Peoples, Nations, Events

Medieval Surnames

Medieval Surnames


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Medieval surnames had a far more important meaning attached to them in Medieval England than perhaps they do now when we effectively inherit our surname. Medieval names usually meant something and below are some of the more common surnames found in Medieval England and their meaning.

AshdownDweller on ash-tree hill
BakerMaker of bread
Bennettblessed
BiggeBig and Strong
BrickendenMaker of bricks
BrookerDweller by the brook
BrowneBrown haired or dark skinned
CarpenterMaker of wooden objects
CheesemanMaker of cheese
ClarkeScholar, cleric or secretary
CooperWooden bucket maker
FletcherMaker of arrows
ForemanLooks after pigs
GodfreyGod-peace
GregoryWatchful
HughesSon of Hugh
ManneringManly
NashDweller by the ash tree
PaynePagan
RolfePeasant
TaylorMaker of clothes
WalterDweller by water
WardGuardian or watchman
WebbWeaver
WoodDweller by the wood