line and my brother-in-law’s family)
English—This surname has at least a couple of possible origins,. The first is locational from the word hause, meaning a neck of land or a place for gathering animals. The second possibility is as a medieval patronymic from of the name Haw, the diminutive form of Hawkin or Havekin, which are derived from the Old English pre-7th Century word hafoc, meaning hawk.

Hay/Hayes (my mother’s paternal line—three lines)
Scottish—This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any one of a number of places called Hayes. It is derived from the Old English pre-7th Century word haes, meaning brushwood or underwood.

Heckendorn (my stepfather’s family)
German—This topographic name is composed of Middle High German word hecke, meaning hedge or fence; plus the genitive suffix -n; plus the word dorn, meaning thorn, Combined this forms the Middle High German word heckedorn, meaning hawthorn.

Heimbach (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This is a habitational surname from one of the German towns named Heimbach. The word heim means home.

Hendrickson/Hendriksen (my mother’s maternal line)
Dutch—Hendrik is the Dutch equivalent to Henry, so this surname translates into Henry’s son.

Herwig (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
German—This surname is composed of the Germanic/Dutch elements heri or hari, meaning army, and wig, meaning war.

Hepburn (my mother’s paternal line)
Scottish—Although commonly a Scottish name, this surname’s origins lie in the north of England. Specifically, the name is thought to have derived from either the town of Hebron in Northumberland or Hebburn in Tyne and Wear. The origins of the name are suggested to be the same as that of Hebborne from the Old English words heah, meaning high, and byrgen, meaning burial mound. Alternatively, it might be a high place beside the water, as the word burn in Northumbria and Scotland means stream.

Hesketh (my mother’s paternal line)
Scottish—This surname is a habitational name from places in Lancashire and North Yorkshire called Hesketh or from Hesket in Cumbria, all derived from the Old Norse words hestr, meaning horse or stallion, and skeið, meaning race course. The ancient Scandinavians were fond of horse racing and brought it with them to the British Isles.

Hess (my father’s paternal line)
German—This surname is believed to have originally described people who came from the region known as Hesse. The translation of this name is the hooded people; whether this referred to people who made hoods and other garments such as coats and cloaks, whether they habitually wore such clothing; or whether hesse is a transposed meaning, perhaps for warriors who wore a particular type of helmet like a hood, is uncertain.

Hill (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line and my brother-in-law’s family)
English—This surname is extremely common and widely distributed topographic name for someone who lived on or by a hill from the Middle English word hill and Old English word hyll.

Hingston (my mother’s maternal line)
English— This is a habitational surname from any of three places so named. Hingston, Cornwall and Hingston Down in Moretonhampstead, Devon are both derived from the Old English word hengest, meaning stallion, plus the Old English word dun, meaning hil’, whereas the Hingston in Bigbury, Devon is derived from the Old English word hind, meaning a young doe, plus the word stan, meaning stone.

Hitch (my mother’s paternal line)
English—The etymology of this surname might be from the Middle English words hytchen or icchen, meaning to move as with a jerk. The surname Hitch is of uniquely English origin, referring refer to a geographical area called the Hitchins and Hecheham. People living in the vicinity came to be called by their given name with an added suffix meaning of Hitchins or “of Hitch” for short.

Hockensmith (my stepfather’s family)
German—This surname is the Americanized form of German surname, Hackenschmidt, an occupational name for a maker of hoes and axes. This surname is derived from the Middle High German words hacke, meaning hoe or axe, and smit, meaning smith.

Hoffman (my stepfather’s family)
German—The original meaning in medieval times was steward—one who manages the property of another. The word hof means farmyard or courtyard, while the word mann means man, so this could also be an occupational surname for a farmer.

Holand/Holland (my mother’s paternal line, two lines)
English—This is a habitational name from Holland, a division of Lincolnshire, derived from the Old English words hoh, meaning ridge, and land, meaning land.

Hollingsworth (my father’s maternal line)
English—This is a habitational surname from places in Cheshire and Lancashire called Hollingworth, derived from Old English words hole(g)n, meaning holly, and worð, meaning enclosure.

Holmes (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
Scottish—This is probably a habitational surname from Holmes near Dundonald or from a place so called in the barony of Inchestuir. It might also be a topographic name for someone who lived on an island, in particular a piece of slightly raised land lying in a fen or partly surrounded by streams. If this were the case, then this surname might be derived from the Middle English and Middle Low German word holm or the Old Norse word holmr. The Middle English word holm is a variant of holin, which means holly.

Holt (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This surname is topographical, derived from the Old English word holt, which means forest, wood, grove, thicket; wood. It is more common in the Lancashire area than elsewhere.

Holway (my mother’s maternal line, two lines)
English—The roots of the Anglo-Saxon surname are derived from the Old English word hol, meaning hole or hollow, and the Middle English word wei or wai or the Old English word weġ, all meaning the way or path.

Hoo (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
English—In East Anglia and England, this might be a topographic name for someone who lived on a spur of a hill, derived from the Old English word hoe or hoh, meaning spur of a hill. The surname may also derive from any of the minor places named with this word, such as Hoo in Kent and Hooe in Devon and Sussex. It might also be derived from the Middle English word hoo or Old English word hēo, both meaning she.

Hooper (my father’s paternal line)
English—This is an occupational surname for someone who fitted wooden or metal hoops on wooden casks and barrels, from the Middle English word hoop, meaning hoop or band.

Horner (my brother-in-law’s family)
English—This is an occupational name for someone who made or sold small articles made of horn, a metonymic occupational name for someone who played a musical instrument made from the horn of an animal, or a topographic name for someone who lived at a horn of land.

Houghton (my brother-in-law’s family)
English—A habitational surname derived from the Old English words hoh, meaning ridge or spur (literally ‘heel’) and tun, meaning enclosure or settlement. In Lancashire and South Yorkshire, the first element is derived from the Old English word halh, meaning nook or recess.

Howland (my mother’s paternal line)
English—Of Anglo-Saxon origin, this locational surname comes from any one of the various places in England called Holland or Hoyland in Essex, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire. All these places share the same meaning and derivation—land on or by a ridge, derived from the Old English words hoh, meaning ridge or spur/heel, and land, meaning land.

Hüber/Huber (my father’s paternal line)
Swiss—This is a status surname based on the Middle High German word huobe, meaning a measure of land varying in size at different periods and in different places but always of considerable extent, appreciably larger than the holding of the average peasant. The surname usually denotes a prosperous small farmer and probably one of the leading men of his village.

Hudson (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This interesting Anglo-Scottish surname is a patronymic. It derives from the personal name Hudde, which might be a nickname form of the pre-7th Century Old Saxon name Hugh, meaning mind or heart. Hudde might also be a nickname form of the Germanic and French Ricard or Richard. Finally, it might be from the Old English personal name Huda, which gave its name to places such as Huddington in Worcestershire. In England, Hudson is especially popular in Yorkshire.

Huey (my spouse’s stepmother’s family)
Flemish—In general the spelling as Huey derives from the French-Flemish Huguenot Hue, Huet, and Hughe, from the areas of Bruges, Normandy, and Tournaise and all originating from the pre-7th Century Old Saxon name Hugh, meaning mind or heart

Hüffer/Huffer (my father’s paternal line)
Swiss—From the Germanic personal name Hugifrid, this surname is composed of the word hug, meaning head, mind, spirit, and the word frid, meaning peace. It was a status name for a prosperous small farmer.

Huggart (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This surname’s origins are unknown. Perhaps it is of Norse origin from the word huggert, meaning cutlass—a short sword with a curved blade. The Old Norse word hǫgg means slash, stroke, cut, as does the Danish word hugge.

Hugh/Hughes (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line and my mother’s paternal line)
Welsh/English—From the Old French personal name Hu(gh)e, introduced to Britain by the Normans, derived from the Germanic word hug, meaning head, mind, spirit. Hughes is the patronymic form from the Middle English and Anglo-Norman French personal name Hugh.

Hull (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This surname has a number of possible origins. It might be of English locational origin from one of the places thus called in Cheshire, Somerset, and East Riding, Yorkshire. The derivation is from the Old English pre-7th Century word hyll, meaning hill. It might also be a topographical name for a dweller on or by a hill. The sound represented by the Old English “y” developed in various ways in the different dialects of Middle English and in the west and central Midlands, it became a “u”, thus the spelling hull evolved.

Hunter (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line)
English—This ancient surname is of Anglo-Scottish origins, derived from the Old English pre-7th Century word hunta, meaning to hunt, with the agent suffix -er, meaning one who does or works with. The term was used not only of hunters on horseback of game such as stags and wild boars but also as a nickname for bird catchers and poachers.

Hurst (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname might have been for someone who lived on a wooded hill, from the Old English word hyrst. Or, this surname might be locational from one of the places named Hurst/Hirst in Berkshire, Kent, Northumberland, Somerset, Warwickshire, Northumberland. or West Yorkshire.

Hussey (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
English—This surname might be of Norman origin and be locational from Houssaye, a place in Seine-Maritime, whose name is derived from the Old French word hous, meaning holly. Hosie might also be a nickname, a derivation from the Old French word h(e)use, meaning booted, originally denoting someone who wore boots of an unusual design, or it might derive from the Old English pre-7th Century word hus(e)wif, indicating a woman in charge of her own household.

Hutchinson (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is a patronymic and diminutive form of the original personal name Hugh, a Norman-French name with pre-7th Century Old German origins. It is derived from the word hug, meaning heart or soul, plus the additives kin, meaning close relative, and -son, meaning son of.

Well, that’s it for the H surnames… Next up is a two-for-one special…the I and J surnames.


For more information on the origins of many surnames, check out Almwch Data, Behind the Name, Irish Origenes, Surname Database, Surname Meanings and Origins, Surname Web, and Wiktionary.

#etymology     #familytree     #surnames

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Extended Families, Harwick-Bush Line, Noel-Ardinger Line, Spangler-Kenney Line, Surnames from A to Z, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

ABCs & Our Family Trees: Letter F

f1

I have always been fascinated by language, specifically where it originates and how it adapts, mutates, and relates to other languages. That is why I found the recent series of blogs by Andrew’s Kindred so intriguing. It combined my love of etymology with my love of genealogy.  I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided to try my hand at chronicling the origins of our families’ surnames.


This is the sixth installment of a series of posts documenting the etymology of many of our families’ surnames (recent and distant, direct and indirect.)

Now that the E names have been discussed, next up is the letter F:

Fairchild (my brother-in-law’s maternal family)
EnglishThis surname was also one of the very first of all known surnames to be created, and recordings are known to exist which show that the name was in use at least 1,000 years ago. It derives from the pre-7th century Old English phrase faere cild and does actually mean what it says, beautiful child.

Faller (my father’s maternal line)
GermanThis is either a habitational name for someone from Ober- or Unter- Fall near Triberg in the Black Forest or a topographical name for someone living by a waterfall or the site of a landslide. It is derived from the Middle High German word val, meaning fall, waterfall, or landslide.

Felix (my father’s maternal line)
French/German—Although my family is of German/French origin, this surname is also Spanish, Portuguese, English, and Ashkenazic. Derived from a medieval personal name from the Latin word, felix, genitive felicis, meaning lucky or fortunate.

Ferguson (my father’s paternal line)
ScottishThis surname is of Old Gaelic origin. It is a patronymic form of Fergus, from an Old Gaelic personal name Fearghus, composed of the elements fear, meaning man, and gus, meaning vigor or force, with the patronymic ending son.

