In modern times, people still regularly take on their father’s name at birth and their husband’s after marriage. However, medieval surnames normally had significant meaning attached to them, making them incredibly important.
The following is a list of some of the more common medieval surnames along with their meanings:
|Ashdown||Dweller on ash-tree hill|
|Bigge||Big and strong|
|Browne||Brown-haired or dark-skinned|
|Carpenter||Maker of wooden objects|
|Clarke||Cleric, Secretary or Scholar|
|Cooper||Maker of wooden buckets|
|Foreman||Looks after pigs|
|Hughes||Son of Hugh|
|Nash||Dweller by the ash tree|
|Walter||Dweller by water|
|Ward||Watchman or Guardian|
|Wood||Dweller by the wood|
See also: Medieval Names
"Medieval Surnames and their Meanings". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.