The Meaning and Origin of the Surnames

Maternal Family Names

Farnsworth - (Old English/Anglo-Saxon) - dwelling name: from fearn (fern) and worth (estate), thus, the name of an estate situated in or near an area overgrown with ferns.

Fuller - (Old English) - profession: someone who fulls, that is, scours and thickens raw woollen cloth by beating and trampling it with his bare feet in water; found mostly in Southeast England.

Lane - 1 (Old English) - local name: for someone who lived in a lane, originally a narrow way between fences or hedges, later used of any narrow pathway, even between houses. 2 (Irish Gaelic) - anglicised form of several Irish surnames: O'Laighin, O'Luain, O'Liathain (all pronounced more or less "O'Lane").

Longbottom - (Old English) - topographic name: from long (long) and bodme (valley, bottom), thus someone who lived in a long valley. There is a place called Longbottom in West Yorkshire.

Massey - (English <French <Latin) - old Gallo-Roman place name: Masse, in the province of Normandy in north western France. Originally settled by the Celtic Gauls, later taken over by the Romans, then ruled by the Franks, in the tenth century A.D. this province was constantly being plundered by Norwegian Vikings - also called Normans, meaning “men from the North”. Exasperated, the King of France decided to give them the province so that they would leave the rest of his kingdom alone, and the province came to be called Normandy after its new owners. A hundred years later these Normans, led by their Duke - William the Conqueror - who was a cousin to King Harold of England, invaded and won over England. Many Norman nobles and knights who had helped William take England's throne were granted land in England and settled there for good, bringing their names with them. Our Massey forefather was one such Norman: he was granted land in Cheshire. Variations of this surname include Massy, Massie, Macey, Masse.

Parrott - (English <probably Celtic) - place name: from North and South Perrott in Somersetshire, England, which take their name from the river Parret on which they stand. Variations include Parrot, Parret(t), Parrat(t), Perot, Perret, Perrat.

Peckham - (Old English) - dwelling name: from peac (hill, peak) and ham (homestead); from one of the places so called in Kent and South London.

Stones - (Old English or Norse) - topographic name: from stan (stone), for someone who lived either on stoney ground or by a notable outcrop of rock or by a stone boundary-marker or monument; also a profession: someone who worked in stone, a mason or stone-cutter. This surname is found mostly in Yorkshire. The Old Norse tongue – spoken by the forefathers of today’s Norwegians, Swedes and Danes - was closely akin to the Old English with which it mingled in Yorkshire during the several centuries of Danish rule there. Thus one cannot tell for sure whether this surname be of Norse or of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) origin. Variations include Stone, Stoner, Stenner, Stoneman.

Paternal Family Names

Jung , Jung - (German) – descriptive name: meaning ‘young’; this surname is found mostly in southern Germany.

Rodenbach , Rodenbach - (Old High German) - locational name : derived from ‘roden’ (‘to clear’) + ‘bach’ (‘brook’, ‘stream’); this surname originated in the northern province of Schleswig-Holstein, around Hamburg, and is also known in Flanders.

Rosenbrock , Rosenbrock – (North German or Dutch) : habitational name : from a place called ‘Rosenbrock’ or (Dutch) ‘Roosbroek’, named with Middle Low German rose ‘rose’ + brock ‘marsh’. (also Rosenbrook)

Steinmetz - (German) – profession: stone mason; this surname is found mostly in southwestern Germany.  

Weber – (German) – profession: weaver, someone who weaves cloth.

Whittaker – (Anglo-Saxon) : locational name : from any of the various places so called in Warwickshire and Lancashire, derived from the Old English ‘hwit’ meaning ‘white’, and ‘aecer’ meaning ‘cultivated land’ - hence, ‘white field’, ‘white acre’. (also Whitaker, Wittaker, Witaker). Equivalent in meaning and origin to German ‘Weiίδcker’ and Dutch ‘Wittacker’.

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