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SURNAME. A name which is added to the christian name, and which, in modern times, have become family names.
     2. They are called surnames, because originally they were written over the name in judicial writings and contracts. They were and are still used for the purpose of distinguishing persons of the same name. They were taken from something attached to the persons assuming them, as John Carpenter, Joseph Black, Samuel Little, &c. See Name.

References in periodicals archive ?
A 26-year-old woman surnamed Wang from Jiangsu's capital of Nanjing was confirmed to be infected on Thursday.
A 65-year-old farmer surnamed Hu in Zhejiang Province was being treated for H7N9 infection, but is said to be in stable condition, the provincial health bureau said on its website.
Chang's first wife, a woman surnamed Li from Zhejiang, made a complaint about her hubby's multiple marriages to Chaoyang district police in March.
I don't always find anti-Semitism hilarious, especially when it's not being satirized by someone surnamed Cohen.
A 65-year-old man surnamed Luo, a local resident from Gaopo township, Yongding County, Longyan City, showed symptoms of repeated coughing, low fever and a tight chest on April 18.
The Department of Health of East China's Zhejiang Province reported that a 69-year-old man surnamed Xu, who had previously tested positive for the H7N9 virus, died on Friday night after emergency treatment failed, Xinhua reported Saturday.