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Surname Meanings E-H

Surname Meanings: E-H

Surnames E-H

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E

Earhart is an Americanized version of Erhart and Erhardt, the German patronymic name from the elements era = honor + hard = brave. The name has also been known to be adopted by Ashkenazic Jews. Erard is the French version. This definition was originally missing over the Bermuda Triangle, but someone name Amelia kindly returned it.

Earley is a variation of the English place name Early, from places so-name (Berkshire, Sussex, Lancashire, etc) whose names were derived from Old English earn = eagle + leah = wood, clearing. Sometimes Early was a nickname for the 'manly man' from Old English eorlic = manly, noble; and among the Irish, Early was an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O Mochain or several other similar patronymic names. Erleigh, Erly , and Erley are other variants.

Earnest is a spelling variant of the German and Dutch nickname Ernst, from the given name Ernust, meaning 'seriousness, firmness' or occasionally from Middle High German ernest = seriousness, battle. Variations are Ernest, Ernster ; cognates are Ernstig (Flemish/Dutch), Nesti (Italian); Ernsting is a patronymic form.

There are a couple of origins for the name Easter. Generally, it is a Place name of English origin that described the man who lived East of the main settlement, as in:
"You mean John the Baker?"
"No, John the Easter."
"Ah, is he in town?"
There were a couple of English villages by that name, and someone from there might have acquired it as a surname. People who moved to a new area were often described by their home town. Also, in the Middle Ages, the festival of Easter was quite the event, and when someone had a clear connection with that event, a regular participant in the pageant, or someone baptized on Easter, they were sometimes known by that name. Easterling is a variation of the English name. Cognates in Germany were Osterer, Ostermann, Oster, Auster, Austermann, Austerling . Some Swedes derived their ornamental names with the element as a prefix, as in Osterberg, Osterholm, Ostergren , and Osterlund.

Eastland is an English place name, that described the man who lived at the eastern territory or countryside. The Middle Ages usage of the word land had a more specialized meaning and was used in several contexts. The compound name is comprised of Old English elements éast = East + land = land (didn't really need to break that one down, I guess, since both OE words survived to modern English -- pretty unusual). The use of East in this context generally meant "away from the village", "in the countryside."

Easton is an English and Scottish place name, from any of the so-named places (Devon, Isle of Wight, etc) generally derived Old English east = east + tun = enclosure, settlement, although some of the Easton forebears derive their name from settlements named for Aelfric or Aœlric. The surname is generally derived as a description for them man who was from a settlement called Easton, regardless of which one it was or how it arrived at its name.

The Swedes were among the last Europeans to adopt surnames -- and did so at the urging of their government, who created a list of many words which they approved as parts of names to be adopted. The Swedish word -eng- means "meadow" and is used in a number of surnames adopted during the 1800's. The suffix -lof- means "leaf." Literally translated, Englof means "meadow leaf." Most of the Swedish surnames are strictly ornamental, and were created according to their pleasing sound. Here are a number of Eng names and their meanings: Engvall (meadow slope), Engstrand (meadow shore), Engblom (meadow flower), Engberg (meadow hill), Engholm (meadow island).

Edgar is an English Patronymic name from the Old English given name Eadgar, composed of the elements ead = prosperity, fortune + gar = spear. Variations are Eagar, Eagger, Egar, Egarr, Eger, Edger, Adger, Agar, Ager, Adair, Odgar , and Ogier.

Edwards : is an English Patronymic name from the Middle English given name Edward from the Old English eadward, derived from ead =prosperity + weard =guard.

Eggebrecht, from the given name comprised of the elements agil = edge, point (sword) + behrt = bright, famous. Eggert and Egbert are Low German cognates. Ebbrecht, Ebrecht, Ehebrecht, Eckerecht, Eckbrett, Ehlebracht , and Eilebrecht are variations.

Eiland may be a variation of the German nickname Elend, from Middle High German ellende = banished, miserable, luckless. It was used as a nickname rather than a literal description of a person. Ellend, Ehlend are other variations.

Elie is a French cognate of the English patronymic name Ellis, derived from a medieval given name Elis, a vernacular form of Elijah (from Greek Elias > Hebrew Eliyahu = Jehovah is God). Variations are Elliss, Elis, Ellice, Elys, Heelis, Hellis, Helis, Elias . Cognates include Elie, Helie, Elias (French); Elias, Elia (Italian); Elías (Spain); Elias (Portugal); Elies, Leyes (German); Iliasz (Polish); Elijah, Eliyahu, Elijahu (Jewish). Ellison, Ellisson, Elliston, Bellis (Welsh), D'Elia, D'Elias (Italian) Eliet, Eliez, Elion, Alliot, Heliot, Heliot, Helin (French), Ilyenko, Ilchenko, Ilchuk (Ukrainian) are patronymic forms.

Elliott : and its spelling variations are all based on the popular Middle Ages given name Elijah (My God is Yahveh). Among the many surnames that were adopted as English Patronymic names from Elijah were Ellis, Ellison, Elias , and Elliott . Requested by Janet Elliott.

Ellison is a patronymic form of the English name Ellis, from the medieval given name Elis, a vernacular form of Elijah. Ellisson, Elliston are other variations.

Elwell is an English place name derived from a so-named location in Dorset that was comprised of the Old English elements hœl = omen + wella = spring, stream, and likely in reference to pagan river worship. Occasionally the name is derived from two minor locations evolving from Old English ellern = elder tree + wella = spring, stream.

Elwood is a variation of Ellwood , the English place name from a location in Gloucestershire which got its name from Old English ellern = elder tree + wudu = woods. The man who moved from the village called Ellwood to a new location was often referred to by his place of origin. Occasionally, Ellwood is drawn from the Old English personal name AElfweald "elf rule." Variations are Elwood, Allwood .

Embery : is a variant of the surname Amery which is an English Patronymic name. The name was brought to the British Isles with the Normans, many of whom were referenced by the towns they emigrated from, or by the Norman given names of their fathers. Amery is derived from Old French amal =bravery + ric =power, and derivatives include Amory, Emery, Emary, Emberry, Embrey , and Imbrey , among others.

Ernst is a German and Dutch name from the Germanic nickname Ernust = seriousness or firmness, and occasionally, a Jewish (Ashkenazic) name from modern German ernst = earnest, serious. Variations are Ernest, Ernster, Ernstig (Flemish and Dutch cognate), and Nesti (Italian).

Erwin : and its counterparts Ervin/Irvin/Irwin are German Patronymic names from the Old German given name Eorwine which means "sea, friend." On occasion the name can be traced to Scottish roots and the places called Irvine and Irving, which meant 'green river.' If you are of Scottish descent, then the second is a strong possibility.

Espinosa is a collective place name originating in Spain, Catalan and Portugal, derived from Espinos, Espinho -- their cognate form of the French surname Épine , which described the man who lived by a prominent thorn-bush or an area overgrown with thorn bushes, and was derived from OF espine > Latin spina . Variations of the French name are Lépine, Delépine ; other cognates include Espin, Espine (Provencal); Spino, Spini (Italian); LaSpina (S. Italy); Spinas (Sardinia); Espin, Espinos, Espino, Espina (Spain); Espi, Espina (Catalan); Espinhho, Espinha (Portugal). Diminutive forms are Espinel, Espinet (French); Spinelli, Spiniello, Spinello, Spinella, Spinetti, Spinozzi (Italian); Espinola (Spain); Espinola, Spinola (Portugal). Other collective forms are Espinay, Épinay, Épinoy, Lepinay (French); Espinal, Espinar, Espinosa (Spain); Espinos, Espinosa (Catalan); Espinheira, Espinosa (Portugal).

Estes is a variation of the Italian place name Este, from a so-named place in Venitia which was originally named in Latin - Ateste. It is a commonly found name in Padua and Venice, and a prominent noble family bears the name. D'Este is another variation.

Evans is a patronmic form of the Welsh surname Evan, from the given name Ifan or Evan, which was the Welch equivalent of John. Occasionally, when of Scottish derivation it is a variation of Ewan, an Anglicized form of the Gaelic given name Eogann, a form of the Latin name Eugene. Heavan, and Heaven are variations of the Welsh form, Even is a Breton cognate. Patronymic forms include Evens, Evance, Ifans, Ivings, Avans, Heavans , and Heavens.

Everett is one of the many variations of the English name Everard, which came from a Germanic given name comprised of the elements ever = wild boar + hard = brave, strong, hardy. The name may be of Norman origin or as a variation of the name Eoforheard. Evered, Everid, Everett, Everitt, Everatt are variations. There are numerous cognate forms as well.

Everson is an English matronymic name from the rare medieval female given name Eve, which is derived from Hebrew Chava, from chaya = to live. The name is that of the first woman, and may have been acquired by someone who played the part in a medieval pageant. Eva is a variation. Eaves, Everson, Eveson, Evason, Evision, Evetts, Evitts are all patronymic or diminutive versions.

Ewers is a patronymic form of the English name Ewer , which is an occupational name that described the man who transported or served water, from Middle English ewer > Old French evier > Latin aquarius, aqua = water. Lewer is a variation -- from L'ewer.

Eyles is an English place name from Anglo-Norman-French isle, idle = island, from Old French isel and Latin insula. The island of reference is likely to have been located in the North of France due to the origination of the surname. Isle is the most commonly found version, while Iles (primarily in Gloucester) Illes, Idle , and Lisle are variations.

F

Fach is a diminutive form of the German (of Slavic origin) surname Wenzel, from the given name Wenzel, a diminutive form of Wenze, which was borrowed from Slavic/Old Czech Veceslav. Other diminutive forms are Wenz, Wach, Wache, Fache, Feche, Fech .

Fagan is an Irish name that is found in Gaelic form as O'Faodhagain . That is a little confusing because generally that form means "descendant of Faodhagain " but that name isn't among the known Gaelic given names. It may be that Faodhagain is a Gaelic version of a Norman name that was later Anglicized to Fagan.

Fairfull/Fair/Fairchild : English Nickname....Both 'fair' and 'full' have their origins in Middle English words; full - the meaning of which has passed to us unchanged, and fere , which meant comrade, friend, or 'friendly one.' The earliest meaning of fair was beautiful, so Fairfull would be "filled with beauty" or if derived from 'fere,' - "full of friendliness." Not all nicknames that survived as surnames were as flattering! Requested by: Timothy Fairfull

Falgout is likely a Catalan or Provecal cognate of the French surname Foucault, from a given name of Germanic origin with the elements folk = people + wald = rule. The Catalan cognate of the name Fougere (the man who lived by a fern-overgrown area) is Falguera, and the Provencal cognate of the same name is Falquiere.