Fetterhaff (my stepfather’s maternal family)
GermanThe word fette is derived from the Middle Low German word vet and Old Saxon word fētid, meaning fat. The word haff is derived from the German Low German and Middle Low German word haf, meaning a bay or lagoon behind a spit.

Fischbach (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This is a either a habitational surname from a place named Fischbach or a topographic name for someone living by a fish stream. derived from the Middle High German words fisch (fish) and bach (stream).

Fischer (my mother’s paternal line)
German—This is an occupational surname for a fisherman, derived from the German word fisch, plus the agent suffix -er.

Fitch (my brother-in-law’s maternal family)
English—This is a metonymic occupational name for a workman who used an iron pointed implement. It derives from the Old French word fiche, meaning an iron point, which itself comes from the word ficher, meaning to fix or to plant; hence, fitch is an iron pointed implement.

Fleischmann/Fleishmann/Fleshman (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This possibly is an occupational surname for a butcher, derived from the Middle High German word fleisch, meaning meat or flesh, and from the German word mann, meaning man.

Fleming (my mother’s paternal line, two branches)
Scottish—An English ethnic surname for someone from Flanders. In the Middle Ages, there was considerable commerce between England and the Netherlands, particularly in the wool trade, and many Flemish weavers and dyers settled in the British Isles. The word reflects a Norman French form of Old French word flamenc, from the stem flam-, plus the Germanic suffix -ing. The surname is also common in south and east Scotland and in Ireland.

Fogle (my mother’s paternal line)
German—Recorded originally in Germany as Vogil and Fogel, and in England as Fugel and Foul, this interesting surname is of both Anglo-Saxon and Old English pre-7th Century origins. It derives from the word fugol, meaning bird, and in ancient times this was a personal name of endearment. In medieval times, the word as fugel was also used as a nickname for someone who was in some way believed either to physically resemble a bird or to have the characteristics associated with one.

Fontaine (my mother’s paternal line)
French—This is a topographic surname for someone who lived near a spring or well, Old French word fontane, Late Latin word fontana, and a derivative of classical Latin word fons.

Forman (my brother-in-law’s maternal family)
English—An occupational surname for a keeper of swine, from the Middle English word foreman, derived from the Old English word for, meaning hog or pig, and mann, meaning man. This could also be a status name for a leader or spokesman for a group, from the Old English word fore, meaning before or in front and mann, meaning man.

Forney (my stepfather’s maternal family)
England—Of German origin (also found in Alsace and French Switzerland), this surname is perhaps a variant of Farner or Fahrni. The surname is also found in England and could be a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place.

Forrer/Furry (my father’s paternal line)
Swiss—
This is a topographic name from the regional term furre, meaning cleft in the ground.

Forster (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
English—This is either an occupational and topographic name for someone who lived or worked in a forest; a Norman French nickname or occupational surname from the Old French word forcetier, meaning cutter—an agent noun from the word forcettes, meaning scissors; or an English occupational name, by metathesis, from the Old French word fust(r)ier, meaning blockmaker—a derivative of the word fustre, meaning block of wood.

Foster (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This medieval surname has at least four possible origins. The first is an occupational name for a saddle tree maker, a very important occupation 700 or more years ago. The derivation is from the Old French word fustier, itself originating from the word fustre, meaning a block of wood. Secondly, the name may describe a maker or user of a forcetier, steel shears widely used in both agriculture and textile production. A third possibility is that Foster is a contracted or dialectal spelling of Forester, a term which described a civil officer in charge of a forest. The last possible origin is a the derivation from a shortened spelling of the Old English pre-7th Century compound cild-fostre, an occupational nickname for a foster parent or possibly a foster child.

Foulke/Fowlk (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line and my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
Welsh/English—This surname is of Norman origin and is derived from the German word folk, meaning people.

Fourbour (my mother’s paternal line)
French—This surname has its origins in the Old French word fo(u)rbisseor from fourbir, meaning to burnish or furbish and is an occupational surname for someone who worked as a polisher of metal. In particular. this would apply to someone employed by an armorer to put the finishing touches to his armor by rubbing it until it was bright.

Foust (my spouse’s stepmother’s paternal family)
German—An alternate spelling of the Faust surname, it is derived from Middle High German word fust, meaning fist—presumably a nickname for a strong or pugnacious person or for someone with a club hand. This surname is also derived from the Latin word faustus, meaning fortunate or lucky.

Francis (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This is a name of Roman-Latin origins. It derives from Franciscus, originally both an ethnic name used to describe a Fran”, later to be known as a Frenchman, and a personal name from the 5th Century meaning free man. This name was associated with the Knight Templars of the 12th Century.

Fraser (my mother’s paternal line)
Scottish—The earliest recorded spelling forms include de Fresel, de Friselle and de Freseliere, indicating a possible French locational origin; however, there is no place in France answering to that spelling. A more likely explanation is that the name is derived from the French word fraise, meaning strawberry. Early lands of the clan included an area at Neidpath where strawberries grew prolifically. The clan was know as the strawberry bearers, from their heraldic coat of arms which included strawberry blossoms.

Frey (my spouse’s stepmother’s paternal family and my father’s paternal line, two branches)
German—This is a status name for a free man, as opposed to a bondsman or serf, in the feudal system, derived from Middle High German word vri, meaning free or independent.

Fulgham (my mother’s paternal line)
English—The ancient history of the name Fulgham began soon after 1066 when the Norman Conquest of England occurred. It was a name given to a person who had a limp or a malformed leg, derived from the Old French word fol, meaning foolish, and jambe, meaning leg.

Well, that’s it for the F surnames… Stay tuned for the G surnames.


For more information on the origins of many surnames, check out Almwch Data, Behind the Name, Irish Origenes, Surname Database, Surname Meanings and Origins, Surname Web, and Wiktionary.

#etymology     #familytree     #surnames

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Extended Families, Harwick-Bush Line, Noel-Ardinger Line, Spangler-Kenney Line, Surnames from A to Z, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

ABCs & Our Family Trees: The Letter E

Eyebright Fairy

I have always been fascinated by language, specifically where it originates and how it adapts, mutates, and relates to other languages. That is why I found the recent series of blogs by Andrew’s Kindred so intriguing. It combined my love of etymology with my love of genealogy.  I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided to try my hand at chronicling the origins of our families’ surnames.


This is the fifth installment of a series of posts documenting the etymology of many of our families’ surnames (recent and distant, direct and indirect.)

Now that the D names have been discussed, next up is the letter E:

initiale_medievale_de_cru_de_monogramme_de_la_carte_postale-r69d6d9bf690b4acbacc62ffc1e0893e9_vgbaq_8byvr_324-1Earnest (my spouse’s stepmother’s family)
German—This is the Americanize form of the German surname, Ernst. This is probably a locational surname for the town of Ernst, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. However, medieval evidence for Norman spellings such as Ernais, derives it from a Germanic personal name Arn(e)gis, possibly composed of the elements arn, meaning eagle, an gisil, meaning pledge, hostage or noble youth.

Eckenroth (my father’s maternal line)
German—This surname is derived from Middle Low German words eke, meaning oak (plural eken), and rot, meaning cleared land’. This might have been a topographic name for someone who lived by a piece of land which had been cleared of oaks or perhaps a nickname for some who owned a piece of such land.

Eckert (my spouse’s stepmother’s family)
German—From a personal name composed of the elements agi, meaning edge or point, and hard, meaning hardy, brave, strong.

Eden/Eddins (my brother-in-law’s maternal line)
English—This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is the patronymic (the “s” denoting son of) form of the name Eden, itself derives from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name Eadhun, with the Middle English development edun, and composed of the elements ead, meaning prosperity, and hun, meaning a bear cub. Or, it could refer to the Hebrew word eden, meaning delight.

6488c5dea049627fa7abceb1d16ea19fEgerton (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is locational in nature, deriving from either of the places called Egerton in the counties of Cheshire and Kent. Egerton comes from the Old English pre-7th Century personal names Ecghere or Ecgheard, with the suffix -tun, meaning an enclosure or settlement.

Eller (my brother-in-law’s maternal line)
German/English—This surname is both German and Northern English, specifically Yorkshire. It was probably introduced into England, as a word only, by the Anglo-Saxon settlers after the 5th century. Whether it was reintroduced by German engineers responsible for the draining of the Vale of York in the 15th century is open to conjecture. From North Germany, this could be a topographic surname for someone who lived by an alder tree, from Middle Low German word elre or alre, meaning alder. The name also means low-lying ground and is claimed to originate from  the Rhine Valley, specifically from the old river name of Elera. What is fascinating is that the word elera is a Celtic or Old English word that seems to have been imported into Northern Germany, so the possibility remains that nameholders might have originated in England and moved to Germany at some point in ancient history before returning back to England.

ddd349fb30d5359a4d286d63ceabaf1aElliott (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from a personal name which traces its origin to two names, Ailiet and Aliet. Deriving ultimately from the Old English pre-7th Century words aeoelgyo and aeoelgeat, these surnames break down to mean noble combat (aoel, meaning noble, and gyo, meaning battle), and noble great (aoel, meaning noble, and gait, meaning goat)—a masculine form of an old tribal name.

Ellis (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line)
Welsh—This surname is the Anglicized version of the surname Elisedd, which was derived from Welsh word elus, meaning kind. This surname has back to the Greek Elias, itself from the Hebrew Eliyahu, meaning Jehovah is God.

ornate_e_24421_lgEmenheiser (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line)
German—This surname is an Americanized spelling of Immenhauser, a habitational name from Immenhausen, a town in the Kassel district of Hesse, Germany.

Erb (my father’s paternal line)
Swiss—This surname is derived from the German word erben, meaning to inherit. This name might have been given to the heir of a big estate or to one who inherited wealth.

051-16th-century-letter-e-q90-2719x2908Espec (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname has two district possible origins. In most instances, it is derived from an early medieval English nickname that comes from the Old French word espeche and Middle English word spek(e), meaning woodpecker. The second possible origin is from an Anglo-Saxon locational name, the place called Speke in Lancashire, recorded in the Domesday Book as Spec. This placename is from the Old English pre-7th Century word spaec, meaning twigs or dry brushwood.

Evans  (my mother’s paternal line and my spouse’s maternal mother’s line, two different branches)
Welsh—This surname, of medieval Welsh origin, is a patronymic form of the male given name Ifan or Evan, both of which derive from Iohannes through the colloquial Iovannes, Latin forms of John.

2-3-1_ecap_large_600x580pxEverett (my stepfather’s family)
English—This is a surname originates as both the Old English pre-7th century personal name Eoforheard and the Germanic personal name Eberhard, both composed of the elements eber, translating as wild boar and hard, meaning brave or strong.

Eyre (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is of Old Norse origin and is found chiefly in the northwestern counties of England, reflecting the dense settlement of Scandinavian people in those areas. The surname is locational from places such as Aira Beck or Aira Force near Ullswater in Cumberland, or some other minor or unrecorded place also named with the Old Norse term eyrara, meaning gravel-bank stream or river. The surname may also be topographical in origin, denoting residence by such a gravel-bank.

That’s it for the Es! Stay tuned for the F surnames in our families…


For more information on the origins of many surnames, check out Almwch Data, Behind the Name, Irish Origenes, Surname Database, Surname Meanings and Origins, Surname Web, and Wiktionary.

