The “last name” originated for most as entrapment upon the creation of the
“Domesday Book (/ˈduːmzdeɪ/ or US /ˈdoʊmzdeɪ/; Latin: Liber de Wintonia “Book of Winchester“) is a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror.” (Domesday Book From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
“One very early use of surnames that we know of can be traced to Chinese Emperor Fu Xi, who is believed to have ordered – around the year 2852 B.C. – that all family names come from a rather short sacred poem, according to Crests.com. That’s why the majority of Chinese people still share about 60 last names, the website proposes.
In the empires, republics and democratic city-states of ancient Greece and Rome, the use of clan names or names based on place of origin went in and out of favor. By the end of the Roman Republic in the first century B.C., family names that were similar to modern surnames had become popular. The fall of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity throughout Europe, however, gradually led to the disuse of family names through the Middle Ages.
In the English-speaking world, as recently as 1,000 years ago, people were primarily known only by their given names, what we today would call “first names.” The world was a much smaller place then and common people rarely ventured far from their place of birth. ”
(The History Of Last Names, How To Discover Your Surname’s Family History By Lisa Fritscher, Published November 21, 2013)
A man’s “last name” is not only ‘legal’ but also expresses “status” or “class” by how it is ‘called’ or ‘expressed.’ When “family” it denotes slave, “House” or “House of” denotes master, and “sur” denotes chattel property owned by “government” or “Royals.”
“Before the general introduction of surnames, the Britons and Celts, for the sake of distinction, used explanatory names, descriptive of personal peculiarities, individual pursuits, mental or bodily qualities, accidental circumstances, or the performance of certain actions. These names have been called Soubriquets, Cognomens, and Nicknames…” (Origin of Surnames – An Essay on the Origin and Import of Family Names by William Arthur, M.A., father of President Chester A. Arthur)
Family – First referred to the servants of a household and then to both the servants and the descendants of a common ancestor. It comes from Latin familia, “household; household servants,” which came from another Latin term, famulus,“servant.” It was not until 1667 that the term was used specifically for parents and their children. See also related terms for servants. (Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc.)
Sur – The concept of a “surname” is a relatively recent historical development, evolving from a medieval naming practice called a “byname“. Based on an individual’s occupation or area of residence, a byname would be used in situations where more than one person had the same name. (Wikipedia)
“A SURNAME is an additional name added to the Proper or given name, for the sake of distinction, and so called because originally written over the other name, instead of after it, from the French Surnom, or the Latin “Super nomen,” signifying above the name.” (Origin of Surnames – An Essay on the Origin and Import of Family Names by William Arthur, M.A., father of President Chester A. Arthur)
“…Historically some families used family or house names that are considered different from surnames. Some examples are the royal houses of Carolingian and Plantagenet. In some cases, those of a house may use a surname other than their house name, or no name at all… surnames were largely adopted between the 11th and 16th centuries in England, between the 16th and 19th centuries in Wales and between the 11th and 19th centuries in Scotland. … A surname’s origin is influenced by the progenitor’s social class and the culture they lived in. Those of higher social status often took surnames that are uncommon today; whereas people of lower social status often took what are today common surnames. It is also clear that people of lower social status had less control over their surnames, no doubt handed to them by aldermen, lords and other authorities….” (Origin of Surnames)
The Free Dictionary > family > Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc.
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The History Of Last Names, How To Discover Your Surname’s Family History By Lisa Fritscher, Published November 21, 2013
Origin of Surnames – An Essay on the Origin and Import of Family Names by William Arthur, M.A., father of President Chester A. Arthur
Wikipedia > Surname or sur