Falla/Fallas is an English (by way of the Normans) place name that describes the man who hailed from Falaise in Calvados, which happens to have been the birthplace of William the Conqueror. He brought many with him, and others followed shortly after, who became known by their place of emigration.

Farlow may be a variation of the English place name Farley, which comes from Old English fearn = fern + leah = wood, clearing, or it could be a literal translation for the man who lived by the "low fern."

Farkas is a Hungarian nickname derived from farkas = wolf; such nicknames were applied by acquaintenances or neighbors who believed they saw traits of the nickname in the man they applied it to. When of Jewish heritage, Farkas is a Hungarian translation of the Yiddish given name Volf = Wolf, or a simple ornamental name. Farkash, Farkache are variant spellings.

Farquharson : Scottish Nickname from Gaelic fearchar (Celtic elements mean man+dear) to signify a beloved person. Descended from Farquhar Macintosh, a grandson of laird of Macintosh who was at Braemar before 1382.

Farmer probably isn't what you expect...it is an English occupational name derived from Middle English fermer > Late Latin firmarius, and referred to the man who collected taxes and revenues and paid a fixed amount in exchange for that practice (Latin firmus = fixed). Secondarily, it denoted a man who paid a fixed rent for the purpose of cultivation. The word farmer in the context in which we know it today wasn't in use until the 1600's.

Farrell is an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic Ó Fearghail , meaning 'descendant of Fearghal " whose name was composed of fear = man + gal = valour. O'Farrell, O'Ferrall, Farrel, Ferrell, O'Farrelly, O'Ferrally, Farley, Frawley are all variations.

Faulker: English and Scottish occupational name for the man who kept falcons for the use of the lord of the manor, and occasionally the name for the man who operated the siege gun known as a falcon. Variations are Falconer, Falconar, Faulkener, Falkiner, Faulknor . German cognates are Faulconnier, Fauconnier ; in Provencal the name is Falconnier, in Italy it is Falconieri; and in Germany it is Falckner, Falkner, Felkner , while the Flemish version is De Valkener . William Faulkner -- the novelist -- was descended from Scottish settlers from Inverness who were named Falconer -- their name was altered to Falkner, and then William added the -U- himself at a later date.

Favreau is a variation of the French occupational name Fevre, which described the iron-worker or smith, derived from Old French fevre > Latin faber = craftsman. Variations are Febvre, Feubre, Feure, Febre, Faivre, Lefebvre, Lefevre, Lefebure, Lefeuvre, Lefeubre , and Faber. There are numerous cognates and diminutive forms as well.

Feingold : German Jewish names originated in the early part of the nineteenth century when European Jews were compelled to take surnames. Many chose purely ornamental names, of which Feingold is an example that means 'fine gold.'

Ferguson is a Scottish patronymic name, derived from the Scottish and Irish surname Fergus , from the Gaelic given name Fearghus . The Gaelic elements fear = man + gus = vigor, force are the elements of Fearghus. Variations are Ferris, Farris, Fergie (diminutive), Ferguson, Fergyson (patronymics). Many of the Irish versions are preceded by the O' -- which meant descendant of Fearghus .

Fielding is a variation of the English place name Field, for the man who lived on land that had been cleared of trees, and derived from Old English feld = pasture, open country. Fielden, Feilden, Velden, Fielder, Fielding, Atfield, Attfield , and Delafield are variations.

Finn isn't always Irish, of course, but when it is -- it's derived as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic nickname Fionn , meaning 'white,' which could have denoted prematurely white hair, or fair complexion, etc. When Finn is of English origin it is derived from the Old Norse given name Finnr with the same meaning. Occasionally, the name is of Ashkenazic Jewish origin, but its exact meaning in that context isn't clear. Variations are Finne, Fynn, Phinn, McGinn, Finsen (Danish), McKynnan, Kinnan, O'Finn, O'Fionn , and many others.

Findlay is a variation of the Scottish patronymic name Finlay, derived from the given name Fionnlagh, which is comprised of Gaelic elements fionn = white, fair + laoch = warrior, hero. Other variations are Findley, Finley, Findlow, Finlow . Patronymic variations are Finlayson, Finlaison, Finlason .

Fiske is a variation of Fisk, which is an English (primarily East Anglia) occupational name for the fishseller. Fisk is listed in the Domesday Book in Norfolk and to this day is largely found in that area.

Fix is a German patronymic cognate of the Italian name Vito, which is from a medieval given name derived from Latin Vitus > vita = life. It was a popular name during the Middle Ages due to an Italian martyr whose cult following spread into Germany and western Europe. Variations of Vito are Vitti, Viti, Vido, Vio, Bitto, Biti, Bitti . Other German cognates are Veitle, Vaitl and German patronymic cognates are Fiex, Vix .

Flaherty is an Irish patronymic name, which is Anglicized from the Gaelic name O' Flaithbheartaigh , which meant "descendant of Flaithbheaertach " -- a nickname that meant "generous." It is drawn from the Gaelic elements flaith = prince, ruler + beartach = acting, behaving. Variations are O'Flagherty, O'Flaherty, Flagherty, Flaverty , and Flarity.

Flanery is a variation of the Irish patronymic name Flannery , which is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Flannghaile , which means "descendant of Flannghal " whose name was taken from the word flann = reddish, ruddy + gal = valour. Other variations are Flannally, O'Flannelly, O'Flannylla .

Flax is an English and Jewish (Ashkenazic) name for the man who sold, grew, or otherwise treated flax that was used for weaving linen in early times, and is derived from the term that carried through from Old English. It's generally an occupational name. Variations include Flaxman and the English forms Flexman, Flexer . Jewish variations include Flaks, Flacks, Flachser, Flachs, Flaxer, Flakser, Flaksman, Fleksman . The German form is Flassmann, Flass . The Dutch version is Vlasman.

Fletcher is the English occupational name for the maker of arrows, commonly called the arrowsmith, or "fletcher" from the Old French word fleche = arrow. Flechier, Flecher, Fleche are French cognate forms.

Folk, Folkes, Foulkes, Fulkes, Foukx, Foakes, Fowkes, Fewkes, Volkes, Volks, Vokes, Folke, Fulke, Fulk, Fuke , and Voak . These are patronymic names from given names with the first element folk / volk .

Folkard is an English patronymic name from Middle English given name Folchard, a Norman name of Germanic origin that is composed of folk = people + hard = brave, strong.

Foot is an English name generally found in the Devon area, while Foote had its origins in the Somerset area, and is derived from a nickname given to the man with some peculiarity about his foot, and derived from the Middle English fot = foot. It was used in the context of defining one man from another, as in:
"Robert - William's son, you mean?" he asked.
"No," came the terse reply. "Robert, with the foot."
"Ah! Robert foot, then."
"Aye, Robert Foot ."

Forsgren is a variation of the Swedish ornamental name Fors, which means 'waterfall.' The Swedes were among the last to adopt surnames, and did so somewhat arbitrarily, picking nature-related suffixes and prefixes to acquire pleasant-sounding combinations that were approved by the government. Other ornamental names with the waterfall element are Forsgren (waterfall branch); Forsberg (waterfall hill); Forslund (waterfall grove); Forsstrom (waterfall river). Forssen, Forss, Forssell, Forselius, Forsling, Forsman are variations of Fors.

Fort : English/French Place/Descriptive name...Fort is found in several countries, all deriving from an English/French term meaning strong/brave that was derived from the Latin word fortis . Some with the name were descendants of a strong/brave person -- others were those who lived at or near the fort, which was the term eventually used to describe a strong or fortified location.

Fortner is a German version (cognate) of the English surname Ford, which is a place name for the man who lived near a ford -- a river or stream crossing point. Other German cognates are Furt, Forth, Furtner, Further, Furterer, Furterer, Forther, Fortner, Forthmann ; Low German cognates are Fuhr, Fuhrman, Fohrmann, Tomfohr, Tomforde, Tomfort .

Foster/Forester : In the English Middle Ages, the forests and woods were almost always owned or controlled by the lord of the manor -- but people had no reservations about sneaking in and taking firewood, game, or whatever else they might require. To keep the poaching to a minimum, the lord retained a man to watch the forest -- often called a Forester, and sometimes called a Foster. The name stuck as an English Occupation surname when they became adopted.

Fowler is an English occupational name for the keeper or catcher of birds, a regular job during the Middle Ages. It is derived from Middle English fogelere > OE fugol = bird. Fugler, Vowler are variations. Cognates include Vogeler, Vogler (German); Vageler (Low German); Vogelaar (Dutch); Vogler, Fogler (Ashkenasic Jewish).

Fox : Although in some cases Fox refers to the nature of its originator -- as in sly as a fox, most animal names were derived from the pictures that decorated the signs at the medieval roadside inns. Literacy was an issue, most could distinguish the pictures, and the family at the sign of the Fox often took that as a surname. Requested by William Hopkins.

Franco is an Italian cognate of the English (from Normans) nickname Frank, an ethnic term for the Germanic people known as the Franks who inhabited the lands near the Rhine river during Roman times. Franchi is another Italian version. An English variation is Franck; Franke, Francke , and Franck are German variants, while Franken is the Jewish version.

France and Frank generally described the man whose place of origin was France, although occasionally they are variations of the name Francis, a popular Middle Ages given name, which is Franz and Francke in Germany, Franzen in Sweden, Franczyk and Franczak in Polish, Franco in Spain; Francisco, Cicco, Ciccolo, Ciccone in Italy.

Franta is likely a cognate form of Francis (which evolved in many forms as surnames) a very popular medieval given name from the Latin Franciscus, and introduced into England as Francois (from Old French). It originally meant 'Frenchman' but later lost that connotation in the popularity of the name. Francies, Frances, Franses are English variations. Cognate forms include Francois, Francais , (French); Frances (Provencal); Francesco, Franceschi, Francisco, Franseco, Cesco, Ceschi, Cissco (Italian); Francisco, Franca (Spain); Frantz, Franz (German); Franc (Polish); Ferenc, Franc (Czech); Ferencz, Ferenc, Ferenczi, Ferenczy (Hungarian); Frantz, Franz, Franc (Polish Jewish); Ferencz, Ferentz, Ferenz (Hungarian Jewish). Diminutive forms are numerous in all languages.

Elsdon Smith, in his book AMERICAN SURNAMES , says Frazier is the name given to the man from Friesland, and he maintains a separate listing for Fraser .
Hanks and Hodges list Fraser as a Scottish place name of uncertain origin, recorded as early as the 12th century as de Fresel , de Frisell , and De Freseliere -- appearing to be Norman, but without a known city by that reference. They may be a corruption of a Gaelic name, such a Friseal, which is sometimes Anglicized as Frizzell. Frazer is a Northern Irish variation and Frazier is more commonly found in the US.

Frederick is an English patronymic name from a given name of Germanic origin, composed of the elements frid/fred = peace + ric = power. The Normans brought the name into England when William the Conqueror paid his visit to the Isles. The 9th Century bishop of Utrecht was canonized -- which always gave a name a surge of popularity. There are numerous cognates in various languages, as well as diminutive, patronymic, pejorative, and variant forms.

Free is the term used to identify a man that was free-born, as opposed to those born as serfs during the feudal system of the middle ages. It is derived from Old English freo = free. Freeman, Freebody are variations. Cognate forms include Frei, Freier, Freyer, Frey, Freimann, Freymann (German); Frig, Frigge, Frige, Frie, Friehe, Freye, Friemann (Low German); Frey, Frei, Freyman, Freiman (Swedish).

French is the English ethnic name for the man who came from France, from the Middle English word frensche = France, although occasionally it was simply a nickname for the man who adopted French airs. Those of Irish descent may be descended from Theophilus de Frensche, who was a Norman baron who came to the isles with William the Conqueror, and who produced Sir John French as a descendant (he was Commander-In-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in WW1).

Friedman is generally a Jewish (Ashkenazic) ornamental name, derived from Yiddish frid = peace, corresponding to German friede. Variations are Frid, Freed, Friedemann, Friedman, Friedeman, Fridman, Fridmann, Friedler, Friediger, Friedlich, Fridnik .

Frieri may be derived from the Old French and Middle English frere = friar, monk > Latin frater = brother. It was adopted into various nicknames for the pious person, or occasionally, a man employed at the monastery. Freer is the most often found version, with variations Freear, Frere, Frier, Fryer, Friar, Fryar ; cognates include Freire, Fraile (Spain); Freire (Portugal). Patronymic versions include Frearson, Frierson.

Fritz/Fritsch/Fritzch : German Patronymic Name...The Germans were fond of using shortened or pet versions of names when acquiring surnames. Fritz is a patronymic surname taken from a pet form of Friedrich , which means "peace, rule." Fritsch and Fritzch are versions of the given name held by a long ago ancestor.

Froman : from the Old French fromant = corn, a French occupational name for the corn merchant.

The name Fry is an English nickname derived from the name Free, which described the man who was not a serf, but a free-man. It occasionally was derived as a nickname for a small person, from the Middle English word fry = child, offspring. Frye is a variation of the name.

Fulton : /English/Scottish Place name, In Scotland, Fulton was the 'fowl enclosure'

Fuller : English Occupational name for the dresser of cloth. The fuller scoured and thickened cloth by trampling it in water. Related Fuller information page here .

Fullerton : English Place name...for the 'village of the birdcatchers' in Hampshire. From Old English fuglere = bird-catcher (Fowler).

G

Gabeline is likely a diminutive form or other variation of the German occupational name Gabler, derived from German gabel = fork, and describe the man who made any of the forked agricultural tools (eating forks weren’t around then in Germany...), or as a place name to describe the man who lived near the fork in the road or river. There is also a German location called Gabel, and Gabler and Gabeline could describe the man who emigrated from there. Gabel is a listed variant form of the more commonly found Gabler.

Gaches/Gache/Gachlin/Gachenot/Gachon : French Place/Occupational/Nickname When the name originated in Provencal, it referred to the person living by the lookout spot . In more northern areas of France, the name was the occupational title for a wood sawyer. Less frequently, the name was a nickname given to a wasteful person, derived from Old French gaschier to spoil. Requested by: Paul Carr

Gage is an English and French occupational name for the man who worked as an assayer, checking weights and measures, from Middle English guage = measure. Occasionally, it is a nickname for a moneylender or usurer, from Old French gage = pledge, surety. English variations are Gauge, Gaiger . Another French version is Dugage . Diminutive French forms include Gaget, Gageot, Gagelin, Gagey .

Gaertner is an Americanized version of Gartner (with an umlaut over the -a-) which is a German cognate of the English occupational name Gardener. The English version is drawn from Middle English, and Old Northern French gardin = garden and generally referenced the cultivator of edible produce in an orchard or kitchen garden rather than flowers or ornamental gardens. English variations are Gardiner, Gardinor, Garner, Gairdner, Garden, Gardyne, Jardine, Jerdein, Jerdan, Jerdon ; French cognates are Gardinier, Jardinier, Gardin, Gard, Dugardin, Jardin, Dujardin, Desjardin ; Italian versions are Giardinaro, Giardinieri, Giardino, Giardini, Giardinu ; a Portuguese cognate is Jardim. Other German cognates are G artner, Garner, Gartenmann ; Low German cognates are Gardner, Gartner , and Gartner .

Gallant is a variation of the French nickname Galland, which described the high-spirited or cheerful person, and was derived from Old French galer = good humor, enjoy oneself. Gallant, as in 'observant of women's needs' came later, and partly as a result of this same origin. Variations are Gallant, Galan, Galand, Galant . Cognative forms are Gallant (English); Galante (Italian); Galan (Spain); Galant, Galanciak (Polish). Diminutive forms include Gallandon, Galandin.

Galloway is a Scottish place name derived from the location in SW Scotland which got its name from Gaelic gall = foreigner + Gaidhel = Gaelic. Before the area was a province of Anglian Northumbria the Gaelic residents there were called "the foreign Gaels" and they tended to side with the Norsemen rather than their fellow Gaels when push came to shove. The Irish name Galway is a derivative of Galloway.

Gamble is an English patrnymic name derived from the Old Norse given name Gamall = old. It originally was a Norse nickname or byname, but was found in Northern England as a medieval given name. Gambell, Gammell, Gammil, Gemmell, Gemmill are variations. Gambling, Gamlin, Gamling, Gamlen, Gamlane are diminutive forms. Gambles is the patronymic variation most commonly found.

Garcia: Spanish Patronymic Name from the given name Garcia which means "spear, firm."

Garren may be a variation of Garand , the French nickname for the man who stood behind someone's behavior, or as a guarantor for someone's financial obligation, from Old French garer = to warrant, guarantee. Garant, Garandel, Garanton are variations.

Garrison: English Place/Occupational name, derived from Middle English garite = watchtower. The garrison were troops stationed at the fort or castle, and the name could also describe one who lived near the garrison's watchtower.

Garwood: English Place Name derived from the Old English gara (triangular land) and wudu (wood). The early Garwoods were those who lived by the triangular stand of trees. Requested by: Eva Garwood

Gascon is a variation of the French place name Gascoigne, which described the man from the province of Gascony (Old French Gascogne). The Basques formerly extended into this region but were displaced in the Middle Ages by the speakers of Gascon (related to French). Variations are Gascogne, Gascoyne, Gascon, Gascone, Gasken, Gaskin, Gasking . Cognates include Gascogne, Gascoin, Gascon, Gasq (French); Guasch, Gasch (Provencal); Guasch, Gasco, Gasch (Catalan); Gascon (Spain). Gouasquet, Gasquet, Gasquie, Gasquiel, Gascuel are diminutive French forms; Gascard is a perjorative version, and Gaskens is a patronymic English form.

Gaston is a French patronymic name from the Old French given name derived from gasti = stranger, guest. It is also found among the English as a result of the followers of William the Conqueror. Gastou is a cognate found in Provencal.

Gaunt: English Place name derived from the town of Ghent in Flanders from which skilled workers migrated to England during the Middle Ages. It was also the nickname given the thin or gaunt man.

Gay: English and French nickname for the cheerful person.

Gee: If the man named Gee didn't come from the town Gee in Cheshire, then it was a nickname he was given by his less-than-tactful associates who pointed him out by his lameness or infirmity.

Gehringer is a variation of the German patronymic name Gehring, which is a descriptive form of the German name Gehr or Geer, from a Germanic compound name with the first element meaning "spear." Sort of confusing...but here is how it came about. When there were only given names, there were several Germanic given names such as Gerhard and Gerald -- the first part of the name taken from geri,gari = spear. That name was shortened by some to include only the first element, which wound up in some cases as the name Gehr, Geer, or other variations. The son of Gehr in German was sometimes called Gehring. The suffix -er is often used as an additional identifier, such as "one who" or "one from" ie. Berliner is the man from Berlin, or Schreiber as the man who scribes (writes). Gehringer may have been the man from Gehring's settlement, or simply a variation of the name Gehring.

Geise is a form of the name Gilbert, an English, French (Norman), and Low German given name from Gislebert, which was a Norman given name derived from the Germanic elements gisil = hostage, noble youth + berht = bright, famous. St. Gilbert of Sempringham (1085-1189) was responsible for making it a popular name during the Middle Ages. Geiselbrecht is the German cognate form and Geise is a diminutive version. Other cognates, diminutives, and patronymic forms also exist.

Gentry is a variation of the English nickname Gentle, although sometimes used in an ironic fashion, generally described the 'gentleman' from Old French and Middle English gentil = well-born, noble, courteous. Variations are Gentile, Jentle, Gent, Jent and Gentry.

The name Geoffroi from Old French, meant "God's peace" and in England became Geoffrey, the basis of numerous names such as Jefferson, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefery, Jeffrey and Jeffries . People also had pet forms of the name which often stuck and became surnames in themselves. Such is the case with Giffin, a pet form derived from Geoffrey. During the Middle Ages, the hard and soft sounds of letter G changed in usage with many names and words, producing variations in pronouncing written forms. In addition to Giffin, Giff , and Giffey are also pet forms of Geoffrey that became surnames in England and the Isles.

Gerald was a patronymic name introduced with the followers of William the Conqueror, and comprised of the elements, geri = spear + wald = rule. Occasionally, Gerald is a variation of the surname Garrett, derived from another Norman given name Gerard.

Gerner is a variation of the English place name Garner, which described the man who lived near a barn or a grainery, or occasionally is derived as an occupational name for the man in charge of that place - from Anglo-Norman-French gerner = granery. Garnier, Garnar are other variations.

Getz and Goetz are both pet forms of the German name Godizo, which derives from the Germanic element for God as a name of praise.

