The Select Surnames 4 Website

What's in a name?  More than you might think.  Each surname carries an individual history that has been shaped by all the forebears of that name.  In palmistry, the left hand usually tells you what you are born with, the right hand what you made on your life.  So too with family genealogy.  Word origin and DNA will provide a starting point.  But the history and events over time can give these names their distinctive characteristics and traits. 

The site contains select surnames of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and other origin.  The following are some of the surnames that are covered here:

Abraham.  Abraham as a surname comes in a variety of spellings in Jewish and non-Jewish circles.  The main spellings in the English-speaking world have been Abraham, Abrahams, Abram, and Abrams.  Abram in England might alternatively originate from a Lancashire place name. 

Carroll.  Carroll is an Irish sept name, derived from the Gaelic personal name Cearbhall.  The name comes from the Gaelic word cearbh meaning “slaughter” and possibly described a fierce and warlike warrior.  

Gay.  The older meaning of Gay comes from the Old French gai, meaning “light-headed” or “joyful,” which became first a nickname and then a surname.  The word could also have ithe undesirable meaning of “wanton” or “‘lascivious’ in some cases.   

Sherman.  The name was originally an occupational surname for a cloth finisher, one who trimmed the surface of the finest cloth with shears to remove any excess nap.    German and Dutch spellings of the name are Schuerman, Schuermann and Schuurman.  From these roots came the Yiddish sherman meaning “tailor” and the Jewish Sherman name found in America

Wynn.  Wynn as a surname comes in many variations.  Wynn, Wynne, Winn, Gwynn, and Gwynne are all found today in varying numbers around the world.  The principal origin of the name is the Welsh name Gwyn dating back to the 8th century and meaning “white” or “fair.”

The table below shows the list of the 120 surnames that are reviewed here.    

Site Map: Select Names

Abbott Craig
Gilbert Lawson Olson Shannon
Abraham Daly Gore Lear O'Shaughnessy Sherman
Daniels Halpern Lyons Packard Silver
Agee Davidson             Hanson Maddox Patterson Skinner
Dean Hardy Manning Peacock Solomon
Ball Diamond Hawthorne         Marks Pelham Spears
Barrett Dixon Hemingway Marsh
Percy Springer
Bates Dole Hicks Maxwell Perkins Strauss
Berry Dorsey Hirsch May Potter Teagarden
Bowen Drinkwater Holland McCoy               
Prior Timberlake
Bradshaw Dunn Hoover McElroy Pritchard Travers 
Brokaw Fallon Horowitz McGee Radcliffe Truman
Field Howell McGrath Raleigh Walters
Bryant Fish Judd McGregor Ramsey Wayne
Burton Flanagan Kaiser Moffat Ray Wheeler          
Byron Fortescue Keaton Moody Redgrave Whittaker
Carroll Gage Keller Neville Rice Wilde
Christmas Gardner Klein Norris Rutherford Wildgoose
Clayton Garrett Lambert Norton Sassoon Willis
Clooney Gay Lang Ogilvie Seymour Wynn

Have a look at some of these surnames - other than your own - to see the extent of the rich tapestry of life that can exist in family names.

Each surname on this list includes: a name origin or derivation; a history of the name through time and countries; some notable people who bear this name; and further internet resources on the name (we have only chosen those sites that are readily accessible without charge on the internet).

Enjoy the site!

Colin Shelley

PS.  If your surname does not appear in the list above, you might want to check out the surname page in this website.  It covers surname genealogy for more than 800 surnames.  These surnames are to be found in this and these companion websites: