Find the meaning of your surname:

Have you ever wondered about your surname history? Family research and genealogy is so popular now, and it is fascinating to learn more about your own surname, and where it is from. Do you wish you could find out more about your surname, without spending months reading and researching? That’s where we can help! In this article, we look at the top ten things you could discover in a surname history scroll.

Our researchers have been looking into surnames for more than 40 years, and there is a bibliography of their sources on the reverse of your print. In this way, you can consult the texts yourself, if you wish to conduct further research. Find out more about our surname history research here. Plus, each scroll contains information about the heraldry associated with your chosen name. So let’s start from the top!


Your surname history scroll

Top ten facts you could discover!


1. Where did the name originate?


The surname history print gives a brief synopsis of where your chosen surname was originally found. For example, you might discover that your surname was of anglo-saxon origin, or that it originated in France.


2. What type of surname is it?


Surnames can broadly be categorised into one of four groups. The first of these is topographical / geographical. This is where a surname relates to a particular area, and are quite easy to distinguish. For example the name ‘Atwood’ meaning ‘at the wood’. The second type of surname is Patronymic, which means a name that is handed down from father to son, for example Johnson.

The third type of surname is occupational, for example Baker. Lastly, there are descriptive surnames which usually referred to the bearer’s physical characteristics, for example ‘Wise’ or ‘Strong’. Our surname history scrolls normally make reference to the type of surname.You can discover more about these four surname types in ‘Discover the hidden meaning behind surnames’. Our blog ‘Surnames and how they originated’ also provides further information.



Surnames and how they originated

Surnames and how they originated



3. A historical perspective


Your surname history scroll will give a lot of  background information for you to read. This is to provide a historical context relating to the time that your chosen surname originated. For instance, it might feature information about the dark ages or the fall of the monasteries.  All of this enables you to picture the time when your name first came into usage.


4. Spelling variations


Historically, it was common for names to be spelled just how they sounded. For example, even the famous playwright Shakespeare’s name has been found with a variety of spellings. You will find out the variety of spelling variations for your own surname.


5. Early bearers of the name


By consulting historical texts, our researchers find the early bearers of the name and this often goes back to the 1100s.


6. Lands owned


You will also discover if bearers of your surname held any lands or titles in the early days. It’s fascinating stuff. You’ll learn where they lived and died. Oddly enough, we often find that people making enquiries about their surname history, still live in an area of its early origin. Sometimes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!


7. Migration to the new world


You will discover all about migration to the new world, of some of the bearers of your name. This will include areas of early settlement and dates. We have many blog articles about migration, which you can select from here.



The Mayflower

The Mayflower



8. Passengers on the Titanic or Australian convicts


Your surname history scroll reveals if there were passengers on board the Titanic bearing your surname. If there were, you’ll find out whether or not they survived the tragic sinking of the ship. Plus, you’ll learn which lifeboat they escaped in, if they were a fortunate survivor. Of equal interest is whether or not bearers of the name were transported to the penal colonies. Often, this transportation was for minor offences, and treatment was often brutal. To read more about transportation, click here.


The titanic and its passenger list

The titanic and its passenger list



9. Notable bearers of the name.


People always love to discover that they share their surname with another person who is famous for their achievements. Our surname history scroll lists notable bearers of the name, with dates of birth and death if applicable. Who shares your surname?


10. Motto translation


If there is a motto relating to the earliest coat of arms for your surname, we feature it at the end of the scroll. For example, mottoes are often written in Latin, or Gaelic. Read more about mottoes.


Further to the above, we feature the earliest coat of arms relating to a bearer of your name at the top of the scroll. This appears in full colour, true to heraldic standards. We have a wide variety of blog articles about heraldry, which will hopefully be useful and interesting for you. Click here for more information. If you would like to order a scroll all about your own surname, click here . They are available in a choice of four frames, and also make great gifts. Does your family name have a Coat of Arms?  Read our article here.



surname history scroll

Coat of arms scrolls make perfect gifts and are hand-finished



We hope you have enjoyed finding out what you can discover on a surname history scroll. Have you ordered form us before? What did you discover? We’d love to hear your stories! For some inspiration gift ideas, visit our shop for gifts that will definitely impress your loved one!



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