Giesbrecht is a Low German (German lowlands) cognate of the English surname Gilbert, which was Gislebert in Germany. It is derived from the Germanic elements gisil = hostage, noble youth + berht = bright, famous -- and was an extremely popular name during the Middle Ages. Other Low German versions are Geiselbrecht, Gelbrecht, Gilbrecht, Gilbracht . Geoffrey Gilbert who died in 1349 was a representative in English Parliament in 1326, and it likely Giesbrecht as a cognate would have been in existance around that same time.

Gibson is a patronymic form of the Scottish and English name Gibb, which was taken from the pet name Gip, derived from Gilbert. Gipp is a variant. Giblett and Gibling are diminutive forms, and Gibbs, Gibbes, Gipps, Gypps, Gibson, Gibbeson, Gipson , and Gypson are patronymic forms.

Gifford is generally a variation of Giffard, which primarily was a cognate of Gebhardt , a Germanic given name derived of the elements geb = gift + hard = brave, hardy. St. Gebhardt was bishop of Constance during the 10th century and contributed to the popularity of the name throught the Middle Ages. Occasionally, Giffard comes as a nickname from Old French giffard = chubby-cheeked; and finally, Gifford is sometimes a place name from the place in Suffolk -- now called Giffords Hall, which was known in Old England as Gyddingford .

Giles is an English patronymic name from the medieval given name Giles > Latin AEgidius > Greek aigidion = kid, young goat. Gyles, Jiles, Jellis, Jelliss are variations. Cognates include Gile, Gille, Gili, Gilli, Gilly, Gilles, Gilis, Gelis, Gire, Giri, Gely, Gelly (French); Gidy, Gidi (Provencal); Gilli, Gillo, Gillio, Gili, Zilli, Zillio (Italian); Gil (Spain, Portugal); Agidi, Egidy, Egyde, Giele, Gillig, Gilly, Gilg, Illige, Ilg (German); Giele, Gillis (Flemish); Jily (Czech).

Gill is an English patronymic name from a shortened form of the given names Giles, Julian or William -- modern pronunciation of these names notwithstanding. When of North English origin, it is derived as a place name for the man who live by a ravine or deep glen, from the Middle English term gil = used in a transferred sense from the thin-slit gill of a fish. When of Scottish or Irish origin, it is derived from an Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Gille (the Scottish version) or Mac Giolla (Irish), as an occupational name for the servant, or a shortened form of any of the several names which were attached to the names of saints to mean "devotee of (insert Saint's name here)," or it is derived from Mac An Ghoill , where ghoill was a Highland reference to the English-speaking lowlander.

Galick, Galicki, Galecki, Gawel, Gala, Gal are all variations of the Polish cognate form of the French and German patronymic name Gall, (Gall is also found as a Celtic name, of origin other than described here...) derived from the Latin name Gallus = cock, a common European given name during Medieval times. It was popular due to the 7th Century monk named St. Gall who established a Christian settlement which later housed a monastery. The second syllable came about by association with the Latin name Paulus, which became Pavel in Czech and Pawel in Poland -- the name Gall was interpreted as Gallus and transposed as Havel (Czech) and Gawel (Poland).

Gillies is a Scottish patronymic name from the Gaelic given name Gilla Josa (servant of Jesus). Gillis is a variation. Patronymic forms include Gillison, McAleese, McAleece, McAlish, McLeish, McLees, McLese, McLise .

Gilmore: Irish Occupational Name...In old Ireland, the words g il, kil, maol , and mul designated a follower, devotee, or servant" of someone. Those with the name Gilmore are descended from the "servant of Mary." Requested by: Wouter Sas

Gilreath is a variation of the Scottish and Irish patronymic name McIlwraith , Anglicized from the Gaelic Mac Gille Riabhaich (Scottish version) and Mac Giolla Riabhaigh (Irish) which means 'son of the brindled lad.'

Gittler is a variation of the German place name Gitter, which stems from the Germanic word gitter = grid, grating, and described the man who lived by the gate or barrier. Requested by Emily Gittler

Glabb/Glab/Glabski : Polish Place name/Nickname, variation of Glab/Glabski, a low-lying spot or valley or a Polish Nickname for a fool (the literal meaning of glab is cabbagestalk). Better go with that first definition!

Glover is an English occupational name for the maker or seller of gloves, from Middle English glovere > Old English glof = glove.

Godfrey: is an English Patronymic name from the French given name Godefrei, comprised of the Germanic elements god + fred, frid = peace. Variations are Godfray, Godfree , and Godfer. French cognatives include Godefroi, Godefroy, Godefrey , and others. German: Govert, Goffer, Goffarth . Flemish = Govaard, Godevaard, Govard .

Gold/Gould/Guild (Scottish): English Patronymic Name derived from the Old English masculine personal name from the precious metal. Requested by: Sheri McGregor

Goldberg is generally a Jewish (Ashkenazic) ornamental name from modern German gold (Yiddish gold ) + berg = hill. There are numerous forms of the "gold" ornamental names, which were taken for their pleasing sound, and had the elements "gold" + a suffix...including Goldbach (stream), Goldband (ribbon), Goldbaum (tree), Goldberger (person from Golden Hill), Goldblat (leaf), Goldbruch (quarry); Goldfaden (thread), Goldfeder (feather), Goldfinger , Goldfajn / Goldfine (fine as gold); Goldfracht (freight), Goldgart (garden), Goldfried (peace), Goldgewicht (weight), Goldenhorn, Goldkind (child), Goldgrup (mine), Goldhar (hair), Goldkranc (wreath), Goldmacher (maker), Goldmund (mouth), Goldenrut (red), Goldschlaeger (beater), Goldstuck (coin), Goldstern (star), Goldenthal (valley), Goldwirth (host) -- and countless others.

Gollaher , and the more frequently seen Gallagher, are Anglicized versions of O'Gallchobhair , which means descendant of Gallchobhar , derived from gall = Foreign, stranger + chobhar = help, support. Other variants include Gallacher, Gallaher, Gallogher, Galliker, Gilliger, O'Gallagher , and O'Galleghure .

Goode is a variation of the English nickname Good, from Middle English gode = good, and used to describe the "good man." Occasionally, it is taken from the Medieval given name Goda, a shortened form of several names with god as an element, such as Godwine or Godwyn. Other variations are Goude, Gude, Gudd and Legood. Cognates are Gut, Guth, Gothe (German); Gode, Gude (Low German); Goed, De Goede (Flemish and Dutch). Patronymic forms are Gooding, Goodinge , and Goodings.

Gordon is a Scottish place name, from a so-named location in the former county Berwickshire (now part of Borders region) and named for Breton words that preceded Welsh gor = spacious + din = fort. Occasionally, it is an English place name from Gourdon in Saone-et-Loire, from the Roman given name Gordus, or among the Irish as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mag Mhuirneachain (son of beloved). When of French origin, it is a nickname for the heavy man, from Old French gort = fat. Those of Jewish heritage with the name likely derived it as a place name from the Belorussian city of Grodno. Gourdon, Gurdon are variations of all but the Jewish form. Two variations of the Irish name are McGournaghan, McGournasan . French variants are Gordet, Gordin . Jewish versions include Gordin, Gordonoff, Gordonowitz .

Gore is a French nickname for an idle individual (don't tell Vice-President Al though!) that has versions Lagore, Gouret, Gorron, Gorin, Goury, Gorel, Goureau, Gorichon and Gorillot , among others.

Gorman is an English patronymic name from the Middle English given name Gormund, from Old English Garmund, composed of the elements gar = spear + mund = protection. When of Irish heritage, Gorman is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Gormain , and O'Gormain , which mean 'son of' and 'descendant of Gorman" whose name was derived from Gaelic gorm = blue. Garmen, Garment are variations of the English version, and MacGorman and O'Gorman are variants of the Irish.

Goss : Polygenetic (several sources)... It originated near the same time in England, France, Hungary, and Germany. As an English place name, it described one who lived near a moor or wood...a descendant of Goss -- a pet form of Gocelin "the just" was called by the name, as was the descendant of the Goth...The dweller at the sign of the goose was sometimes called Goss, as was the dweller at the thorns. There was a former Austrian town called Goss, and some residents took that as a surname. And if that isn't enough, Goss is also a shortened form of the Germanic element god - which means good. You can pick your favorite! Requested by Jerry Goss

Goswick is an English place name comprised of the Old English elements gos = goose + wic = outlying settlement dependent on a larger village. The term wick was especially used to describe an outlying farm, dairy, or salt works. Goswick would be the outlying settlement known for geese. I don't have reference to a location by that name, but -wick was a common place name suffix, and the man who emigrated from one place to another was often known or identified by his former locale.

Gough : English Occupational Name...of Celtic origin for the man who worked as a smith, from the Gaelic gobha or goff . It was common in E. Anglia and was introduced by the followers of William the Conqueror. It is also sometimes derived from the Welsh nickname for a red-haired man... coch = red.

Goward is a pejorative form of the English name Gough, which is of Celtic origin. The pejorative form of a name is a form that is altered from the original in a less flattering or demeaning connotation. Gough is the occupational name for a smith, from Gaelic gobha, and Cornish/Breton Goff. The name is common in East Anglia, where the Goward variant is chiefly found. It was likely introduced there by followers of William the Conqueror.

Grandey is likely a variation of the English and Scottish surname Grant, which is also commonly found as Grand, derived from Anglo-Norman-French graund = tall, large. It was used as a nickname for the person of remarkable size, or to distingish between two people with the same name (as in, the larger of the two). Variations are Le Grand, Grand ; cognates are Grand, Legrand (French); Grandi, Grande, Grando, Lo Grande (Italian); Grande (Spanish). Diminutive forms include Grandel, Grandeau, Grandet, Grandon, Grandot (French); Grandinetti, Grandotto (Italian).

Graves is a patronymic form of the English occupational name Grave, derived from Middle English greyve = steward. Occasionally it is a variation of the place name Grove, or if of French origin, the description for the man who lived on gravelly soil, from Old French grave = gravel (of Celtic origin). Graveston, Graveson, Grayston, Grayson , and Grayshon are other patronymic versions.

Gray is an English nickname for the man with gray hair, or a gray beard, from Old English grœg = grey. Among the Scottish and Irish it is derived as a translation for several Gaelic names that come from riabhach = brindled, gray. It is occasionally found as a place name, for the English or Scotsman who originated in Graye in Calvados, from Latin gratus = welcome. Grey, Legrey are variations. Numerous cognates exist as well.