#etymology     #familytree     #surnames

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Extended Families, Harwick-Bush Line, Noel-Ardinger Line, Surnames from A to Z, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

ABCs & Our Family Trees: The Letter B

b

I have always been fascinated by language, specifically where it originates and how it adapts, mutates, and relates to other languages. That is why I found the recent series of blogs by Andrew’s Kindred so intriguing. It combined my love of etymology with my love of genealogy.  I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided to try my hand at chronicling the origins of our families’ surnames.

This is the second installment of a series of posts documenting the etymology of many of our families’ surnames (recent and distant, direct and indirect.)


Now that the A names have been documented, next up is the letter B. Holy cow, there sure are a bunch of B surnames! But, as my grandmother used to say, “In for a penny, in for a pound”, so here goes:

mp,550x550,matte,ffffff,t.3u3Bachelor/Bachiler  (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
French and English—This notable and long-established surname is of Old French origin, and is a status name for a young knight or novice at arms, deriving from the Old French word bacheler from the medieval Latin word baccalarius. The name was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest and was adopted into Middle English. By the 14th Century the word bachelor had already been extended to mean an unmarried man, but it is unlikely that many bearers of the surname derive it from the word in that sense.

Bailey/Bayley (my mother’s paternal line)
French and English—This surname has three possible origins. First, it can be an occupational name for a steward or official from the Old French words baillis or bailiff and the Middle English word bail(l). The word survives in Scotland as bailie, the title of a municipal magistrate; however, in England this word has developed into bailiff, an officer of the court. The second origin is topographical, denoting one who lived by the outermost wall of a castle or fortified town from the Middle English word bail(l)y, as can be seen in the case of the Old Bailey in London which was part of the early Medieval walls. Finally, the surname can be locational from Bailey in Lancashire, which means berry wood.

Baker  (my mother’s paternal line, my spouse’s father’s maternal line, and my brother-in-law’s maternal family)
English—This surname is of Old English pre-8th Century origins, deriving from the word boeccure. The surname is occupational in nature. Possible origins include an official with special responsibilities for the baking ovens in a monastery or castle or the keeper of the communal kitchen in a town or village, since most of the humbler households had no cooking facilities other than a pot over a fire. The right to be in charge of this service and to extract money or loaves in return for its use was in many parts of Britain, a hereditary feudal privilege. Less often, the surname might have been acquired by someone noted for specifically baking fine bread or as an owner of a kiln for the baking of pottery or bricks.

monogram-33667_640Baliol/Balliol  (my mother’s paternal line)
French—According to the Dictionnaire des Postes, thirteen places are named Bailleul in Northern France. M. de Belleval, It seems that there have been nineteen different families of the name, all of which, except one in Normandy, are extinct. The family was of Picard, not Norman, origin. The family took its name from a small village, Bailleul-en-Vimeu, about six miles south of Abbeville in the department of Somme.

Banastre  (my mother’s paternal line)
French—From the Old Norman French banestre, itself a development based upon combining the Gallic benna and the Greek kanastron, the surname is a metonymic job description of a maker of baskets.

Banks  (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
English—This name derives from the Northern Middle English word bank(e), itself coming from the Old Danish word banke, meaning a ridge or hillside, and was originally given as a topographical name to someone who lived on the slope of a hillside or by a riverbank. The final “s” on the name preserves the Old English genitive ending meaning of the bank.

Bär  (my father’s paternal line)
German—This surname comes from the Middle High German word ber, meaning bear. It could have been a nickname for someone thought to resemble the animal in some way, a metonymic occupational name for someone who kept a performing bear, or a habitational name for someone who lived at a house distinguished by the sign of a bear. (Or, perhaps they liked the strength of the bear and wanting to honor or emulate that.)

decorative_letters_BBarnett  (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
Irish—Although this famous surname is of early Anglo-Saxon pre-7th Century origins, its longevity in Ireland is such that it might also be regarded as Irish in its own right. The name is either topographical for one who lived on land cleared by burning (Baernet) or is a derivative of the personal name Bernhard, meaning brave bear.

Bartenschlag  (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—The meaning of this surname is difficult to discern. In German, bart translates as beard. Schlag is a topographic name derived from the Middle High German word slac, meaning clearing in a wood. It can also be a habitational name from a place named with this word. The word schlag also means a blow or strike.

Basset  (my mother’s paternal line)
English and French—This surname has two possible origins, one English and one French. The English source is from a nickname for a man of short stature, from the Middle English and Old French word bas(se), meaning low or short from the Latin word bassus, meaning thick-set or wide. Basset(t) is the diminutive form of the original surname Bass. The French source is locational from a place in Normandy called Basset.

Bates  (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line and my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
English and German—This surname has three distinct possible origins. The first and most likely source being the medieval male given name Bate, itself a diminutive of Bartholomew, from the Aramaic patronymic bar-Talmay, meaning abounding in furrows or rich in lands. The name may also be occupational for a boatman, deriving from the Old English pre-7th Century word bat (Northern Middle English, bat), meaning a boat. Finally, the Old Norse bati, meaning profit or gain used in the transferred sense of lush pasture, might have given rise to the surname.

Letter b scholarsclub.co (29)Baum  (my father’s maternal line and my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
German—This surname is generally of 13th century English origin. As such it is a metonymic occupational surname for a seller of spices or perfumes and ointments. The name derives from the word balme, an aromatic substance prized for its medicinal qualities. Balme derives from the Latin balsamun, the use of such medicines being possibly a Roman introduction to England. However, as these families were German in origin, the word most likely is baum, the German word for tree.

Baumgardner/Baumgärtner (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
GermanThe surname is occupational in nature. With the combination of the German words baum, meaning tree, and gärtner, meaning gardener. This surname, therefore, indicates someone who owned or worked in an orchard. It could also be a habitational name for someone from one of the villages or areas referred to as Baumgarten.

