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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
A compromise was later reached, and the Queen stated that her descendants who don't carry the HRH title will carry the Mountbatten-Windsor family name.
A child who has already been fostered can only be re-registered in their family name and given into their custody after a report from a committee has judged what would be in the child's best interests.
The order of Chinese name is family name first (the first syllable), then given name (one to two syllables).
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had an almost decade-long family feud over their children's family name.
The police found no signs of a struggle, and the deceased, identified by his family name of Kawashima, showed no visible signs of trauma.
The actress hailed Falcis for fighting for his family name despite the reported threats from Aquino's camp.
"Asghar declared that he is pleased to have included the word Afghan in his family name and added that we are known as Afghans all over the world and it is our national duty to honour and protect our national identity".
Besides that parents of the students have also been motivated to sapling a plant with family name.
''Zoe is a family name as well as being internationally recognised and easy to pronounce in any language.
Her family name combines her royal house, Windsor, and the family name of her husband, Prince Philip.
For us, daughters are daughters and there was nothing like wanting a son to carry the family name forward," Sania said.