Greave is a place name that is often derived from the place in Lancashire by that name, and was used to describe the man who moved from that place. Greave is derived from Old English groefe = thicket, woodbrush. Greve, Greaves, Greves, Greeves are variations of Greave.

Green, when derived from an Irish context, is a translation of several Gaelic surnames originating from uaithne = green, and glas = grey, green, blue: O hUaithnigh was the surname that became Hooney, and glas became Glass. When an English surname, it is derived from the color as a Nickname for the man who liked to wear green, who played the "Green Man" in the May Day celebration, or who lived near the village green.

Griffeth is a spelling variation of the Welsh patronymic name Gruffydd, which came from Old Welsh griff + udd = chief, lord. The exact meaning of griff in Old Welsh isn’t completely understood. Griffin is sometimes a variation of the name Griffeth. Requested by Ashley Griffeth

Griffin : A mythical beast, half-lion and half-eagle -- that decorated signs at some of the roadside inns during the Middle Ages. Most people did not read or write at the time, but all could recognize the pictures. The man who lived at the sign of the griffin was sometime called by that name.

Griggs is a variant of the English Patronymic surname Gregory , from the same given name that was popular throughout the Christian countries during the Middle Ages. It derives from the Greek Gregorios , a variant meaning 'to be awake or watchful' but was later associated with a term that meant 'good shepherd.' Sixteen of the popes were named Gregory, starting with Gregory the Great in 540 AD.

Grills is a patronymic form of the English nickname Grill, which described a cruel or mean person, from Middle English grille = angry, from Old English gryllan = to rage. Conversely, and somewhat ironically, when of German ancestry it is a nickname for the cheerful person, from German Grille = cricket, in an implied transfer of the supposed cheerful disposition of the chirping cricket. It is also sometimes a place name for the man who emigrated from the German settlement of that same name.

Grossbaier is a Jewish (Ashkenazik) compound name, one of numerous versions adopted when ordered by the government, and selected for their ornamental quality and pleasing sound. Gross is a German term for large, and as a surname Gross is a nickname for the large or heavy man, from Germanic gross = large, corpulent. The English vocabulary word didn't come around until the 1500's, to mean 'excessively fat.' Grosse, Groos, Grossert, Grosser, Grossmann are variations. The compound names include Gross = large + (noun) such as Grossbaier (baier = Bayer = man from Bavaria); Grossbaum (tree), Grossboim (another tree version); Grossberg (hill); Grossfeld (field); Grossgluck (good fortune); Grosskopf (head); Grosshaus (house); Grossvogel (bird); Grosswasser (water).

Guerin and Geurin : (spellings weren't standardized until the 1800's) are both versions of the surname Waring , being the Irish form of the French given name Geran . That was taken from the Norman name Warin which meant 'guard.' Kind of a long way 'round to achieve an Irish Patronymic name.

Guignion is a variation of the French surname Guignard, a nickname given to the man with a squint, from Old French guignier = to wink, squint, look askance, plus the suffix -ard. Occasionally the name is drawn from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements Win = friend + hard = brave, hardy. Variations are Guignier, Guigneux , and of the second version Guinnard and Guinard are variations. Diminutive forms are Guignardeau, Guinet, Guignot , and Guignon.

If Guley isn’t Anglicized from something like the Russian Gulyaev (from gulyat = to walk) then it is likely a variation of Gully, the English nickname for the giant man, or the large man, from Middle English golias = giant. You remember David and Goliath -- same name, different spelling. Gully as a place where water runs did not come about as a vocabulary word until the 17th century, long after Mr. and Mrs. Gully had passed the name down several generations from medieval times.

Kinkel is a variation of the German occupational name Gunkel, which described the maker or the spinner of spindles. It is derived from the German word Kunkel = spindle, distaff, from Middle High German kunkel < LL conicula, a diminutive form of conus = cone, peg. Other variations are Kunkel, Künkel, Künkler.

Gustafson is a variation of Gustavsson, a Swedish patronymic name that comes from an Old Norse given name Gustaf or Gustav, which is composed of the elements Gaut ( Geatas in Old English) + staf = staff. Gaut (or Geatus ) is the tribe of Scandinavians to which Beowulf belonged, and the term used by the English to reference that race. The son of the man named Gustaf was called Gustavsson, Gustafsson, Gustafson . The Norwegians and Danes generally used and single -s and an -en rather than the -sson of the Swedes, ie. Gustafsen .

H

Haase is a German Lowlands version of the English name Hare, which was the nickname for the fast runner, or a person of nervous or timerous nature. Other cognate forms are Hase (German); Haas, Haase (Low German); De Haese (Flemish); De Haas (Dutch); Haas (Jewish ornamental). Hare is also found among the Irish as an Anglicized form of O hAichir , which meant " descendant of Aichear, " whose name meant fierce, sharp. Variations of the Irish name are Hair, Haire, O'Haire, O'Hare, O'Hagher, O'Hahir, O'Hehir .

Habershaw is a variation of the English occupational name Habersham, derived from Middle English from Old French haubergeon = mail jerkin, derived from hauberc = coat of mail. It was the name that described the maker of chain-mail coats. When they became obsolete, the name was altered in various ways to give the appearance of a place name (as in - shaw , which designated a copse or thicket). Other variations are Habershon, Habberjam, Haversham, Havisham, Habbeshaw, Habishaw .

Hackney is an English Place name, comprised of the elements Haki (Old Norse nickname for a man with a crooked nose or hunched figure, meaning similar to 'hook') + Eld English eg = island, literally, Haki's Island, or Hook's Island. The man from there might take the name Hackney.

Haffner/Hafner/Hefner/Heffner : German Occupational Name...Lathes and potter's wheels have been around since ancient antiquity; in Germany, one who fashioned pottery was the hafner . Requested by: John Haffner

Hagan: It's an Irish Patronymic name for the son of Hagan. Originally from the Gaelic form O'Hagain, it's one of the many that dropped the -O- identifier.

Hagood/Haygood is a compound English nickname derived from the Old English elements heah = tall (which was also a Medieval given name) + gode = good. It would have described the man by that name or nickname that was noted for his congeniality.

Hain is an English place name derived from Middle English heghen , from Old English gehoeg = enclosure. Hain and Hayne are found in several locations across England as common minor placenames. Occasionally, Hain is derived from Hain as a Middle English given name, derived from Germanic hagano, which in its original form meant "hawthorne." Sometimes, Hain is a nickname for someone wretched, from Middle English haine = wretch.
When Hain is of German origin, it is derived from Middle High German hagen = hawthorne, hedge...or from the Germanic given name as described above.
Variations are Haine, Hayne, Hayn, Hagen. Haynes, Hanes are patronymic versions.

Hake is a Low German occupational name -- the name given to the peddler or street trader, from the Middle Low German term hoken = to carry things (especially on one's back). The English word hawker is derived from the 16th century borrowing of that term. Other Low German variants of Hake are Hocke, Haker, Haacker, Hocher, Hockner, Heckner .
As an English name, Hake is derived from the Old Norse nickname Haki, which translates as 'hook' and was name given the man with a a crooked back or hooked nose. Hakes is a patronymic form.

Hall: English/German/Danish/Norwegian/Swedish Place name, derived from various words for "large house" including OE heall, and Old High German halla.

Hallaran is a variation of Halloran, which is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O'hAllmhurain , which means "descendant of Allmhuran" whose name was derived from the term allmhurach = foreigner, from all = beyond + muir = sea. Other variations are O'Halowrane, O'Halloraine, O'Halloran, O'Hallaran, O'Halleran, O'Halleron, Holloran , and of course, in many instances, the O' was later dropped.

Halstead is derived as a place name for the man who originally lived in one of the several so-named locations (Essex, Kent, Leicestershire, etc.) which are comprised of Old English elements (ge)heald = hut, shelter + stede = site. Variations are Halsted, Alstead .

Halterman: The southern Germanic term for hillside or slope is halde and the German Place name for the man who lived on the halde was Halder, Halter, Haldermann, Halterman(n), Haldner, Hald, Halde , or Halt.

Hamilton: is an English Place name, derived from its elements hamil =treeless hill + tun =settlement, for a literal translation of 'treeless hill town.' Hamilton was earlier described as Hameldon, Hambledon , and Hambleton.

The Old High German term for 'flat land beside a stream' was ham, and Hammer was the name that described the man who lived in that area. Hammer also described the maker of hammers, from Old High German hamar = hammer of stone. Hammerbacher is likely a Swedish Ornamental compound name derived from the elements hammer = hammer made of stone + back = stream. It translates literally to "hammer stream" + the suffix -er. The Swedes were among the last in Europe to adopt heriditary surnames and were encourages to take names that sounded pleasing, but did not violate good taste when translated. Hammarberg, Hammargren and Hammarlund are other versions of Swedish Ornamental. The name also may be of Jewish (Ashkenazic) origin, along the lines of Hammerschlag (hammer blow), and Hammerschmidt (hammer smith).

Hampton is an English Place name from hamrh = water meadow or homestead + tun = town or settlement/enclosure. The man who lived at the settlement near the water-meadow was called Hampton.

Handlen: is a variation of Hanlon/Hanlin which is one of the 'Fighting Irish' surnames. A number of Irish names reference warriors, and Hanlon and its variations means 'great hero.' Requested by Steve Handlen

Handley is an English place name from any of the so-named locations as in Cheshire, Derbyshire, etc. which derived their names from Old English heah = high + leah = wood, clearing. Occasionally, when of Irish origin, it is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Ó hÁinle , meaning descendant of Ainle, whose name meant Champion. Henley, Hanly are variations of the English version, and O'Hanley, O'Hanly, O'Hanlee are forms of the Irish.

Hanna/Hannah/Hannay : English Place name...All three names are derived from the English place in Lancashire called 'Hanna's Island' and as spellings of surnames were not standardized until the 20th century, several variations exist. People who came from Hanna's Island came to be known as Hanna/Hannah/Hannay.

Hansen is a Flemish and Dutch version of the German surname Hans, a medieval given name that was actually an aphetic form of Johannes (John). Hansen, Henson , and Haesen are patronymic forms of the name (meaning 'son of Hans') found among the Flemish and the Dutch. Hans was a popular name and variations and cognates are found in several languages and dialects.

Hardcastle : English place name near Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire. It is derived from Middle English hard + castel = castle.

Harding : English Patronymic name, from the name Heard (hard,brave)

Hardy is an English and French nickname for the brave or foolhardy man, from Old French hardi = bold, courageous. Hardey, Hardie (Scottish), and Hardi (French) are variations.

