As genealogists, we sometimes get so caught up in what we are doing that we forget who is behind the indexes, abstractions, and transcriptions in books and databases that we use to find our ancestors. They are not well-known authors or famous in any way, other than they took time out of their lives to help current and future generations find their family members. Are you interested in becoming one of these unsung heroes of the genealogy world?
Recently, while searching for the meanings of my family’s surnames, I came across some interesting information on the origin of names. I always knew some surnames were derived from occupations, like Smith, Mason, Shoemaker, Miller, Farmer, etc., but I didn’t realize so many were also derived from nicknames and geographical locations. Classifying surnames and figuring out their origins has long been an interest of historians and genealogists.