The more unusual your surname, the easier it may be to research. As well as providing a key to other records, the name itself will have a story to tell.

See also the page on Variant and deviant surnames.


There are eight main types of surname:

If your surname has multiple origins, it may also have multiple meanings. For a more extended discussion of the different types of surnames and their different distributions in the Anglophone world, see the papers from a conference held in 2004 on Surnames as a quantitative resource: the geography of British and Anglophone surnames.

Long thin blue line © Guild of One-Name Studies 2012 This page was last modified 12 Jan 2012, 23:48
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