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The Select Surname Site

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:

Chandler.  Chandler is an occupational name for a maker or seller of candles, derived from the Old French chandelier.  Candle and Chandler, it is thought, reflect different pronunciations within the French that came to England - the hard "c" in candle reflecting the northern French spoken by the Normans and the soft "ch" in chandler reflecting more standard central French perhaps employed by scribes.  

Dillon.  Dillon is a surname in Ireland of Norman or Irish origins.  In Leinster Dillon derived from the Norman family of de Leon (meaning either "of Lyon" or "of the lion").  There is an old Irish saying: "All the Dillons descended from Henry de Leon."  But the Dillon name also came from the anglicization of the Irish O'Duilleain (from Dalian meaning "little blind one") in Munster and Connacht. 

Jennings.  Jennings is a patronymic surname, deriving from the early medieval names of Janyn and Jenyn which themselves came from the diminutive "little John" of John.   It was a Captain Jennens who was said to have had the honor of bringing the body of Richard the Lionheart back to England in 1200. Jennings is also an Irish surname, from MacSheoinin or MacJonin meaning "son of little Sean."  

Pettigrew.  Pettigrew comes from the French petit cru, meaning "small growth," and was probably a nickname for a small or short man.  The name was brought first by the Normans to England and Scotland and later by French Huguenots to Ireland.  

Waugh.  Waugh derived from the Old English word walh meaning "foreign" and, like the surname Wallace, was a term used to describe outsiders - in particular, it is thought, the Welsh-speaking Strathclyde Britons who survived as a separate group in Scotland well into the Middle Ages.   Waugh is usually pronounced as "Waw," rather than "Woff" or "Woch."

The table below shows the list of the 100 surnames that are reviewed here.   

Site Map: Select Surnames

Chambers Hammond 
Andrews Chandler Hayes Morrison Stone
Arnold Cole Hodgson Norman Sutton
Atkinson Cummings Howe North Tate
Barclay Cunningham Hunt O'Leary Thorpe
Barry Dickinson Innes O'Reilly Townsend
Beattie Dillon Irvine Oliver Underwood
Beck Dodd Jeffries Payne Unsworth
Bentley Doherty Jennings Penn Vance
Bernstein Duncan Kemp Pennington Venables
Bird East Kerr Pettigrew Walton
Boone Edgar Knight Phelan Watkins
Brady Emerson Lawrence Quigley Waugh
Branson Everett Leary Quirk West
Brooks Faulkner Levine Regan Whelan
Buck Fettiplace Levy Reilly Whitney
Burke Ford Lloyd Rhodes Wolfe
Bush Goldberg McIntosh Sharp Woodward
Carr Goodman McLaren Sheehan Yates
Carson Gordon McMillan Sinclair York

We welcome any suggestions or thoughts you might have on the site.  Just click on the email address shown below and send us your message.   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: