Spangler-Kenney Line

ABCs & Our Family Trees: Letters I & J

  

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

Now that the H names have been discussed, next up are the letters I and J:

Ihrich (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
German—This surname is composed of the Old High German word ih, meaning I, and the German word ric/reich, meaning rich or powerful.

Isaac (my mother’s paternal line and my brother-in-law’s family)
English—Of Biblical origins, Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah. derived from the Hebrew word yiṣḥāq, meaning [he] laughs. The traditional explanation of the name is that Abraham and Sarah laughed with joy at the birth of a son to them in their old age, but a more plausible explanation is that the name originally meant may God laugh/smile on him. In England and Wales, it was one of the Old Testament names that were particularly popular among Nonconformists in the 17th through 19th centuries.

Isted (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname might be a form of Highstead, a locality/village in the county of Kent. However, it might be the name of a lost medieval village. It could be a variation of  East Head, a village far away in the north of Scotland. Highstead means high farm.

Izard (my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is of pre-6th Century Germanic origins. It has two possible origins. The first is from the female personal name Isolde, much associated with the ancient tale of Tristran and Isolde. It is composed of is, meaning ice, and hild, meaning battle, or the masculine Ishard, with the elements is, meaning ice, and hard, meaning hardy or strong. The second possible origin is from the Old Provencal word izar, meaning mountain goat—a nickname given to a good climber or a sprightly, lively person.

Jacobs/Jacobusse (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line)
Dutch—These are patronymic medieval surnames, derived from the Latin name Jacobus. Jacobus is derived from the Hebrew language personal name Yaakov, from the Hebrew word akev, meaning heel. In the Bible, this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau who took advantage of the latter’s hunger and impetuous nature to persuade him to part with his birthright for a mess of pottage. Jacob was said to have been born holding on to Esau’s heel.

James (my spouse’s father’s maternal line)
English—This medieval surname is of both Biblical and 12th Century Crusader origins. It has its origins in the Hebrew given name Yaakov. Traditionally, the name is interpreted as coming from the word akev, meaning a heel, but has also been interpreted as he who supplanted. Both of these meanings are influenced by the Biblical story of Esau and his younger twin brother Jacob. Jacob is said to have been born holding on to Esau’s heel and took advantage of Esau’s hunger to persuade him to part with his birthright in exchange for food.

Jansen (my spouse’s mother’s maternal line)
Dutch—This is a Dutch/Flemish and Low German patronymic surname meaning son of Jan, a common derivative of Johannes. It is equivalent to the English surname Johnson.

Jenkinson (my brother-in-law’s family)
English—This English surname is much associated with Wales. It is a patronymic form of the medieval male given name Jenkin (son of Jenkin) from the Hebrew name Yochan, meaning the child favored by God.

Jennings (my mother’s paternal line)
English—Of early medieval English origin, this surname is also associated with Wales and Ireland. It is a patronymic surname, deriving from the given name Janyn or Jenyn, meaning little John. John itself derives from the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning Jehovah has favored (me with a son).

Jiménez (my mother’s paternal line)
Spanish—This surname is of Iberian origin, first appearing in the Basque lands. It is a patronymic construction from the modern-styled given name Jimeno, plus the Spanish suffix -ez, meaning son [of]. The root appears to stem from Basque semen, meaning son.

Johnson (my spouse’s mother’s paternal line, two lines)
English—This surname is a patronymic form of the medieval male given name John (son of John) from the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning God has favored me (with a son).

Johnston (my father’s paternal line)
Scottish—This surname is of Scottish locational origin from an area in Annandale, Dumfriesshire. The founder of the family, named Jonis, followed his overlords from Yorkshire circa 1174 and was granted the lands to which he gave his name. The second element is the medieval English word tone or toun from the Old English pre-7th Century word tun, meaning a settlement.

Jones (my mother’s maternal line and my mother’s paternal line)
English—This surname is of English medieval origins. It derives either from the male given name John or its female equivalent Joan, both introduced after the Norman Conquest. Both names are written as Jon(e) in medieval documents; a clear distinction between them on the grounds of gender was not made until the 15th Century. However, because of the patronymic nature of  medieval Britain, bearers of the surname Jones are more likely to derive it from John than Joan. John is from the Hebrew word Yochanan, meaning Jehovah has favored (me with a son).

Judd (my mother’s paternal line)
English—Of early medieval English origin, this surname is a diminutive forms of the personal name Jordan. There are two possible sources: it might be an Old German personal name Jordanes, thought to contain the same root as the Old Norse word jordh, meaning land, or it might be taken directly from the name of the river Jordan, derived from the Hebrew word yarad, meaning to go down or to descend (to the Dead Sea). Returning Crusaders and pilgrims would frequently bring back flasks of water from the river Jordan to be used in the baptism of their children, since John the Baptist had baptized people, including Christ Himself, in the river.

