Medieval Surnames and their Meanings

Medieval Surnames and their Meanings

The meaning of medieval surnames were much more important in Medieval England than they probably are now, seeing as we simply take on our parents surname and then possibly a husband’s.

Medieval names normally had meanings attached to them and the following is a list of the more common medieval surnames and their meanings:

Medieval Surnames Meanings
Ashdown Dweller on ash-tree hill
Baker Bread maker
Bennett Blessed
Bigge Big and strong
Brickenden Brick-maker
Brooker Dweller by-the-brook
Browne Brown-haired or dark-skinned
Carpenter Maker of wooden objects
Cheeseman Cheese-maker
Clarke Cleric, Secretary or Scholar
Cooper Maker of wooden buckets
Fletcher Arrow maker
Foreman Looks after pigs
Godfrey God-peace
Gregory Watchful
Hughes Son of Hugh
Mannering Manly
Nash Dweller by the ash tree
Payne Pagan
Rolfe Peasant
Taylor Clothes maker
Walter Dweller by water
Ward Watchman or Guardian
Webb Weaver
Wood Dweller by the wood

See also: Medieval Names

MLA Citation/Reference

"Medieval Surnames and their Meanings". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.