What's In a Name?

What does my name mean?

Created by,
Donita Edgell
Ramonetta Holt
Ashley Maxey

Curriculum Info  Meet the Authors

Bray, Sara. Sumerian Tablet. sumeriantablet.jpg. 2003. My eCoach® eLibrary. Online. Available. 18 August 2005.


Before the Middle Ages, people had only first names. Last names were added later to denote occupation, place of residence, or other defining characteristics. Check these websites and interview your family to answer these questions:

How did you get your name?
What does it mean?
Can you tell what your ancestors did for a living?
Why is your name important?
Would you choose a different name?
Would you be the same person with a different name?

First Names
    •Behind the Name - the Etymology and History of First Names
Find out what your first name means. What are popular names from the past? How does popular culture influence names?
    •Last Name Meanings
Find the ethnic origin of your last name. Where did your ancestors live? Does your last name describe how your people were employed? (Smith, Baker, Fletcher, Clark, etc.)

Last updated: August 23 2005, 4:12 pm
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