Beach/Beche (my brother-in-law’s maternal family)
English—This surname is less clear cut in its origins than it might seem. It can be topographical and was derived from the Old English pre-7th century bec, describing one who was resided by beech trees or a beech orchard, as beech nuts were collected as part of the Medieval winter diet. However, the most likely explanation is that the surname has a quite different meaning altogether. It probably derives from baec, meaning a small river or stream, since it was necessary to live as close to fresh water as possible. Finally it is also possible that some modern nameholders derive from beche, an Old English word meaning valley.

Beaufort  (my mother’s paternal line)
English—Of English (Norman) and French origin, this surname is a habitational name from various places in France named Beaufort. It derives from the French words beau, meaning beautiful, and fort, meaning fortress or stronghold.

initial_BBeck  (my father’s maternal line and my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
German—Beck is a surname of Germanic descent, meaning brook or stream, and is derived from the Old Norse word bekkr. The German name can also be a variant of Becker, which is an occupational surname meaning baker. This surname is also common in England and France. In Northern Middle English the word bekke and the Old Norman French word bec both mean stream. The name may derive from a Medieval English nickname for someone with a prominent nose, from the Middle English beke or from the Old French word bec, meaning a beak. Finally, Beck as a surname may be a metonymic occupational name for a maker, seller, or user of a matlock or pickaxe, derived from the Old English pre-7th Century word becca, meaning matlock.

Beckett (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, has three possible sources. The first is locational either from Beckett in Berkshire or from Beckett in Devonshire. The former place, recorded as Becote in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Buccot in the Book of Fees for Berkshire, dated 1220. In Old English pre-7th Century, the word beo meant bee, and cot meant cottage or shelter. Beckett in Devonshire, recorded as Bikkecoth in the 1242 Book of Fees for that county, has as its component elements the Old English personal name Bicca with cot as before. Beckett may also be of topographical origin from residence by a stream, the derivation being from the Northern Middle English word bekke. The third origin is as a diminutive of the surname Beake, itself a nickname for someone with a prominent nose, from the Middle English word beke.

Beer (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This surname derives from Middle Low German word bare and the Middle Dutch word bere, both meaning bear. This could have been a nickname for someone thought to resemble the animal in some way or as a metonymic occupational name for someone who kept a performing bear. Alternatively, it could have been a habitational name for someone who lived at a house distinguished by the sign of a bear.

Belbusti (my brother-in-law’s family)
Italian—While the origin of this surname is unknown, this surname is composed of two modern Italian words: bel, meaning beautiful, and busti meaning busts. Hmmm… well…Perhaps they were referring to sculptures?

f6e1014f58cf2fed770fd18b5499e908Bell (my spouse’s nieces’ family)
English and French—This surname has a number of possible derivations. It might be a metonymic occupational name for a bell-ringer or bell founder. It might be a topographical name for someone living at the bell, indicating either residence by an actual bell or at the sign of the bell and derived from the Middle English and Old English pre-7th Century word belle, meaning bell. It might have derived from the medieval given name Bel. As a man’s name, this is from the Old French words beu or bel, meaning handsome, which was also used as a nickname. As a female name, it represents an abbreviated form of Isobel. Finally, it might be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic MacGiolla Mhaoil, meaning son of the servant of the devotee.

Belknap/Belnap  (my mother’s maternal line)
England—Belknap (or Belnap) is a surname of Norman origin that may come from the Old French word bel, meaning beautiful, and knap, meaning the crest or summit of a small hill. Although today the “k” in Belknap is generally silent as in the words knight or knee, it is evident from documents dating from the Middle English period that it was originally pronounced as a hard “k.”

Bellis (my spouse’s stepfather’s family)
Welsh—This surname is of Welsh origin and is the patronymic (son of) form of Bellis, itself the patronymic form of Ellis, from the Welsh Ap-Ellis which became Bellis. The medieval given name, Ellis, derives from the Hebrew Eliyahu, meaning Jehovah is God.

Bennett (my mother’s paternal line)
English —This surname derives from the medieval given name Benedict, from the Latin benedictus, meaning blessed. This name owed its popularity in the Middle Ages to St. Benedict (circa 480-550), who founded the Benedictine Order of Monks at Monte Cassino and wrote a monastic rule that formed a model for all subsequent rules.

Berlieb (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
German—While the origin of this surname is unknown, this surname is composed of two modern German words: ber, meaning about, and lieb meaning dear or love. There are worse things to be named than “about love.”

Berninger (my spouse’s stepmother’s family)
German—This surname is supposedly habitational in origin, referring to someone from Behring/Berning or possibly from Bern.

decorative-initial-letter-b-with-boy-and-book-image-500x500-pixelsBickel (my father’s paternal line)
German— This surname is taken from the German word bickel, meaning pickaxe or chisel, hence it is a metonymic occupational name for someone who made pickaxes or worked with a pickaxe or for a stonemason.

Biedermann (my father’s paternal line)
German—This surname is a nickname for an honest man, from a compound of Middle High German word biderbe, meaning honorable, and the word mann, meaning man. In modern German, this surname’s components, bieder and mann, mean honest man.

Bitler (my spouse’s stepmother’s family)
German—This surname is a derivative of Middle High German word bitelen, meaning to ask or solicit; hence, it is a nickname or occupational name for a suitor, a bidder, or intermediary. At some point, this surname became confused with the surname Bettler, a derivative of betelen, meaning beggar, and the two words were used interchangeably.

Biven (my mother’s paternal line)
English —This is an English surname of Welsh origin with English patronymic -s. The Biven/Bivens surname tends to indicate a family of Welsh origin whose surname only became finally fixed after settlement in England or, more typically, in America. Biven and its variations were originally referred to as ap Evan, meaning of son of Evan.

Bjørnsson (my mother’s paternal line)
Norwegian—The surname Bjornsson is derived from the Old Norse personal name Bjorn, meaning bear, while the suffix -son indicates son of.

celtic_b_monogram_small_square_tile-r46e64e654cb24ee8912c163c45801c52_agtk1_8byvr_324Blackman (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This surname is Anglo-Saxon of pre-9th Century origins. It is ethnic and described either a Scandinavian Viking, somebody who was fair, or conversely one of the Old English (Welsh or Cornish) who were dark-haired and of swarthy complexion. The confusion comes about because the pre-5th Century English word for white or fair was blaec, whilst the later Anglo-Saxon English for black was blaca. It can therefore be seen that even without the major problems of dialect and poor spelling in early records, the is an obvious capacity for mistakes. Its original meaning would have depended on to whom it referred.

Blain (my mother’s paternal line)
Scottish—Chiefly recorded in Ayrshire and Wigtownshire, this surname derives from the pre 10th Century Old Gaelic Mac Gille Blaan, meaning the son of the follower of St. Blaan. The translation is from Mac, meaning son of, gille, a follower, and the saint’s name Blaan, a diminutive of bla, meaning sallow.

Blake (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This surname has two contradictory origins. The derivation might be from the pre-7th Century adjective blac, which translates as black, meaning dark-haired or of swarthy complexion. It also might have referred to the native Old English word blaac, which translates as white, meaning fair-haired or fair complexion.

Blankenbaker (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This is the Americanized spelling of the German surname Blankenbacher, a habitational name for someone from the town of Blankenbach in Bavaria. There is also a river in Bavaria called the Blankenbach.

Blecher (my father’s paternal line)
German—This is an occupational surname for someone who worked with tin or sheet metal, derived from German word blech, meaning tin.

518337192Boggess (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is derived from the Middle English word boggish, meaning boastful or haughty.

Boice (my mother’s maternal line)
English/Welsh—This surname has a number of possible origins. It might describe someone who lived by a wood, hence deriving from the Old French word bois, probably introduced after the Norman Conquest. It might be a patronymic from the Middle English occupational word boy, meaning a lad or young servant. Finally, it might derive from an Old English and Welsh pre-7th century personal name Boia.

Boon/Boone (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is of Old French and Anglo-Saxon origin and has two possible sources, each with its own derivation and meaning. It might be Norman-French, deriving from a nickname for a good person from the Old French word bon, meaning good, itself from the Latin word bonus. The name was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest and might have been bestowed in a complimentary or ironic sense on a good person. The second possible source is also from a nickname, found recorded mainly in the north of England—Bain, a name given to an exceptionally tall, lean person. The derivation in this instance is from the Old English pre-7th Century word ban, meaning bone. In northern dialects, the long “a” was preserved, whereas in the southern dialect it was changed to an “o” sound.

Boppard (my father’s paternal line)
German—This surname is most likely locational in origin from a town in the Rheinland-Pfalz state called Boppard.

Borthwick (my mother’s paternal line)
Scottish—This surname is locational from the ancient barony of Borthwick by Borthwick Water in the former county of Roxburghshire, Scotland.

0127-HistoriatedAlphabet-letter-b-q75-500x453Boscawen (my mother’s maternal line)
English/Cornish—The surname comes from Boscawen-Un, stone circle near the village of St Buryan, Cornwall, dating from the Bronze Age (the period between 2100 to 750 BC).

Bouchard (my brother-in-law’s paternal family)
French—The surname Bouchard is a Norman name, combining the French word bourgh, meaning a town or village under the shadow of a castle, with the German word hard, meaning brave or strong” (heard), see Burkhardt. It is also a French nickname for someone with a big mouth, derived from the word bouche.

Bowne (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is one of the earliest topographical surnames existing today. The derivation is from the Old English pre-7th Century word burna or burne, meaning spring or stream. It was originally used as a topographic name for someone who lived beside a stream. In the south of England, the term was gradually replaced by the Old English word broc, meaning brook, and came to be restricted in meaning to an intermittently flowing stream, especially one that flowed only in winter. This meaning of bourn is still found in the dialects of Kent, Surrey and Wiltshire. In the North, however, the word burn is still used for a stream.

Boyd (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line)
Scottish/Irish—This surname is of Scottish and Irish origin and is thought to be locational from the island of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, the placename being of uncertain etymology. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace.

Boyer (my father’s paternal line)
English—This surname is an occupational surname for a maker or seller of bows, an important and respected profession in medieval England. It derives from the Old English pre-7th Century word boga, itself from the word bugar, meaning to bend, as well as from the Middle English words bow and boiwyere.

062-hans-holbein-1523-death-letter-b-q87-500x500Bradley (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
English—This is an early medieval Anglo-Scottish surname originates either from the varied villages called Bradley or from now lost places. This surname is derived from the pre-7th century English word bradleah, meaning of a broad clearing suitable for agriculture.

Bradshaw (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is of pre-7th century Anglo-Saxon origins. It is locational from any one of the places called Bradshaw in the counties of Derbyshire, Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The place is first recorded as Bradeshaghe in 1246, from the Old English word brad, meaning broad or wide, with sceaga, a thicket or grove.

Braun (my stepfather’s family)
German—This surname is from German word braun, meaning brown (Middle High German word, brun), It referred to the color of the hair, complexion, or clothing, or from the personal name Bruno, which was borne by the Dukes of Saxony, among others, from the 10th century or before. It was also the name of several medieval German and Italian saints, including St. Bruno, the founder of the Carthusian order (1030–1101).

Brendel  (my father’s maternal line)
German/English—This early surname is of pre-5th century Germanic origins. Recorded in more than 50 different spellings, it usually derives from the male given name Brando. This is itself a short form of a popular compound personal name such as Hildebrand and originates from brinnan, meaning a flash, as in a flash of lightning. The name can also be topographical and relate to a person who lived by a brant, an area of agricultural land, one which was cleared by fire

Brewer (my brother-in-law’s maternal family)
English—This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and might be an occupational surname for a brewer of beer or ale, derived from the Old English pre-7th Century word, breowan, meaning to brew, later evolving to the Middle English word brewere.

051-16th-Century-letter-b-q97-2719x2908Bridger (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
English—This name is of English topographic origin for someone who lived by a bridge. The derivation is from the Medieval English brigge, itself coming from the Old English pre-7th Century word brycg, meaning bridge. Toponymics formed by the addition of -er to some topographical feature i.e. a bridge, brook etc., were particularly common in Sussex in the early 14th Century. The -er meant a dweller at.

Bright (my mother’s maternal line)
English—This is a Medieval English nickname or given name meaning bright, fair, or beautiful. The name derives from the Old English pre-7th century word beorht, meaning bright or shining. It may also be a short form of the Olde English personal name Beorhthelm—a compound of the elements beorht (bright) and helm (helmet).

Brome (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is either a locational or a topographical surname. As a locational surname, it derives from any one of the various places called Broom in Bedfordshire, Durham and Worcestershire, Broome in Norfolk, Shropshire and Warwickshire, and Brome, in Suffolk. Most of the places are recorded in the Domesday Book as Brume or Brom and all share the same meaning and derivation from the Old English pre-7th Century word brom, meaning (place of) broom or gorse. As a topographical surname, it denotes residence near a place where broom grew.

Brooke (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
English—This surname of Old English origins is habitational from one who lived at one of the villages called Brook or for someone who lived by a brook. However, some research suggests that for many nameholders the origin was job descriptive, deriving from the Norman French word broc, meaning pitcher or ewer, and as such was a metonymic for one who delivered fresh water from such a vessel.

Brossman (my father’s paternal line)
German: The first half of the surname is from the Middle High German word brossen, meaning to sprout or bud, hence an affectionate nickname for a young son. The second half of the surname comes from the Middle High German word mann, a nickname for a fierce or strong man or for a man contrasted with a boy. In some cases, it may have arisen as an occupational name for a servant from the medieval use of the term to describe a person of inferior social status.

48baf6d55750069008a84ca8166e7ce8Broughman (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
Scottish—The roots of this surname reach back to the language of the Viking settlers who populated the rigged shores of Scotland in the medieval era and us derived from the locations where they resided, such as Overbrough and Netherborugh in Harray, Orkney Islands.

Browne (my mother’s maternal line and my mother’s paternal line)
England and Ireland—This surname (spelled as Browne) is much associated with Ireland. It originates from the Old English, Norse-Viking, and Anglo-Saxon pre-7th century word brun. It was originally a nickname for either a person of brown hair or swarthy complexion or for one who habitually wore brown clothing. If the latter, the nickname might refer to a member of a holy order, many of whom wore brown.

Bruce/Brus (my mother’s paternal line)
Scottish—This surname is of Norman-French origin and is a locational name either from an extensive fortress built by Adam de Brus at Brix between Cherbourg and Valognes, Normandy, or from Brieuze, a place less than 10 miles from Falaise, Normandy.

Bruehl/Broyles (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This was topographic name for someone who lived by a swampy area, from the Middle High German word, brüel, or Middle Low German word brul, both which mean swampy land with brushwood. This surname is also a habitational name for someone from Brühl, Germany. At some point, this surname became Americanized to Broyles.

Bryant (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
Irish—This interesting surname is of Old Breton-Irish origin and derives from the Celtic personal name Brian. It is believed to contain the element bre, meaning hill or brigh, meaning strong. Breton bearers of the name were among the Normans who invaded England in 1066, and they later went on to invade and settle in Ireland in the 12th century, where the name became confused with a native Irish version. That version was derived by descendants of Brian Boru, who rose to the high kingship of Ireland in 1002. This native Irish name had also been borrowed by Vikings, who introduced it independently in North West England before the Norman Conquest.

b_10803_lgBuchanan  (my mother’s paternal line)
Scottish
—This long-established surname, having no less than 17 Coats of Arms and with several notable entries in the Dictionary of National Biography, is of Old Scottish origin. It is a locational name from the district of Buchanan, northwest of Drymen in Stirlingshire. It is from the Gaelic word buth, meaning house, and chanain, meaning of the canon.

Burkhart (my spouse’s stepmother’s family)
German—This surname is derived from the German word burg, meaning castle, and hart, meaning hard. Saint Burkhard was a bishop who founded several monasteries in Germany in the 8th century.

Busch/Bush (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line)
German—This topographic surname indicated one who lives close to a thicket or wood, coming from Middle High German word busch, meaning bush. It can also be a habitational name from a place named with this word. pre-7th century Norse-Viking word buski.

Butler  (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This aristocratic surname is of Norman-French origins and is one of the very few to be accepted as pre-1066 in origin and recording and even rarer still to be recorded in France. This surname is job descriptive, deriving the Old French word bouteillier, meaning one who supplies the bottles, specifically wine. However, Bouteillier in the surname sense defines status in a royal or at least noble household.

Whew!  I am so glad I finally documented through all those surnames. I am pretty certain I now have writer’s cramp! Well, once I recover from these “killer” Bs, I will start researching the C surnames in our families. Stay tuned…


For more information on the origins of many surnames, check out Almwch Data, Behind the Name, Irish Origenes, Surname Database, Surname Meanings and Origins, Surname Web, and Wiktionary.

#etymology     #familytree     #surnames

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Extended Families, Harwick-Bush Line, Noel-Ardinger Line, Spangler-Kenney Line, Surnames from A to Z, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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