Harsh may be an Americanized version of Harsch, a German nickname for the stern or severe man, from German harsch = harsh, stern. It is also occasionally an occupational name for the soldier, from Middle High German harsch = body of troops.

Hatfield is an English place name from any of the so-named locations in Esses, Nottinghamshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and others -- from Old English hœð = heathland, heather + feld = pasture, open country. Hatfeild, Hatful, Hatfull, Hadfield are variations.

Hay is an English and Scottish place name for the man who lived near an enclosure, from Middle English haye > Old English gehœg = enclosure, which was later confused with Old French haye = hedge, after the Normans invaded. Occasionally, it is a nickname for a tall man, from Middle English hay = tall, high (from Old English heah = high). Haye, Hey, Heye are variations. Hayes is a patronymic form.

The closest I can find to the Hungarian Harlacher is the German name Horlacher from the place Horlach in Bavaria or Horlachen in Wurttemberg, from Old High German hor = mud, marsh + lahha = lake. Germany constituted the strongest influence on early Hungary and Hungarian names are similar to German although the language is distinctly different.

Harriman is an English occupational name for a servant who was in the employ of someone who had the given name - Harry...as in Harry's man.

Hasler is a variation of the English place name Hazel, derived from Old English hœsel = hazel, which was the name of the man who lived near the hazel tree or grove. Other variations are Hazell, Hasel, Haisell, Hessel, Heazel, Haseler, Haselar, Heasler . The Swedish version of the name is Hassel, Hessel . Hasling, Hazlett are collective forms found in England. The ornamental compound names used in Sweden with Hassel as a first element include Hasselberg (hazel hill), Hasselgren, Hesselgren (hazel branch), Hesselblad, Hasselblad (hazel leaf).

Haylow is derived from Old English elements and as a place name, described the location where a medieval ancestor made his home. The Old English terms heah = high + hlaw = hill were used as a descriptive means of identifying the man who had his home on the high hill in the local area.

Hazeltine is a variant of the English place name Hazelden, from any of the several places so-named from Old English hoesel = hazel + denu = valley. Variations are Haizelden, Hayzelden, Haiselden, Hayselden, Hasleden, Haselden, Hesleden, Heseldin, Hazeldon, Hayzeldene, Hazeldeane, Haseldene, Hazzeldine, Hazledine, Haseldine, Hazeltine, Haseltine, Hesseltin , and others.

Herald is a variation of the English patronymic name Harrod, from the Old English personal name Hereweald, derived from Haraldr or Herold, which the Normans introduced into English under William the Conqueror. The Norman names stem from an Old Norse origin from Germanic elements heri, hari = army + wald = rule, and was recorded as early as the first century. It was also occasionally derived as an occupational name for the herald, from Middle English herauld. Harrold, Harroll, Harrald, Harralt, Harrell, Herrald, Herrold, Herauld are all among the many variations. Harold, Herold, Herholdt, Haerlet are among the German cognates.

Harju is a Finnish ornamental name derived from Finnish harju = ridge, and is among the many nature words adopted in the 1800's by the Finnish people when surnames became mandatory.

Herman is from the Germanic given name composed of the elements Heri, hari = army + man = man. Harman is the French cognate of the name, and Harmon is the English cognate (of Norman origin). The name Hermann is of ancient origin, and the Latin historian Tacitus recorded the name of the leader of the Cherusci as the first bearer of the name, in the 1st century AD. Numerous variants, cognates and diminutive forms exist as well.

Harris : is an English Patronymic name that comes from a pet form of the given name Henry. Some Henrys became known as Harry, and Harris was the descendant of Harry.

Harstad : In Norway, people lived on farms rather than villages as they did in other parts of Europe, and some can be traced all the way back to the Iron Age. There are several designations for the farms, and -stad is one of the later ones. Harstad is a Norwegion place name.

Harts is a patronymic form of the English nickname Hart, which described the man who had some resemblance to the stag, according to his fanciful neighbors. What aspect of the male deer isn't clear -- or may have varied. When of Irish origin, Hart is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O hAirt , meaning 'descendant of Art' whose name meant bear, or hero. Variations of the nickname are Heart, Hurt, Hort, and of the Irish patronymic name: Harte, O'Harte , and O'Hart . When of Jewish heredity, Hart is a variation of several similar-sounding surnames.

Hartley : The ending - ley on English surnames is derived from the Old English word leah , which described a 'clearing in the woods.' Hart is an old term for stag or deer, derived from OE heorot , and Hartley would be the man who lived near the clearing in the woods, where the deer were found. Requested by Maryellen O'Donnell

Hasse is a variation of the German patronymic name Hass, and comes about this way. The old German given name Hadubert was composed of the Germanic elements hadu = battle + berht = bright, famous. Pet forms of names are generally diminutive variations, such as Bobbie is to Bob, Freddy is to Fred. Hasso was a pet form of Hadubert (don't ask me why it formed that way!). From Hasso, as a given name (in a pet form) the surname Hass evolved.
The name did occasionally arise from less elegant origins, although nothing so distasteful as many surnames. Hass is the German word for hatred, and was occasionally used to describe the medieval man whose disposition was especially bitter or sullen. When the name is of Jewish (Ashkenazic) origin, it is one of the assumed or ornamental names taken when the government imposed a surname requirement, and may be derived from the same "nickname" origination.

Hatfield : English Place Name for the field that was covered with heather.

Hawkins is a patronymic form of the English surname Hawkin, from the given name Hawkin, which was a diminutive form of Hawk. Hawking and Hawken are variations.

My Mother's maiden name is Harray. Her family comes from the Parish of Harray in the Orkney Islands, which is the thirteenth parish of the Nordic parish system of twelve parishes around the outside and one in the middle. Submitted by Dennis Evans.

Hawthorne is a variation of the English Place name Hawthorn, which described the man who lived by the bush of a hedge of hawthorn, from the Old English word haguporn, which was the name for the thorn used to make hedges and enclosures. The -e at the end was generally found in Northern Ireland. Cognates, or names from words in other languages that mean the same thing, are: Hagedorn, Haydorn, Heydorn, Heidorn (German); Van Hagengoren (Flemish), and Hagedoorn (Dutch). Requested by William J. Hawthorne

Haydock is an English place name from the town so-named near Liverpool which derived its name from either the Welsh headdog = barley farm, or Old English hoep = heath + hoc = hook.

Hayne and Hayn are variations of the name Hain, an English place name for the man from any of the various places named from Old English heghen or gehœg = enclosure. Hayne is a common placename in Devon.

Hayward is an English occupational name that described the man who protected the enclosed forest or other land from damage by vandals, poachers, or animals. It comes from Old English hay = enclosure + ward = guardian. Heyward, Haward are variations.

Hazelett is a diminutive form of the English Place name Hazel, which described the man who lived near the hazel tree or grove, from the Old English word hoesel. Variations are Hazell, Hasel, Haisell, Hessels, Heazel . The Swedish cognate is Hassel or Hessel, while Swedish ornamental compound versions are Hasselberg, Hesselberg, Hasselblad, Hesselblad, Hasselgrn , and Hasselqvist.

Hazlett is an English (although now primarily Northern Ireland) place name for the man who lived near the hazel copse, from Old English haeslett, a derivative of hoesel = hazel. Variations are Hazlitt, Haslett, Haslitt, Hezlett, Heaslett .

Heard is an English Occupational name for the tender of animals, normally a shepherd or cow herder, derived from Middle English hearde and Old English hierde = herd, flock. Variants are Heardman, Herd (Scottish primarily), Herdman, Hardman, Hird, Hurd, Hurdman, Hearder ; cognates are Hirth, Hirter, Herter, Herder, Horter (German) and diminutive forms include Hirtel and Hirtle.

Hebert: is an English Patronymic name from the given name Hebert, which means "combat, bright."

Heck/Hack/Hatch/Hatcher : English Place name...Surnames were often derived from the places where people lived at the time names were being adopted: Heck, Hack, Hatch, Hatcher were names that were used by those who lived at the gate or entrance to a park or forest, usually surrounded by a hedge.

Hedmark : Swedish Acquired Name...the Swedes were among the last to adopt formal surnames and had a tough set of criteria for making up family names. (They didn't want anything risque or socially offensive.) Many were combined from nature words that they linked to form a pleasant sounding family name. Hed means 'meadow' and mark means 'field' -- so Hedmark would be literally translated as meadow-field.

Hedemark: The prefix Hede is from Old Norse heior = heath, used in context as Hedegard: hede = heath + gard = enclosure, with Hedegard a Danish place name.

Hefner is a variation of the German and Jewish occupational name Hafner, from German dialectic fafen = pot, dish -- the name described the potter in South Germany and Austria. Haffner, Heffner , and Häfner are variations. Hipfner is more likely a variation of the German occupational name Hopfner, which described the grower of hops, or the seller of hops. It is derived from Middle High German hopfe = hops + -er = local suffix for agent nouns. Other variations are Höpfer, Hoptner, Heptner, Heppner, Hepner, Hopfner, Hopf .

Heilenman may be a variation of Heilman , the German nickname for the man who was considered to be exceedingly healthy or robust, or derived from Old High German heilag = holy.

Heldt is a variation of Held , the German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic) nickname which is translated as "hero" from German held = hero. As a Jewish name, it is normally an ornamental surname. Variations are Held, Heldmann, Heldman . Other ornamental Jewish names with the element are Heldenburg (hero's hill), Heldstein (hero's stone), Geldstein (Russian influence).

Helfield: The lord's manor or hall was one of the easily recognizable features in the early countryside. The man who had a home near the hall was called Heller and the man who lived near the field by the hall was called Helfield. It's an English Place Name.

Hell (e): is a variant of Hill , an English Place name. The man who lived by the Hill (and there were many) sometimes came to be known as Hill, and less frequently, as Hell or Helle. When the name is of German origin, it is a place name for the man from Heller , from the German heller = light.

Helmrich is one of the many variations of Helm , a medieval German given name which was a shortened form of the many compound names containing helm = helmet. Others are Helmel, Helmle, Helmecke, Helmchen, Helmker .

Henley/Hensley : English Place name...Originating in Suffolk and Warwickshire, from Old English heah meaning high + OE leah meaning wood/clearing. A Henley or Hensley would be one who lived near the high clearing in the woods.

