Q:

How can you discover the derivation of your surname?

A:

Quick Answer

Two ways to research the derivation of your surname include the Behind the Name website and The Internet Surname Database website. Each site allows you to browse through names and to search for your own name. Certain surnames that have not been researched yet have no results.

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Full Answer

The Behind the Name site provides a search bar at the top of the page to allow users to search for their surnames. Additionally, site visitors can browse etymologies of names by browsing through surnames alphabetically or by nationality. Clicking on either a letter or national name brings up a list of surnames along with where each surname originated and the meaning of the name. If the name is derived from another name, this appears in the description. Longer descriptions are found by clicking on any of the names for the list.

The Internet Surname Database also provides a search bar at the top of the screen for users to search for their own surnames. The site also displays the names most commonly searched for on the day of the user's visit and which word entries were most recently edited. Clicking on a name from these lists or a name found by searching displays a full description of the name, anything it was derived from and any historical context concerning the name.

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