SURNAMES AND THEIR ORIGIN
Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan.
As a multa-national country,
we are inclined to have a vast mixture of names. Every nationality has
its own personal names, and the joining of two or more nationalities
greatly increases the number of such names in a country. The population
of the United States is made up primarily of people from European countries
and their associated names, thus constituting a multitude of surnames.
The word "surname" is defined
as an additional name given to the first name, or a given last name.
These surnames originated as descriptions of the person for reasons
of better identification. They described one individual and not his
By the end of the fourteenth century,
English surnames were generally hereditary. However, in France the process
evolved a little later, and in Germany, a little later, yet. The population
of Venice adopted a hereditary surname system during the tenth and eleventh
centuries, they being the first in Europe. Countries such as Norway,
Sweden, Turkey, and the mountainous regions of Wales and Scotland, adopted
the present system in more recent times.
Nobles and landowners, in most countries,
were the first to adopt the hereditary name system. Many in this societal
pattern adopted their surnames from the lands they held, and thus the
sons inherited the land as well as the name. The same is true of occupational
names such as Smith, Turner, Carpenter, etc.
The son generally adopted the surname
of the lower class, or occupational class, since he learned or followed
his father's trade. The occupational name could be said to have been
inherited only when the son followed another trade, but still retained
his father's surname.
As per the Middle Ages, while a man lived
in a town or village, that town or village would be a source for everyone's
name. As the individual left his birthplace or village and moved to
another location, he would be called by the village or land so named.
The spelling of the surname generally changed along with the spelling
of the town name in most cases.
In English speaking countries the freedom of choice often led to a surname
being used as a first name. The first name, or Christian name, for a
long period of time, was the only one recognized by law, and the additional
name was merely a word or description to identify one person from another
of the same given name.
Personal characteristics have led to the
growth of many English names such as Long, Longman, Longfellow, Short,
Small, Strong and Gray. Also complexions have contributed their share
such as Black, Brown, White, but the name Green has come from the village
green, or grassy ground.
Many British geographical names have also
been inherited as surnames such as Ross, Carlisle, Lincoln, and Wells,
which are towns in England. From Wales we have the surnames of Wales,
Welsh, Walsh and Wallis.
A description of the situation or the
locality could have led to the two name system, such as John at the
mill, or John Mill. Other similar incidents could have led to the names
of Hill, Dale, Wood, Forest, Greathouse, Parks, Marsh, Pond, Ford, etc.
I shall now attempt to identify some Campbell
County names and their origin. Many spelling versions are slightly moderated,
but most are synonymous with their identity.
LEACH, English name, it meaning dweller
at or near the Leach (stream), a river in Gloucestershire, a bloodletter
or physician. ADKINS, English name, meaning red earth, red; DAUGHERTY,
Irish name, meaning unfortunate. MARLOW, English name, one who came
from Marlow (lake remains), in Buckinghamshire; dweller at the hill
by the lake. WARD, English name, guard, keeper, or watchman; dweller
near a marsh. BULLOCK, English name, dweller at the sign of the young
bull; one with some quality of a young bull. HEATHERLY, English name,
dweller in the thin wood where low shrubs or heather grew; one who came
from Hatherleigh (thorn wood), in Devonshire. ROACH , (Roche, Roch,
Rocher) French and English name, dweller near a rock; one who came from
Roche (rock) in Cornwall or from Roche (rock), the name of many places
in France. SHARP, English name, an acute, keen-witted or quick person.
GOINS, (Goines, Goinges, Goin), French name, meaning God's friend. MILLER,
English name, one who grinds grain.
PHILLIPS, Welsh and English name, one
who loves horses. COOPER, English name, one who made and sold casks,
buckets and tubs. COKER, English name, one who came from Coker (water)
in Somerset, a hay worker. HAINES, English name, one who came from Haynes
(enclosures), in Bedfordshire; dweller near the hedged enclosures. HALE,
Welsh and English name, dweller at the corner, nook, small hollow, or
secret place, name of several places in England. NICKELSON, Swedish
and Norway name, Scandinavian form of Nicholas (people's victory). JACKSON,
English name, a pet form of John (gracious gift of Jehovah). RAY, English
name, one who played the part of the king in play or pageant; one who
was connected in some way with a king's household. MAXWELL, English
and Scottish name, dweller by the big spring.
As one may guess, Campbell County names just keep on-a-goin'. Perhaps
at another time we shall continue on this subject