Last Names & Surnames

Medieval Last Names in 2020

Medieval surnames had a far more valuable meaning attached to them in Medieval England, so they do now inherit our surname effectively. Medieval Last Names usually have something in it, and below are some of the most common surnames found in Medieval England and their meaning.

Names start with A

Abbey – someone that works in an abbey

Arkwright – a person that makes arks

Aimar – A famous or noble individual

Anderson – Son of Andrew

Atkinson/ Atkins – Son of Atkin 


Baker/ Baxter – A bread maker

Bauer – peasant

Bell – Bell-ringer

Brewster – Someone who works in a brewery

Bigge – A significant and robust individual

Bennett – A blessed individual

Blythe – Happy or joyous

Bonner – kind or courteous

Brown– Someone with dark coloured hair 

Bell – An individual that lives near a town bell

Bridge – Someone lives by a bridge

Bryson – Son of Brice

Medieval Last Names start with C

Chamberlain – One that looked after mansions

Chandler – A candle maker

Chapman – Shopkeeper

Clarke – teacher, a scholar or a priest

Collier – coal miner

Cooper – Someone that made wooden buckets

Chance – A lucky person

Curtis – An elegant person

Cruikshank – One with bent legs


Dempster – Judge

Dear– One that is loved

Devine – One that behaved in a divine manner

Daft – Someone with a mild 

Dunn – Someone with dark-colored skin


Everett – Brave 

Erickson – Son of Erick


Fish/ Fisher – Fisherman or a fish seller

Fish – Good swimmer

Fox – Crafty person 

Fox – An individual with red hair

Forest – Someone lives by a forest


Gardner/ Gardiner – Person that owned a garden 

Grant – Someone great

Grey – Someone with grey clothes


Harper – Individual who made harps

Hardy – Bold

Hawk – Someone with a fierce temper

Hindman – A courteous person

Hughes – Son of Hugh

Hill – One who lives by a hill 


Inman – An innkeeper

Medieval surnames start with J

Jenner – Engineer

Jameson – Son of John

Johnson – Son of John


Kemp – A jouster

Kitchener – Person that works in the kitchen

Knight – knight

Koch – A cook

Kocher – A cook

Keen – Brave

Kennedy – Someone with an ugly face

Knapp – One that lives at the top of a hill


Lister – Dyer

Lightfoot – Someone that walks rapidly

Lancaster – One that comes from Lancaster

London – One that comes from London


Miller – Person who works in a mill

Mannering – A manly person

Moody – Brave person

Mundy – A person born on Monday

Morrell – Short person with a dark complexion

Meredith – Descended from Maredudd 

Morrison – Son of Morris 


Norton – One that lives north of a town


Packard – A person that sells stolen goods

Page – A young servant

Payne – A pagan

Palmer – A pilgrim

Parker – The keeper of the park

Porter – The doorkeeper

Peacock – The nickname for an arrogant person

Power – Poor person

Pratt – The nickname for a trickster 

Proude – A person who proud

Pruitt – A brave and fearless individual

Puttock – A greedy person 

Park – One who lives by the park


Quick – An agile person


Rolfe – A peasant

Ryder – A warrior

Rey – Acts like a king

Rose – A person with a rosy complexion

Russ – a person with red hair 

Root – One that is cheerful and happy

Russell – One with red hair 

Robertson – Son of Robert

Rose – One who lives in an area where there are many roses

Medieval Last Names start with S

Saylor – An acrobat or a dancer

Scrivens – A writer

Sommer – Farmer that had to pay taxes in the summer

Smith – Metalworker

Spinner – A person that spins wool

Steele – A person that works steel

Stoddard – A horse keeper

Swift – A messenger

Selly – a blessed individual

Sharp – An intelligent

Short – the short person

Sommer – a cheerful person

Sparks – a lively individual

Spear – Thin person

Stern – Someone that has a severe character

Swann/ Swan – People have known for their purity 

Sweet – a nickname for a friendly and pleasant person

Sullivan – One with a good eyesight

Simson – Son of Simon

Shaw – One who lives by the woods

Sommer – One that lives in a sunny area


Taylor – A tailor

Tinker – Person that mends kitchen utensils

Toller – A person that collected taxes

Tait – someone cheerful, happy

Terrell – a suborn individual

Truman – a trustworthy person

Townsend – One who lives on the outskirts of the town

Tuft – One that lives near many trees and bushes

Tracey – One individual that comes from France


Wainwright – A person that made carts

Walter – Water-bearer 

Ward – Guardian

Webb – Weaver – Last names that describe character traits 

Wallace– a Celt, or a foreigner, stranger

Wild – wild

Ware – An astute person 

Whitehead – A person with blonde hair – Surnames that indicate family lineage

Williamson – Son of William

Medieval Last Names start with Y

Yohe – One who lives near a stream

York – One that comes from York

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