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Questions tagged [surnames]

For questions about the use, distribution, origin and etymology of surnames, also known as family names or last names.

5
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3answers
195 views

What is the meaning and origin of the surname Nesselrothees?

I am having trouble finding anything out about the surname Nesselrothees. My great grandmother was registered under the surname in 1840 England. Her father was Alexander Dorow Nesselrothees. He was ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I determine our common ancestor?

I'm trying to find a match for DNA that is narrowed down to go through my dad's line and another person's paternal line. I'm thinking if I could compare our fathers' pedigree surnames it might reveal ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

What variants in spelling and pronunciation might there be for Polish surname Chorzelewski?

What variants in spelling and pronunciation might there be for the Polish surname Chorzelewski? The name could be Chorelewski also. My grandmothers maiden name was Chorzelewski here in the US. ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Derivation of the Irish surname Hamil (is it from Hamuel in the bible)?

My last name is Hamil and my family genealogy comes from Ireland. An individual who researched the family states that Hamil is a variation of the Hamuel found in the Bible who is a descendant of ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Rule of Thumb for when Anglo-American surnames became standardized?

There are good Q&A's on this site about how to identify alternative versions of a given surname, but I have a different question more related to this and this. I know that when I'm looking at ...
7
votes
1answer
116 views

What records document how African Americans received their Surname in early New York state?

My understanding is that pre-American revolution New York state had free blacks and slaves, then during the war both sides offered freedom to those that fought. Eventually, in 1799 slavery was ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

How to Audibly “Hear” the pronunciation of a text name or pronunciation coding?

I am trying to determine how a name 'might' sounded based on text values how a name is pronounced audibly. I am aware of SoundEx and this calculator for it, the improved MetaPhone, Double Metaphone, ...
11
votes
1answer
315 views

Did Edward Buten change his name from Edward Bulen?

For several years I have hit a dead end with one branch of my family tree. My Great Grandfather Edward Buten married by Great Grandmother Elizabeth Mary Ann Dunnington in 1893 at the Islington ...
3
votes
2answers
50 views

How much is “Worker” an established American transliteration of the German "Würker”?

I'm currently tracing the root meaning/history of the German family name "Würker", specifically regarding the authenticity of the American transliteration of "Worker" - how commonly used is this form, ...
3
votes
3answers
203 views

Tracing genealogy of people with particular Polish surname?

I am trying to trace the genealogy of one or more people with the surname "Wozniack." I believe that it is Polish name and that these people are of Polish descent Where in Poland are people with ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Determining parents of 19th Century Swiss ancestor?

I started getting into genealogy thanks to Ancestry.com and I have run into a brick wall. I am looking for the parents of Christopher Stukey (born somewhere between 1843 and 1848 in Switzerland) his ...
3
votes
1answer
327 views

Finding original surname of 20th Century Russian immigrant to United States?

My Great Grandfather Abraham moved here from Vilna Russia in early 1900's with his wife Udis Rose and two children, Arthor and Bella. They started in New York City and at some point changed the last ...
3
votes
2answers
571 views

Finding original Polish surname of 19th Century immigrant to United States?

My great, great grandfather's American name was Steve Voiten. I know his Polish given name was Stanislaw, but our family records say Woytinkewicz as a last name. I can't find any evidence of that ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Place surnames versus Occupational surnames for English ancestors

In England, were place surnames more prevalent than occupational surnames (Baker, Potter, Hatter, etc...) or vice versa? I have searched Google & saw mixed results at best.
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Average number of people per name?

Are there statistics of "name ambiguity? For example, how many people share the same full name on average? This would be particularily interesting per country.
6
votes
1answer
93 views

What can be gleaned statistically from Surname occurence in Population?

Is there a calculation or test to determine if the occurrence of a surname in a population in a specific geographical area is statistically significant or just a random distribution? For example, in ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

What is origin of hyphenated or double-barreled surnames?

I found this answer by John Hanna which implies that the practice originated with the British aristocracy or 'upper-bourgeoisie' as @WS2 dubs them. This makes sense on a hereditary-rule/feudalism ...
6
votes
2answers
298 views

What does a phrase like “dit St Pierre” mean, when it follows a surname?

What does a phrase like "dit St Pierre" mean, when it follows a surname? For example: Marie-Anne Romure dit St Pierre
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Determining correct spelling of Polish last name?

My Polish grandmothers last name was Dziubenofska, but I know that's not how it is spelt! I'm looking for the proper spelling. Can you help find it for me? She came over to Ellis Island and they ...
-6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the meaning and origin of the surname Lambert?

What is the meaning of this name? What was the history behind it? Which country does it originated firstly? What ethnicity people will have this name?
3
votes
3answers
91k views

What does the word “née” mean when following a woman's name?

For the first time today I have seen the word née following a woman's name. It's often in parenthesis and precedes what appears to be another surname. I'm guessing it's a way of signifying a woman's ...
5
votes
2answers
301 views

Would the Polish surname Jurkiewicz have been different in Russia?

Elias (Alexander) Jurkiewicz was living in Bilyi Kamin', Ukraine when his first children were born. Family lore says Elias came from Russia and worked there as a shoemaker for the Czar (we haven't ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the origin of the surname 'Dubé'?

I been tracking down my family history before they settled in North America, i was very fortunate to be able to track down my mother side. But my fathers side not so fortunate, we know its french in ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Name variants for Schufeldt?

I have an ancestor Charity Schufeldt (1792-1851, married Wait Hurlburt) that I am researching. To aid in my search, I'm looking for name variants for Schufeldt. So far I have Schufeldt, Zufelt, ...
5
votes
4answers
240 views

Jacob Fisher and Sarah Hodges (married in 1773 in Sharon, MA) - who were their childen?

Page 27 of the Sharon, Massachusetts Vital Records show Jacob Fisher and his wife Sarah had a son Jacob born 30 Apr 1776: Jacob, s. of Jacob and Sarah, Apr. 30, 1776 Page 94 of those records show a ...
8
votes
1answer
232 views

What's the best way two people that share a surname can determine they're not closely related?

My girlfriend and I both share the same last name and our families claim they are both from the same Korean surname "clan". This is a huge sticking point for her father. I know so far with certainty ...
7
votes
2answers
463 views

What is somebody's “real” surname from a set of possible spelling variants?

How do you decide what is somebody's "real" surname? Is there some hierarchy of data sources that you follow or do you just go by preponderance of usage? I'm talking about spelling variants -- not ...
11
votes
1answer
540 views

Finding orphaned grandfather's original surname?

I'm trying to find my Grandfather's original name. He changed it when he became 18, back in 1941. He was an orphan and never told anyone what it was before he changed it. My dad always said Bair was ...
11
votes
3answers
149 views

Polish spelling variants for “Yechezkel Fleker”

I am trying to locate any records about my grand father. His name in "Yechezkel Fleker" or in hebrew "יחזקאל פלקר" and I am trying to search some polish archives for information about him. I am not ...
7
votes
4answers
248 views

Finding records prior to 1838 for Malone, Franklin County, NY or St. Lawrence County, NY?

How or where does one find records prior to 1838 for Franklin & St. Lawrence County, NY? Hiram Wheeler Barlow (28 Sep 1820-27 Aug 1876) and his ancestry (parents). It is believed he was born ...
5
votes
2answers
308 views

What is the root meaning of the surname “Samovojska”?

I have seem alternative spellings of this name listed as Samovojska Samovojsky Samovosky Samosky What is the origin or root meaning of this surname? For reference, the Samosky variant has just a ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I identify all the possible alternatives for a surname

My ancestor Mary Ann Harper is frustratingly elusive as mentioned here. However, Harper is a surname that would lend itself to different spellings in censuses, birth records and the like — ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the standard method for recording married names?

Suppose Mary A marries John B and then (after his death or divorce) she marries James C. Rightly or wrongly my impression is that conventional practice in GEDCOM based programs is to record only ...
15
votes
5answers
908 views

Name selection practices driven by the Napoleonic Code

The Napoleonic code was a consistent body of law adopted in many parts of the Europe (and other places) that were conquered by Napoleon I. These laws covered, among other things, property rights and ...
3
votes
1answer
437 views

How rare/common is a surname in the US Social Security Death Index?

I would like to know the 'rank' of how common or rare a surname is in the SSDI. For example: Smith is the most common name with 1234567 entries and Sparrell is the 12345th most common name with 123 ...
3
votes
3answers
668 views

How rare/common is a surname in US currently?

I realize asking 'how rare/common' is a relative question. In my gedcom, my surname is common but in my local phone directory it is very rare (we are the only family in our rather large town). I ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

Sparrell as a first and middle name?

The surname Sparrell is fairly rare. To my knowledge, all the current living Sparrells in the US are descended from James Newton Sparrell (~1740-1770). When researching, I occasionally run across ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the meaning and origin of the German last name Naicker?

The last name Naicker occurs in Germany, possibly in the 19th Century. What is the origin, history and meaning of this name?
6
votes
2answers
183 views

How should I document a surname change from the mid- to late 1700s (US)?

I have a gg grandfather that had a different surname than his father, FIVEASH for the son, FISH for the father. This was in Virginia mid to late 1700s. How could I learn if this surname had been ...
8
votes
1answer
121 views

Kollenborn in Romanshorn, Switzerland

It seems that my mother's family, Kollenborn, came from Romanshorn, Switzerland, near the German border and the Bodensee/Lake Constance (Konstanz). I have found Kollenborn to be an extremely rare ...
3
votes
3answers
315 views

How can a name be corrected in the 1940 census?

A next door neighbor in the 1940 census is listed with a wrong surname. Is it possible to have that corrected?
15
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7answers
1k views

Tracking family names and migration patterns using GIS?

I posted a question, Using web mapping and geocoding to track genealogical data, over at Geographic Information Systems SE awhile ago, so I was quite excited when I saw the proposal for this site. I ...
7
votes
2answers
439 views

How should I handle French-Canadian “dit” names and variant spellings?

This page gives a good explanation of French-Canadian "dit" names. The short version is that: Illiteracy and lack of standardized spelling means that many of my 17th/18th century ancestors have ...