The Select Surnames3 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:

Abercrombie.  The Scottish surname Abercrombie originated from the place-name Abercromby in Fife, a name of Pictish origin meaning “mouth of the bendy river.”  Abercromby as a surname was first recorded there in 1296.  The spelling had tended to become Abercrombie by the 19th century.  

Goodyear.  Goodyear, as its name suggests, means "good year" and was initially a greeting like "good day" or "good bye."  Early spellings of the surname were Goodere and Goodyere.  One family, the Gooderes de Pointon, dates from the 13th century and the village of Poynton in Cheshire.  

Hurst, Hirst, and Hearst.  The root of Hurst is the Old English hyrst, meaning a wooded hill, and the surname is probably derived from a place-name with that spelling.  The Hirst spelling is native to Yorkshire.  Another spelling is Hearst, first found in Belfast and later, with William Randolph Hearst, in America.  

Lehman.  The surname Lehman is of German and Swiss origin.  The northern German Lehmann, first written Lehemann and Lehenmann, initially described a feudal tenant and came to be used for a small farmer.  The Swiss and sometime southern German definition is one who lives by a lehn, a gentle slope.  Lehman was also adopted as a Jewish name.  

Tracy.  The Gaelic word treasach meaning "warlike" or "fighter" gave rise to various O'Treasaigh septs.  O'Treasagh was most often anglicized as Treacy, sometimes as Tracey, and often in its travels to America as Tracy.


The table below shows the list of the 120 surnames that are reviewed here.    

Site Map: Select Names


Abercrombie Day Hanks Lehman  Page Stanley
Alexander Diack              
Hart Lennon Pearce Sutcliffe
Ames Dickens Hendricks Lightfoot Pearson Taft
Anson Doubleday Hennessy       
Lincoln Phelps Tapper           
Arden Douglas Herrick Locke                Presley Tracy
Astor Duke Hurst Lucas Quant Tugwell      
Banks               Durant Ireland Maguire Robbins            Turnbull
Berger Dyson Ives Marcus Rockefeller Ullman
Bevan Evers Jagger McCartney Rose Unwin
Bishop Ewing Jellicoe McCormick Rosenthal Vanderbilt
Black Fielding Jewell Mellon Rowland Vick
Bligh Fiennes Jordan Mills Rubin Wagner
Boyd Firestone Kane Montague Saville Watts
Butterfield Flynn Kaplan Moss Shakespeare Weaver
Carnegie Fowler Katz Munro Shapiro Webb
Costello Gibson Keane Nichols Simmons Weir  
Cromwell Goodyear Kendall Nolan Simon Wilkinson
Cruise Gorman Kenny Nugent Singer Williamson
Cumberbatch Graves Knowles O'Hara Sloan Wisdom
Dawson Guthrie Lane O'Shea Snyder Woodruff

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!


Colin Shelley

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: