Analysis. Surname Derivation


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There seems to be endless fascination with the subject "Where does my surname come from". As might be expected, the reasons certain surnames were selected are many and various. Common explanations include:

Patronymic Derived from the fathers name. Among Gaelic speakers, the name took the form of pre-pending "Mc" or "Mac" to the fathers given name, to be read with the meaning of "Son of ____", as in "McEwen" or "Son of Ewen". English and Scandinavian speakers often appended "son" to the fathers name, as in "Johnson", or "son of John". In somecases, especially among Scandinavians, this practice was extended to daughters, in the form "___dotter", as "Larsdotter". IN some cases a daughter might also take the mother's name, as in "Brigetdotter" :McEwen
OccupationalA persons occupation might often be used as their surname. As in "Smith" referring to someone who worked as a blacksmith, whitesmith, etc. Or :Smith
ToponymicSometimes a person would take their name from where they lived, as in "Gates" denoting that they lived near the town gate, or "Ally" indicated that they lived in the "alley". In many cases toponyms indicated where they came FROM, not where they currently lived, as in "Houston" which is said by some to derive from "Hugh's Town", or "Rutherford" said to come from "Ruther's Ford".:Gates
Just so