 

Well, that’s it for the I and J surnames… Next up is the K 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, Spangler-Kenney Line, Surnames from A to Z, Watts-Stark Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

James William “J.W.” Kenney

On 25 April 1941, James William “J.W.” Kenney, died. He was my spouse’s 2nd great-grandfather.

James William Kenney was born on 6 November 1866, in Botetourt County, Virginia. He was the first-born child of Charles T. Kenney and Mary Frances Broughman, who were married on 17 January 1866, in Botetourt County, Virginia. His father was a farmer, and his mother was a housewife.

On 9 March 1886, James William Kenney, age 19, married Anna “Annie” L. Spangler at Horseshoe Bend, Botetourt County, Virginia. Annie was the daughter of Charles David Spangler and Elizabeth Ann Bryant.

On 10 March 1887, at Clifton Forge, Alleghany County, Virginia, the couple welcomed their first child, daughter Willie Alice Kenney (my spouse’s great-grandmother).

On 7 May 1891, daughter Daisy Myrtle Kenney was born in Clifton Forge, Alleghany County, Virginia.

In 1899, daughter Ida Belle Kenney was born in Clifton Forge, Alleghany County, Virginia.

On 29 September 1902, son James Thurman Kenney was born in Clifton Forge, Alleghany County, Virginia.

On 24 December 1903, daughter Willie Alice married Walter Lee Spangler in Botetourt County, Virginia.

On 13 July 1905, daughter Daisy Myrtle married Robert Henry Grubbs in the Fincastle Methodist-Episcopal Church in Botetourt County, Virginia. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Leonis Butts.

By 1910, James W. Kenney, his wife Annie, and their children were residing in a rented home in Clifton, Allegheny County, Virginia. James W. Kenney was a tannery laborer. According to the 1910 U.S. Census, he was able to read and write, with English being his primary language.

On 13 June 1915, daughter Ida Belle married Thomas Bias in Vandalia, Kanawha County, West Virginia.

In 1920, James W. and Annie Kenney resided in Vandalia, Kanawha County, West Virginia. His son James Thurmond and daughter-in-law Myrtle, both 18 years old, lived with them. By 1920, his profession had changed from tanner to teamster (a truck driver or a driver of a team of animals) for a retail grocery store. James W. Kenney and his family lived a few houses away from his daughter Daisy Myrtle and son-in-law Robert Henry Grubbs.

In 1921, son-in-law Robert Henry Grubbs died, leaving his daughter a widow with young children.

In 1930, James W. and Annie Kenney resided in Jefferson District, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Their son James Thurmond and daughter-in-law Myrtle, along with their two children, live next door. At the time, he lists his profession as an odd-jobs laborer. This is probably due to his advanced age.

Two years later, on 29 September 1932, his wife of 46 years, Anna “Annie” L Spangler, died at the Salvation Army Hospital in Charleston, West Virginia. The cause of death was listed as atherosclerosis and gangrene of the foot. Because of the gangrene, the hospital was forced to amputate Annie’s leg midway up her thigh. Either during the procedure or just afterwards, Annie went into shock and died from toxemia. On 30 September 1932, Annie was buried in Childress Cemetery, Charleston.

On 1 April 1940, James William Kenney was living on Truslan Street in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, with his daughter Daisy Myrtle and her family.

On 25 April 1941, at the age of 74 years, 5 months, and 19 days, James William “J.W.” Kenney died in his home, 7 Prises Court, Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia. The cause of death was carcinoma of the face with metastasis. The death certificate noted that James William had been battling cancer for three years. The death certificate also stated his son James Thurman had last seen his father alive the prior week on 18 April 1941.

On 27 April 1941, James William Kenney was buried in Childress Cemetery, Charleston, beside his wife Annie.

#ancestry     #familyhistory     #genealogy

Categories: On This Day, Spangler-Kenney Line | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Food History

When I was a child, I loved television. Of course, we only had three channels, if the antenna was working properly that day. (Move the rabbit ears a bit more, a bit more… stop… now, don’t move!) Our family would congregate around the TV set almost every evening.  My favorite shows were All in the Family, Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, The Dukes of Hazzard, Gilligan’s Island, Happy DaysI Dream of Jeannie, Laverne and Shirley, Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and Welcome Back, Kotter.  And Saturday mornings?  Those cartoons/kids’ shows were the best!  My siblings and I loved The Bugs Bunny Show, Captain Kangaroo, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, The Flintstones, Hong Kong Phooey, H.R. Pufnstuf, Josie and the Pussycats, and Scooby Doo.

