Meanings of Surname and Origin of Victoria

Victoria is a Female First-Name
Origin - Latin
Victoria's Popularity in 2017: #30
Victoria means - victory

Surname Meanings and Origin

William Shakespeare was no genealogist-else he wouldn’t have asked “what’s in a name?” Instead, the bard would have spent his off-hours searching for the “spear brandishing” forbearer who gave the family its name.

Although surnames are the backbone of genealogy research, the irony is they haven’t been around all that long-only since the 11th or 12th century in Europe. Before that time, a name like ‘Richard of Middlebury’ was identification enough. However, as the population grew, so did the need for surnames.

Surnames are generally derived from four sources: places (Hill, Brooks), occupations (Bishop, Miller), characteristics (Little, Smart) or patronymics-father’s name-(Johnson, O’Brien). Of the four, patronymics can present a research challenge as different cultures employed different methods of naming.

In Welsh patronymics, for instance, children took their surname from their father’s given name; James the son of Terrence Gregory would be called James Terrence while James’ son Michael would be Michael James. In Denmark, the surname was derived from the father’s given name followed by ‘sen’ for son, or ‘datter’ for daughter. Therefore, Hans Nielsen’s daughter, Johanne would be Johanne Hansdatter.

If wading through patronymics wasn’t enough, we also have to contend with more variations in spelling than thorns on a cactus. Thomas Jefferson thought nothing of adding a final ‘e’ to explorer William Clark(e)’s name. In my own family, a South Carolina deed index carries on its rolls Faulkenberry, Fortenbery, Faulkenbury, Falkenberry, and Falconbury. And you Smiths thought you had it tough.

Whatever challenge your surname brings, one thing’s for sure: We’re all proud of the name we bear. And, we want to find the family who carried it down through time. You’ve probably searched the popular Web sites for your surname, but as grandma loved saying ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

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