Surnames by J.W. Freeman
Most people take their surnames very much for granted, and yet they are one of our most personal and interesting possessions. Your surname can tell you quite a lot about your ancestors. Not all names are what they at first sight seem to be: if your name is Farmer, then an ancestor was a tax-collector; if it is Alabaster, then you are descended from a crossbowman. About 1500 surnames are included, and if your name is not amongst them then probably a very similar one is. This is an easy-to-read introduction to a fascinating subject.