Henson is an English patronymic name derived from the Middle English given name Henne, which was a shortened form of Henry. Henn is the surname commonly associated with the name, with Henson as a patronymic form. Henkin is a diminutive form.

The English, French, and German patronymic name Herbert is composed of the elements heri, hari = army + berht = bright, famous. The name was brought to England with the invading Normans, who apparently carried a big bag of names with them. Kidding there. Variations are Herbit, Hebbert, Hebbard, Hebard, Harbert, Harberd, Harbard, Harbird, Harbord (all English); the French variations are Hebert Herbet, Harbert ; the German variants are Herbrecht, Herbricht . Other diminutive forms found among the French are Hebertet, Hebertot, Herbreteau, Herbelet, Herbelin, Herbelot, Harbelot, Harbulot .

Herbst is a German nickname, which at the time, made reference to "harvest." The rationale for the nickname has been lost, but may have been in reference to the man who had obligations to be met at harvest time. The term Herbst in modern German has come to mean Autumn, but it was in the "harvest" sense that the surname was taken. Herbstman, Erbst are Jewish variations. Harfst, Herfst, Host are cognate forms.

Heredia is a Spanish place name that described the man who moved to his new town or settlement from any of the several so-named locales (there is one in the province of Alava) which got their name from the plural form of the Late Latin term Heredium = hereditary estate, which was an estate that was passed down from generation to generation rather than being returned to the overlord of the region.

Herrington is an English place name from the so-named location in County Durham, from Old English Heringtun = "settlement associated with Here" which is a shortened form of any of several names that had here (army) as their first element.

Herrod is an English nickname, chiefly from the Nottingham area, derived from the given name Herod, origating as the Greek name Herodes, from heros = hero. Herrod was the name of the king of Judea who ordered that all male children in Bethlehem be slaughtered at the time of Christ, and during Medieval plays the part was depicted as furious tyrant. Generally, the man who held the role became known by the name of his character, although it was occasionally given as a nickname to a hot-tempered man.

Herron is polygenetic, in that it is derived from several sources. As an English nickname, it described the man who was tall and thin, like the heron, from Middle English heiroun . As an Irish patronymic name, it is Anglicized from the Gaelic O hEarain , meaning 'descendant of Earan' whose name meant 'fear, distrust.' It is also derived as an Anglicized version of the Gaelic O hUidhrin (descendant of Uidhrin = dun colored, swarthy) Finally, it is also derived as an Irish Anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac Guilla Chiarain , which means "son of the servant of St. Ciaran.' Nickname variations include Herroun Herron, Haironn, Leherne . Heron, Hairon, Leheron, Aigron are cognate forms.

Hester is a variation of the Low German place name Heister, which described the man who lived by a conspicuous beech tree, derived from Middle Low German héster. Heester, Heesterman are Dutch forms; Hetre, Lehetre are found in France. Hester is also the English cognate form of Heister. Hetreau is a diminutive French form.

Hewitt is an English Patronymic name from the given name Huet , which was a diminutive form of Hugh; occasionally it comes as a description of the man who lived in a newly-made clearing in the woods, from Middle English hewett , a derivative that meant 'to chop' or 'to cut.' Variants include Hewit, Hewett, Hewat, Howett, Howatt, Huett , and Huitt . Patronymic versions are Hewitson, Hewetson, Hewison, Howetson, Howatson, Huitson , and Huetson .

Heydrich : and its many variations are German Patronymic names from the given name Heidenreich, which is derived from Old German headen =heathen + reich =rule, and was a popular name during the Crusades when it proudly declared "power over heathens!" The other forms of the name include Hedrick, Headrick, Heydrick , and Hydrich .

Hibbard/Hibbert/Hilbert/Ilbert : English patronymic name from the Norman given name Hilbert or Hildebert , which was derived from hild = battle + berht = famous.

Hickey is an Anglicized Irish version of the Gaelic name O'hIcidhe, which meant "descendant of Icidhe" which was a nickname of sorts for a doctor or healer. It's also found as O'Hickey, O'Hickee, Hickie, Hicky.

Higgs is a variation of the English surname Hick, from the medieval given name Hicke, which was a pet form of the name Richard. The Norman pronunciation of the R gave the English trouble, so they wound up placing an H as substitution in the cases of several Norman-based given names (Hobb for Rob, etc.) Hitch, Ick, Icke are variations. Diminutive forms include Hicking, Hickin, Hicken, Hicklin, Higgett, Higgitt, Higgon, Hitching, Hitchin, Hitcheon, Hitchcock, Hedgecock, Hitchcott, Hedgecote, Hitchcoe, Hickock, Hiscock, Hiscoke, Hiscott, Hiscutt, Hiskitt. Hickes, Hicks, Higgs, Hutches, Ickes, Hickeson, Hixon, Hitchisson are patronymic forms.

Highland: English/Scottish Place name that quickly described where its owner lived -- on the high land. It was an easy way to distinguish between John in the valley from John on the hill. Requested by William Hopkins.

Hill is an extremely common English place name that described the man who kept his home on or near a prominent hill, from Old English hyll = hill. The -y was pronounced in various ways in medieval England and the surname Hell developed from the same context with a different pronunciation. Sometimes the name was a shortened form of Hillary, or Hildabrand. Hell, Hull, Hille, Hillam, Hills, Hiller, Heller, Hillman are variations.

Hilliard: is one of the rare English Matronymic names -- that is, it comes from the name of the mother instead of the father. Hilliard is derived from the Norman female given name Hildiarde/Hildegard , comprised of Germanic elements hild = battle, strife + gard = fortress, strength. Variations include Hilleard, Hillyard , and Hildyard.

Hillon may be derived from Hillion , a diminutive form of the English patronymic name Hilary , which was a Medieval given name from Latin Hilarius > hilaris, cheerful, glad. Hilary was a popular name among early Christians and was borne by several saints. Hillary, Hillery, Ellery, Elleray, Elray . There are cognates in several languages.

Hines is a variation of Hynes , which is an Anglicized form of O hEidhin , which meant "descendant of of Eidhin" whose name was a derivative of eidhean = ivy. Occasionally Hines is a patronymic form of Hine, an English name for the servant lad in the household. O'Heyne, Heynes are variations of the Irish form.

Hinshaw: English Place name that is a variation of Henshaw, which was a 'woods where wild birds are' found, such as moor hens and partridges.

Hix is a shortened form of Hixon, which was a patronymic form of the English surname Hick, which in itself was a form of the given name Hicke, which was a pet form of the name Richard. Long story there! The change from -R- to -H- was due to the English inability to cope with the French-Norman -R- and created many variants in surnames. Hitch, Ick, Icke are variations of Hick. Many diminutive and patronymic forms also exist.

The Swedes were among the last to adopt surnames in Europe and did so at the urging of their government, which compiles lists of acceptable prefixes and suffixes that could be used in forming ornamental compound names. Hogberg is composed of the elements hög = high + berg = hill. The names do not have a specific meaning, but were simply chosen for their pleasing sound. Höglund (high grove) and Högström (high river) are other examples.

Hobb was a pet form of the name Robert (where there is a mention of Hobb). The Norman invasion in 1066 brought many names to England, but the locals had trouble pronouncing the Norman version of a preceding "R" so they used "H" in many cases, which was easier for them to say. That why Dick became a nickname for Rick (Richard), and Hobb was substituted for Rob (Robert). Hob, Hopp, Hobbin, Hoblin, Hobling, Hoblyn are variations. Patronymic forms include Hobbes, Hobbs, Hobbiss, Hobbis, Hobson, Hopson, Hobbins.

Hogg is an English and Scottish occupational name for the swineherd, from Middle English hog = pig. Occasionally, when of Scottish or Irish origin, it is a translation of the Gaelic Mac an Bhanbh , which means "son of the hog," but I don't know exactly what that means...

Holder is a German place name that described the man who lived by an elder tree, from Old German holuntar = elder tree. When of English origin it is an occupational name for the man who kept animals, from Middle English holden = to guard. Holderer, Holdermann, Holderbaum, Houlder are variations; Hölderlein, Hölderlin, Hölderle are diminutive forms.

Holdsworth is a variation of the English place name Hallworth, from two places in West Yorkshire by that name, originally called 'Halda's enclosure.' Halda was an English nickname that meant 'bent.' The name Hallworth is comprised of Halda + OE word = enclosure. Variations are Hallsworth, Holdsworth, Houldsworth, Holesworth .

Holst is a Dutch, German, and Danish name for the man who lived near a patch of woodland, from Middle Low German holtsate > holt = wood + sate = tenant.

Hopkins: English Patronymic name...At the time of the conquest, the Normans brought the name Robert to England, and it had several pet forms that became the basis for surnames. Rob (which we still use), Hob, and Dob, were all pet names for Robert. Hobbs and Hobson were drawn from Hob, and Hopkins was yet another variation.

Hodge/Hudge/Hodgin/Hodgen : English Patronymic name from the pet name Hodge, which was derived from the given name Roger. Roger came to England as Rogier courtesy of the conquering Normans.

Hodinott: is the original version of (H)Od(d)en(n)not(t), which is a Welsh Place name from Hodnet in Shropshire or any of the various places called Hoddnant in Wales. It is derived from whawdd = pleasant, peaceful + nant = valley, stream. Other variations include Hodinott, Hodinett, now chiefly in Ireland.

Hoefling/Hoffling/Haefling : Americanized spelling of German name Höfling, a diminutive form of the nickname Höflich . From German höflich = polite, well-mannered, refined > Middle High German hovelich (an adjective derived from hof = court).

Hoffman: German Nickname Name...hoef ( hof with the two-dots over the o = umlaut) means court or small farmer and Hoffman is a nickname for a farmer who owned his land rather than rented.

Hogarth/Hoggarth : English and Scottish Place name from an unidentified place with the second element garth = enclosure.

Hogeweide/Hochweide : German Place Name...From German hoge/hoch = tall + weide = willow, or "tall willow." One living near the tall willow would be Hogeweide or Hochweide. Requested by: Bev Waller

Holbrook: English place name that described the man living by the stream in the deep ravine.

Holden is an English place name that described the man from any of the so-named locations in Lancashire and W. Yorkshire, named from the Old English elements hol = hollow, depression + denu = valley. Houlden, Howlden, Houldin, Holding are variations.

Holladay is a variation of the Northern English and Scottish nickname Halliday , derived from Old English haligdoeg = holy day, religious festival. It is believed that the term was adopted as a surname to describe the person born at Christmas or Easter. Variations are Haliday, Halladey, Hallady, Halleday, Holiday, Holliday, Holyday, Holladay .

