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Whatever my sins of omission on this score may have been (those of commission are not to be found), I trust that few of those naturalized names which have adorned our annals in literature, science, arts, politics, or war, have been overlooked. The Corruptions which hundreds of our family names have undergone tend to baffle alike the genealogical and the etymological inquirer.
But another cause of uncertainty has arisen from what may be called the variations rather than corruptions of names, as when in deeds executed by the same person, he is called indifferently Chapman and Mercator, or Smith and Faber.
We have a few names which correspond with the surnames borne by distinguished personages, long before the time when surnames * Inf. This will be apparent if we reflect that not only has nearly every " font-name " become a surname per se, but also in its various patronymical, or rather filial forms and its nicked, or abbreviated modifi- cations. 166, will show how copious a source of nomen- clature this has been.
A reference to the article William in this work, and to what I have already said in English Surnames, vol. The Irish, Gaelic, and Welsh surnames, as will be seen elsewhere, are almost exclusively of this kind. Ferguson has the following judicious observations : — " Of the two Teutonic patronymics, ing and son, common in English names, the former is more properly Germanic, the latter Scandinavian. Ing or inger signifies son, offspring, being cognate with the English young.
See this class of names largely treated of in English Surnames, vol. Several names of this class occur in Domesday Book, shewing their early use among the Normans. For example, a Coleman (or Colemannus) and a Wodeman are found among the under-tenants of Domesday.
Some of these, as Carpentarius, Faber, Barbitonsor, may be regarded as descriptions, rather than names, though Carpenter, Smith, and Barber afterwards became hereditary names. Whether these persons had been baptized by those names, or whether they were, by occupation, respectively a charcoal-burner and a woodman, does not appear. In the reign of Edward L, we find a dancing girl called Maude Makejoy, which evi- dently refers to her occupation. Henry VI., I have seen the name Renneawaie (Run-away) applied to a perfuga; but the most curious instance of this sort is to be found so late as 15 Edward IV., in an extract from a record book of the manor of Hatfield Broad-Oak, co. — This most fertile source of family names has received due attention in my former work ; and I have only one or two further illustrations to offer.
Sometimes one and the same individual would bear three surnames — one territorial, another patronymical, and the third official. — The rationale of this class of names has been discussed in Eng. My theory is this : — For several generations after the in-coming of the Normans, the Anglo-Saxon race, down-trodden by their imperious conquerors, had (with few notable exceptions) small consideration as to their names — little more, it would appear, than their fellow burthen-bearers, the horse and the bullock.