This days, however, I do not watch much television. (I guess I am too busy writing blog entries.) When I do turn on the tube, I tend to prefer:

  • Genealogically related (pun intended) shows (As if you couldn’t surmise that already!)
  • Sappy love stories (What can I say? I have a thing for happily ever after.)
  • Home repair shows
  • And My Grandmother’s Ravioli

Each episode of My Grandmother’s Ravioli begins with this monologue:

I’m Mo Rocca, and this is my grandmother. When I was growing up, she used to make the biggest, most elaborate Sunday dinners. I will never forget Momma’s ravioli. But I, I never learned how to cook. That’s why I’m pulling out all the stops to get your grandmothers and grandfathers to teach me their favorite family recipes. Why not learn from the masters?

“So why do I like this show?” you might ask. The reason is because I believe that family recipes are an important part of family history. Certain foods remind me of certain people. When I prepare the food that these long-gone family members had made, it is as if these loved ones are joining me at the dinner table.

When I remember my maternal grandmother, I think of fried plantains, Seabreezes, and rum cake. (Yum… rum… My grandmother sure knew how to whip up a mean rum cake, although I swear, you could get drunk off those fumes!)

The first Christmas that I shared with my hubby (then my boyfriend), we spent the holiday break with my grandmother and step-grandfather. In honor of our visit, she and I made her famous rum cake or, should I say, TWO rum cakes. The four of us polished off those cakes in two days!  Although it has been 15 years since my grandmother died, I think of her every time I bake a rum cake and reminisce about that visit and the laughs we share.

When I remember my paternal great-grandmother, I think of snickerdoodles, shepherd’s pie, meat pies, and sweet tea… lots and lots of sweet tea. (So much sweet tea, in fact, that she and my Great-Great-Aunt Carella joked at family reunions that sweet tea flowed through our family’s veins! I think they might have been right!)

Growing up, my family visited my two paternal great-grandmothers on Sundays. My grandfather’s mother always treated us to family stories, followed by baked goods or Sunday supper. One of my favorite memories of her was the day we made rolled sugar cookies together. No matter what my great-grandma made, she never consulted a recipe. (She used to boast that she could cook circles around Betty Crocker.) I watched, fascinated, as she added a handful of this and a pinch of that to create a perfect sugar cookie dough. As she rolled out the dough, my great-grandmother told me about how she would make these cookies as a girl, around about my age. She then handed me an empty jelly jar and told me to cut out as many cookies as I could from that piece of dough. Press and turn, press and turn… one by one, I cut out those cookies. When I was done, she gave me a smile and told me that I had done well. Even though she has been dead 24 years, I still remember that smile.

On my spouse’s side, I will always equate ham and bean soup with his maternal grandmother. His grandmother often had a pot of bean soup simmering on the stove when we visited. (And, of course, we had to sample bowl or two each time. We can’t be rude, now can we?)

What I remember most about that soup was sitting with her at her 1950’s era kitchen table, listening to her as she shared stories of other family members, both alive and gone, and of herself, both old and young. I learned so much about my husband’s family at that table. Fifteen years have passed since his maternal grandmother died, but I think of her each and every time I make a pot of ham and bean soup.

My husband’s paternal grandmother was renowned for her cooking. Family lore has that her cooking was what initially attracted my husband’s grandfather. In 1936, a young, Italian-born Marine was assigned to a post in South Charleston, West Virginia. While in Charleston, he met and fell in love with a young lady who cooked sumptuous Italian food. They married within months of meeting.

When I met my husband’s paternal grandmother more than 50 years later, her husband was no longer alive to enjoy her cooking. However, their large family—sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren—gathered at her table to enjoy her sumptuous foods. What I remember most about those meals was how she never seemed to join us; instead, she waited on us, making sure plates and stomachs were full. And she rarely allowed help with cleanup, even though some of us offered. She did, however, welcome a helping hand and a willingness to learn when it came to preparing the food.

Several times, I joined her in the kitchen, learning to prepare smelts, gnocchi, and ravioli. (Okay, so they were really tortellini, but who was I to argue with her?)  While we cooked, she told me all about her very large Appalachian family—her father who was a preacher, her mother who was given both a boy’s and girl’s name (Willie Alice), and her many, many brothers and sisters. We laughed about funny times in her childhood and wiped away tears when she talked about her sister who died from a car fire and her brother who was killed in a tank during World War II. (She claimed the tears were from the onions.) Although 12 years have passed since she passed away, I think of her still when I make homemade gnocchi.

So you see, family recipes are an important part of our family history. Each of us, especially family historians, should take the time to document this aspect of our loved ones’ lives. Considering attaching family recipes to family tree records. Like census records, these recipes (especially those written in that person’s own hand) tells part of that person’s life story.

Culture and personal preferences are captured when we remember to document the food of our lives. Every time a family recipe is prepared and shared, a part of our ancestors live on.

#familyhistory       #familyrecipes       #memories


What foods remind you of specific family members and why? Please feel free share your memories of your own life and the lives of your ancestors. I would love to hear from you.
Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Miscellaneous Musings, Spangler-Kenney Line, Taylor-Thomas Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 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

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