surname

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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 ?
Others included a man and a woman surnamed Chen and Mo, who were caught by Taiwan's coastguard attempting to sneak into Kinmen after their families refused to accept their relationship.
In anger, Park attacked another man, surnamed Jung, who had nothing to do with their fight.
A 54-year-old woman surnamed Shen and a 69-year-old man surnamed Xu tested positive for the new strain of avian influenza.
In nearby Jiangsu Province, it was also confirmed that a 70-year-old man surnamed Chen, who fell ill on March 29, and a 74-year-old man surnamed Xu, who became sick April 2, are both infected with the virus.
Prosecutors made the decision to apply for approval to detain Liu Ying-lin, who is the owner of the development company that managed the construction of the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, an architect surnamed Yu who is responsible for designing the building and supervising the construction, a civil engineer surnamed Chen who did the structure computation for the building, as well as the owner of the Beauty Stay Hotel surnamed Wang and A-Kuan Hot Pot Restaurant owner surnamed Chen.