The Select Surnames2 Website
What's in a name? More than you might think. Each surname carries an individual history that has been shaped by all the forebears of that name. In palmistry, the left hand usually tells you what you are born with, the right hand what you made on your life. So too with family genealogy. Word origin and DNA will provide a starting point. But the history and events over time can give these names their distinctive characteristics and traits.
The site contains select surnames of English,
Scottish, Welsh, Irish and other origin.
The following are some of the surnames that are covered here:
Bliss. As the Bliss Family
History Society put it: "We are free to
choose the source of our
particular branch of the Bliss name: a native stubbornly persistent
heritage or a venturesome hot-tempered Norman import."
in the Anglo-Saxon
version derived from the Middle English blisse, meaning
"gladness" or "joy;" or Bliss originated from the Norman de
Houston. Houston is a
Scottish clan name that originated with Hugh de Padvinan, a Norman
templar, sometime around 1160. His lands in Renfrewshire came to
called Houston. In America the pronunciation can vary. New
say "How"-ston, Texans say "Hue"-ston.
"How"ston Street in New York was named after the aristocratic
Scotsman William Houstoun; the city of "Hue"ston in Texas after the
Scots-Irish Sam Houston who defeated Mexico to deliver Texas to the
Metcalfe. There are several
versions of the origin of the Metcalfe name.
The most accepted one is that the name is composed of the Old
English mete, meaning "meat," and cealf, a
"calf," the thinking being that this was a calf that was to be fattened
up over the summer for eating.
Metcalfe is a name of the north Yorkshire dales.
O'Neill is an Irish clan whose name goes
back into the mists of history - to the legendary 5th century warrior
king of Ireland
Niall Noigiallach (Niall of the Nine Hostages), who is said to have
responsible for bringing St. Patrick to Ireland. When
Nial Gluin Dubh (Nial of the Back Knee) was killed in 919 fighting the
Norsemen, his grandson Domhnall adopted the surname Ua Niall.
Sachs. In Germany the surname Sachs took its name from the region of Saxony in central Germany, originally Sachsen after a line of princes there in the 15th century. However, the later Jewish roots are different: it being here a name adopted in memory of persecuted forebears, an acronym of the Hebrew phrase zera kodesh shemo, or "his name is of the seed of holiness."
The table below shows the list of the 120 surnames that are reviewed here.
Site Map: Select Names
Have a look at some of these surnames - other than your own - to see the extent of the rich tapestry of life that can exist in family names.
Each surname on this list includes: a name origin or derivation; a history of the name through time and countries; some notable people who bear this name; and further internet resources on the name (we have only chosen those sites that are readily accessible without charge on the internet).
Enjoy the site!
PS. If your surname does not appear in the list above, you might want to check out the surname page in this website. It covers surname genealogy for more than 800 surnames. These surnames are to be found in this and these companion websites:
- Select Surname list. The 100 most common surnames.
- Select Surname. 100
surnames from Ainsworth to York.
- Select Surnames. 100 surnames from Adams to
surnames from Archer to Yardley.
- Select Surnames 3. 120 surnames from Abercrombie to Woodruff.
- Select Surnames 4. 120 surnames from Abbott to Wynn.