Welcome to the SURNAME-ORIGINS-L Mailing List info and FAQ page.
Q, What is SURNAME-ORIGINS-L and what is the purpose of the list?
A. This mailing list has been created for discussion of surname origins, both the etymology of any surname as well as the geographic origin of any surname. The etymology questions and answers can also be about variant spelling origins and also what variations can occur due to language considerations or when one emigrates from one country to another and the name spelling or the name itself gets changed at the port of entry due to any number of reasons.
Since some surnames are very rare or die out, any info on dead or rare surnames would be appreciated.
Q. What are some examples of some of the above?
A. Take for example FENSTERMAKER. That name supposedly originates from an old english word for a window maker.
A very glaring example of a border/emigration foulup would be MARCEWSKI becoming MUSKIE, according to the famous late US Senator, his father had the name MARCEWSKI but upon entering Ellis Island, the clerk could not spell the name so he put down the name MUSKIE, and that name stuck. My LASSUS ancestors had the name changed to LARSEN for the same reason or so I have heard.
A change due to language happened to Anton REICHA, the classical composer. The original Slavic name was REJCHA (seen occasionally on CD covers of this composer's music recordings), but he spelled it REICHA when he got to Paris. Heard this to be the case with ROSETTII in one case also.
Variant spellings commonly, but not always, resulted from misspellings by the person writing the surname, but others are like the language example, and even some researchers have found that looking for a name requires determining the nationality. I have seen CYR with SEARS, for example, but from radically different localities and language areas.
Of course, these are just some examples, please post your questions, answers, and discussions of surname origins, both etymological and geographical, to the list.
Q. How do you subscribe/unsubscribe to the list?
A. Subscribing: Send a message (no subject), one word only, that being subscribe, to either address below depending if you want to subscribe to mail mode or digest mode. To unsubscribe send in the same fashion but use the word unsubscribe instead. To switch modes unsubscribe from one and subscribe to the other. Here are the email addresses.
Feel free to the mode that best suits you.
Q. Is there an archives for this list?
A. Yes, there is now an archives for this list. Go to the link for the archives in the list of links below. Archived messages will be grouped by month posted, in the order they are posted (including threads). You will be able to view a strictly chronological list of messages as well. 'Mailto' links are included in each messages header so if you are able to find info on a message long after you have deleted an old message, you will be able to email the sender about that message and its contents. Or, you can post your findings directly to the list itself via email.
New messages for the previous day are posted at about 6am Pacific time in the US.