Holland is an English place name that described the medieval man from any of the eight villages scattered around England at the time, which got their names from Old English hoh = ridge + land = land. A county of the Holy Roman Empire was Holland in the Netherlands, and it has long been used synonymously in English and occurs occasionally in English, German, Jewish, Flemish, and Dutch names to describe the man from that area. Also, less frequently, Holland (when of known Irish origin) is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic surnames Houlihan, Mulholland, or Whelen. Variations are Hollands, Howland, Hoyland . Of the Netherlands version, variations exits in the form of Hollander, Hollaender, Holand, Holander, Goland, Golender . Cognates are Hollande and Hollenzer .

Hollingsworth is an English place name derived from so-named locations in Cheshire and Lancashire (actually called Hollingworth) derived from Old English holegn = holly + worð = enclosure. Hollingworth is the other version also commonly found.

Holman is an English, Flemish, and Dutch place name for the man who lived in a hollow, from Old English holh = hollow, hole + mann = man. Occasionally, as a surname of English origin, it is derived from Middle English holm = holly + man, as a name that described the man who lived near a prominent holly tree, or holly grove. Hollman, Holeman, Homan are English variations, and Holleman is found among the Dutch and Flemish.

Holmes is a patronymic variation of the English and Scottish surname Holme, derived from the Middle English word holm, from Old English holegn, which derived eventually into the word 'holly' and described the tree. Holme was the man who lived near the holly tree. Occasionally, it is derived from Northern Middle English holm from Old Norse holmr = raised land in a fen or partially surrounded by streams, and used to describe the man who lived on a tiny island of raised land. Other variations are Hulmes, Home, Hulme, Hume .

There are names that have equivalent forms in different languages. The name Holt in England described 'the man who lived by the woods.' The same description in Germany was known as Hoelzler (actually written Holzler, with an umlaut over the -O-). A diminutive form of that name is Holzl, and Americanized as Hoelzl.

Holton is an English place name that described the man who emigrated from any of the several locations by that name, which were named from the Old English elements hoh = spur of the hill + tun = settlement, enclosure. Holton locations in Oxfordshire and Somerset were named from OE halh = nook, recess + tun = settlement, enclosure.

Hopp is generally a variation of the English patronymic name Hobb, which was a medieval given name spelled alternately Hobbe, and Hobb, which was a pet form of the given name Robert. Hob is another variant, while diminutive forms are Hobbin, Hobling, Hoblyn , and Hobbes, Hobbs, Hobbis, and Hobbiss are patronymic variations. As a name of German origin, Hobb is likely a spelling variation of the Low German name Hoppe, which is a cognate for the German occupational name Hopfner, the grower of hops, or dealer in hops, and occasionally used as a nickname for a brewer due to the hops used in the making of beer. The name is derived from the German hopfen = hops + er = suffix applied to nouns. Variations are Hopfer, Hoptner, Heptner, Heppner, Hopfner , and Hopf (Bavaria). Hoppner is another Low German cognate, while Hopman and Van Hoppe are the Dutch versions.

Horne is an English occupational name for the man who made small items from horn material, a common practice during medieval times. It is also derived from the occupation of horn-blowing, which was both a form of entertainment, and signalling. Horne is a variation. Occasionally, Horn was an unflattering nickname for the man who had some quality that reminded his neighbors of a horn, or horned animal. Also, it was occasionally derived as a place name for the man who lived near the horn-shaped hill or outcropping. Horner, Horner, Hornor are English variations. Horner, Hörner, Hornemann, Hormann are German cognates. Van den Hoorn is a Dutch cognate of the place name.

Hornsby is an English place name from place by that name in Cumbria, from the Old Norse name Ormr = serpent + byr = farm, settlement.

Horry is a Norman-form variation of the English surname Wooldridge, a patronymic name derived from the Middle English given name Wolfrich , Wolrich -- which came from Old English Wulfric, from Old English wulf = wolf + ric = power. Other Norman versions are Horrey, Hurrie, Hurry, Hurrey, Orrey, Orry, Urie, Urey, Urry, Ury . Other English versions are Wolveridge, Woolveridge, Woolridge, Woolrich, Wolrich, Woolright .

Houle is a variation of the English place name Hole, which described the man who lived in a low area or depression (geographic, not mental!) and derived from Old English holh = hollow, depression. Hollow, Holer, Holah, Holman are variations. Hohler, Hohl are German cognates. Holla is the Frisian version. Höl is found among the Flemish and Dutch.

Houlihan is an Irish patronymic name Anglicized from the Gaelic O' hUallachain , meaning "descendant of Uallachan " a given name derived from another form that meant "proud, arrogant."

Houston/Huston/Houstoun/Heuston : Scottish Place Name...From a place near Glascow, from the medieval given name Hugh + the Medieval English word tun = enclosure, settlement. Hugo de Paduinan held the location circa 1160. Hugh's town was anglicized to Houston, the most common form. Visit the Houston/Huston Association Page

Houtz is likely a Dutch or Low German cognate form of the name Holt , a place name that described the man who lived by a wood or copse. Hout, Van Houten, Houtman are other Dutch cognate forms.

Howard is an English patronymic name from the Norman given name Huard, Heward, which came from the elements hug = heart, mind + hard = hardy, brave. It is also derived from an Old Norse name Haward, from Norse elements ha = high + varðr = guardian. Heward, Hewart, Huart are variations of the Norman form, Haward is a variation of the Norse. English/Norman patronymic versions include Hewartson, Hewertson, Huartson, Huertson .

Howell is a Welsh patronymic name, from the given name Hywel, which meant 'Eminent' -- a popular name since the Middle Ages due to the Welsh king by that name.
Occasionally it derives as an English Place name from a place in Lincolnshire from the Old English name Huna > hun = bear cub + well = spring, stream. Howl and Howel are variations; patronymic forms include Howels, Howells, Powell, Bowell .

Howey is a Northern English and Scottish patronymic name, derived from a dimunitive form of the given name Hugh. Occasionally, when of Irish origin, it is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic O'hEochaidh , which meant 'descendant of Eochaidh,' whose name meant "Horseman." Howie is another variation of the Scottish name, while Hoy, Huey, Hoy, Houghy, O'Hohy, O'Huhy are variations of the Irish. Howieson, Howison are patronymic forms.

Hoxie/Hochzeit : German Acquired Name...Hoxie is that it is derived from the German Acquired name Hochzeit (many names were altered to make them easier to spell) whose elements are hoch+zit which meant "high time" in Middle High German. It was associated with weddings and could have been taken by a man who was being married and had not yet become known by a specific surname.

Hoyal is another variation of the English place name Hole , in the same fashion as Hoyle which reflects a regional (Yorkshire and Lancashire, primarily) pronunciation of the word. Hole was the name that described the man who lived in a hollow or depression. Other variations are Hoile, Hoyles, Hoiles .

Hudec is a Czech occupational name for a fiddler, derived from the Czech word hudec, from housti = to play the fiddle. Hudecek, Houdek , and Hudek are diminutive forms of the name.

Hudson is a patronymic version of the English patronymic name Hudd, derived from the popular given name Hudde , which was a pet form of the name Richard (like Hobb and Dobb), and also from Huda , an Old English given name. Hutt is a variation. Huddy, Huddle are diminutive forms. Hudson, Hutson are patronymic variations.

Huff: English Place Name...from the Old English hoh = heel, and referred to one who lived at the spur of a hill.

Hugh is an English patronymic name, from the Old French given name Hue or Hughe, which was brought to England by the invading Normans. There are any number of given names with the Germanic element -hug = heart; Hugh is a shortened form, and was a popular name in England, partly due to St. Hugh of Lincoln (d. 1200). Variations are Hugo, Hewe, Hew . Cognates include Hugo, Hugues, Hue, Hugon, Gon , (French); Huc, Uc (Provencal); Ugo, Ughi (Italian); Hugk, Hug, Huge (German), Haugg, Hauch (Franconia); Huyghe (Flemish). Hughes is a patronymic version, as are Hughs, Huws, Hewes, Hews, Hughson, Hewson, Howson, Hooson, FitzHugh, D'Ugo, Hauger, Huygens .

Hulse is a Low German cognate of the German place name Hilse, which described the man who lived by a holly tree, and was derived from Middle High German huls = holly. Huls, Hulse, Hulss, Hulst, Hulster, Hulsemann, Ophuls are other Low German cognate forms. Van der Hilst, Van Hilst, Van Hulst, Van der Hulst, Verhulst, Hilster, Hulsenboom, Hulsman (Flemish Dutch); Lehoux, Duhoux (French).

Sometimes all the clues have to be added together to come up with an origin. If your family knows that your ancestors came from Germany, then Humble is likely an Americanized version of the German patronymic name Humboldt, from the elements hun = beare cub + bald = bold, brave. This was a fairly rare name and isn't found in other languages, but also appears as Humbolt .
Humble with the English spelling is generally an English Nickname for the meek or lowly person, from Middle English and Old French humble/umble , from Latin humilis = lowly.

Humby isn’t among my sources, but the suffix -by is from Old English by > buan = to stay, dwell, live and designates a place name derived from a settlement. In this case, it may be Humm’s settlement, with Humm a given name from Anglo-Norman-French which meant "man."

Humiston is an English place name, as determined by the suffix -ton, derived from Old English tun = settlement, enclosure. Humis is likely a condensed form of a medieval given name, or a now-unrecognized given name.

Hunnicutt is an English place name -- distiguished by the suffix -cutt, which is derived from Old English cot = shelter, cottage. Such names are generally prefixed by the owner of the shelter, and in the case of Hunnicutt, it is likely Hunnibal's cottage in a contracted form. Hunnibal was a medieval given name that was adopted later as a surname with several spelling variations.

Hunter/Hunt: Scottish/English Occupational name, variation of Hunt, Old English hunta = to hunt.

Hutchin is an English and Scot patronymic name from the medieval given name Huchin , which is a diminutive form of Hugh . Hutcheon is a variation found mainly in Scotland -- other variations are Hutchen, Houchen, Howchin . Hutchins, Hutchings are primarily found in Devon and Somerset as patronymic forms; Scottish patronymic forms include Hutchison, Hutcherson, Hutcheson . Hutchinson is found all over, but is most common in Northern Ireland and Northern England.

Hutin/Hooten/Hustin : French Nickname for a quarrelsome person. Requested by Kathy Hooten Gorodetzer



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last updated on: April 3rd, 2017

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