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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 ?
Census Bureau's list of most common surnames by race and Hispanic origin, Taylor said.
Acquired distinctiveness exception The restriction against registering surnames as trademarks is not that simple.
when a woman chooses not to take her husband's surname after marriage, people perceive her husband as being higher in traits related to femininity and lower in traits related to masculinity.
So here are just some of the origins of many of our everyday surnames.
His surname is that of her family's rivals, the Montagues.
What two presidential surnames are alternating qwertys?
From 'Abba',' a Northern variant of 'Abbey',' first recorded in 1570, to 'Yoward',' meaning a 'ewe herd',' which first appears in 1379, this comprehensive dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames contains thousands of entries within its 864 pages.
It is time for Filipino voters to judge candidates based on actual accomplishments and not on their surnames.
Other surnames that came from fathers' names are Mitchell, Edwards, Perez, Fitzgerald, and thousands more.
Can I legally change my children's surname so we all use the same name?
Certain surnames are often found amongst the gypsy travelling families," says Society expert Dianne Sutton.