Agass, Agass, Aggas, Aggis, Aggiss, Aggus, Agus, Aguss (Eng) descendant of Agace (Agatha), Greek ‘good’.
Agate, Agates (Eng) Someone who lived at or near a gate, but descendant of Agatha is also possible.
Agget, Aggett, Agg, Agge, Agott (Eng) Descendant of Agnes or Agatha.
Aggis, Aggiss, Aggussee AGASS.
Agnes, Agness (Eng) Descendant of Agnes, Greek ‘good’.
Agus, Agusssee AGASS.
Aimsmith, Ainsmithsee SMITH.
Airrless, Arliss, Harliss (Eng) Nickname for an ‘earless’ man, presumably one whose ears were hidden by long hair.
Aitchison, Aitken, Aitkens, Aitkinsee ADAM.
Akeroyd, Akroydsee ACKROYD.
Alabastar, Alabaster, Albisser, Allblaster, Allyblaster, Arblaster (Fre) An arbalest was a cross-bow. The surname could refer to a maker of cross-bows or a soldier who used this weapon.
Alban, Alabone, Albon, Albone, Alborn, Allbond, Allbones, Allebone, Alliban, Allibon, Allibone, Aubon (Eng) Descendant of Alban, a Latin name of uncertain meaning. It was the name of the first British martyr.
Albert, Alberts, Albright, Allbred, Allbright, Aubert (Eng) Descendant of a man named Albert, a Germanic name composed of elements meaning ‘noble’ and ‘bright.’
Albon, Albone, Albornsee ALBAN.
Alderson (Eng) Descendant of an ‘older son.’
ALDERTON (Eng) Someone who came from one of the several places so-named because it was the ‘settlement of Aelfweard’s or Ealdhere’s people,’ or because it was a ‘settlement amongst alder trees.’
Aldington (Eng) Someone who came from one of the several places so-named because it was ‘Ealda’s settlement.’
Aled, Allart, Allet, Allett, Allott (Welsh) Resident near the River Aled.
Alefounder, Alfounder (Eng) Occupational name for a man whose task was to inspect and supervise the work of brewers.
He was also known as an ale-conner. Since he was obliged to sample each vessel in which the ale was kept he was likely to show signs of wear after a time. A poem of James I’s reign says:
A nose he had that gan show,
What liquor he loved I trow;
For he had before long seven years
Been of the towne the ale-conner.
Alexander, Alshioner, Callister, Callistron, Elesender, Elshender, Elshenar, Elshener, MacAlaster, MacAlester, MacAlister, MacAllaster, MacAllister, MacCalister, Sandars, Sandeman, Sander, Sanderman, Sanders, Sandeson, Sandieson, Sandison, Saunder, Saunders, Saunderson (Eng, Scot) Descendant of Alexander, or someone known by a diminutive of that name. The Scottish Mac- forms are from the Gaelic MACALASDAIR. Elesender, Elshender etc., represent regional Scottish pronunciations. Callister and Callistron are Manx forms. Alexander is the Latin form of Greek Alexandros ‘he who protects men.’ It occurs in the New Testament, but was mainly associated in medieval times with Alexander the Great, the 4th century king of Macedon.
Alfild, Alfilda, Alfyld (Eng) Descendant of Alfille, an Old English personal name composed of the elements ‘elf-war.’
Allan, Allansonsee ALLEN.
Allbond, Allbonessee ALBAN.
Allbred, Allbrightsee ALBERT.
Allen, Alan, Allan, Allanson, Allenson, Alleyne, Allin, Alline, Allinson, Allis, Allison, FitzAlan, Halison (Eng, Scot) Descendant of Alan, a Celtic personal name of obscure origin, though usually linked to Gaelic ailin, from ail ‘rock.’ However, French first-name dictionaries often explain Alain as belonging to the Alans, a nomadic tribe originating in Scythia. They were conquered successively by the Roman emperor Justinian and by the Visigoths. A Breton saint of this name made the name popular amongst many of the followers of William the Conqueror. It was then taken up in great numbers in Britain.
The Irish comedian who began life as David Tynan O’Mahoney changed his name to Dave Allen simply because he wanted a name that would appear high on any list of available entertainers. Various studies, in fact, have purported to show that children whose surnames begin with a letter which is near the beginning of the alphabet do better than those who have an initial letter near the end. The theory is that names which are always amongst the first to be called out attract the attention of the teachers. The phenomenon, if it is one, was dubbed ‘alphabetic neurosis’ by the Chicago Tribune July 13, 1967: ‘If your last name begins with the letters between S and Z you are twice as likely to get ulcers as other people. The rates on heart attacks are three times as high and these people are supposed to be more morose and introspective. One doctor claims that the ulcers result from the strain of waiting for your name to be called. Aplhabetic neurosis can shorten your life by as much as twelve years.’ Monica Dickens makes a character in Mariana comment: ‘Mary wished her name did not begin with S. It was so much worse to have to wait one’s turn, with one’s confidence ebbing away every minute.’
Allerton (Eng) Someone who came from one of the several places so-named because it was a ‘settlement near alder trees’ or ‘settlement of Aelfweard’s people.’
Allet, Allettsee ALED.