A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – O is for Origins of Surnames

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The Introduction to One-Name Studies course goes some way to explore the origins of surnames. Members of the Guild often explore the origins in relation to a specific surname, though that is not necessarily the only way to embark on a study. Other members might explore the origins of surnames in general or in relation to surnames in a specific country.

Research into the origins of a surname may well include the evolution of that surname across variants and other factors that might affect the surname. These might include, though not limited to:

  • Language
  • Dialects
  • Accents
  • Broad linguistic research (1)
  • Alphabet

Russia for example has over 100 languages with 27 of them being officially recognised in various regions across the country (2). Some countries adopted surnames quite late, Turkey for example did not pass a legislation stipulating that all citizens must have a fixed, hereditary surname until 1934. The Surname law went a step further, all surnames were to be Turkish surnames (3). Furthermore, it was forbidden that Armenian names could be used, nor could Greek, Slavic or Persian endings be appended to the chosen name. Neither could the name be duplicated in the same district.


(1) – Advanced One-Name Studies (Pharos course 902)

(2) – Tracing Ancestors in Continental Europe (Pharos course 750)

(3) – Tracing Ancestors in Continental Europe (Pharos course 750)

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge 2021 - All About Surnames, Genealogy, Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901), Non-British Surnames, Variants, Deviants and Alias. Bookmark the permalink.

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