• RSS

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Surname Saturday ~ The Name Game

In the New Dictionary of American Family names, author Elsdon C. Smith writes, "After the Crusades, people began, perhaps unconciously, to feel the need of a family name, or at least a name in addition to the simple one that had been possesed from birth. The nobles and upper classes, especially those who went on the Crusades, observed the prestige and practical value of an added name and were quick to take a surname, usually the name of the lands they owned. When the Crusaders returned from the wars, the upper classes who had stayed at home soon followed suit."

Ready to test your name-knowledge? (The names for Round 4 of The Name Game were inspired by the Geneabloggers who attended FGS 2011.)

Step right up and try your luck guessing the country of origin and the meanings of these names:


Give yourself one point for each country guessed correctly and another point for each correct meaning.

Scroll down...

to see...

the answers...

Bankhead (Scottish) One who came from Bankhead (end of the ridge), the name of several small places in Scottland.

Doyle (Irish/English) Grandson of Dubhghall (black foreigner); the swarthy stranger or foreigner; one who came from Ouilly (Olius' farm), the name of five places in Normandy.

Freda (Italian) Descendant of Freda, a pet form of Friderico, a variant of Frederick (peace, rule).

Higgins, Higgin, Higginson, Higgens, Higgs (English/Irish) The son of little Higg or Hick, pey forms of Richard (rule, hard); descendant of Uige (knowledge).

Jerome (English) Descendant of Jerome (holy name).

Lyons, Lyon (English/Scottish) Descendant of Leon (lion); dweller at the sign of the lion. Jacob's reference to Judah as a lion (Gen. 49:9) has caused this name to be adopted by many Jews.

Niziolek (Polish) One who was short in stature.

Pointer, Poynter (English) One who made laces for fastening clothes.

Roach (Irish) Dweller at, or near, a rock. See also Roche.

Roche, Roch, Rocher, Rochet (French/English) Dweller near a rock; one who came from Roche (rock) in Cornwall; or from Roche (rock), the name of many places in France.

Tapley (English) One who came from Tapeley (wood where pegs were obtained), in Devonshire.

Voorhees, Voorhies, Voorheis (Dutch) One who lived in front of Hees, the name of four places in Holland.

Xanthos (Greek) The golden, or yellow-haired, man.

Hope you enjoyed this round of The Name Game!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear - only recognised Bankhead and Lyons (as Scottish), but then I only do Scottish research. FAIL :-) Jo

Post a Comment