I stumbled across a web site on surname meanings and it peaked my curiosity. My surname (aka last name) is Darwin. Could its meaning reveal the true meaning of who I am and who I would become? Let’s not get too crazy….but here goes…
- Darwin Name Meaning:
- from the Old English personal name Deorwine, composed of the elements deor ‘dear’ + wine ‘friend’. This name is attested in the 10th century, but it was not common; nevertheless it may have survived long enough to become a Middle English personal name and so given rise to the surname.habitational name from Darwen in Lancashire, named from the Darwin river (earlier Derwent) on which it stands. This seems to be a British name derived from a word meaning ‘oak’. (Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press)
Hmm…dear friend? Oak? I think I’m a dear friend to many. I like oak trees. I wanted to know more…so I went to Google to search my mothers maiden name, Runcie…since I’m a Darwin and a Runcie. Here’s what I found:
Although the use of family names originated in China, it was about the time of the Dark Ages that their use came to Europe. Initially family names were used by the landed gentry before coming into use with the lower classes. Often these classes used their daily occupation in forming their name. This was the case with the name Runcie and it is believed that the original name was French, being derived from Rouncy meaning keeper of horses.
An early instance of the name Rouncy can be found in the Burke’s Peerage 1896, “Laurence Rouncy Oxfordshire 1276”. This is also where there is reference to the armorial bearings attributed to the name Runcie, having as a motto ‘By Sea ’ with the crest being ‘ a Seahorse erect Or, holding in the fore fins a Thistle leaved’ shown on our home page.
So it seems I’m a dear friend who cares for horses…with connections to oak and seahorses? Maybe I’m reading too much into this, wouldn’t be the first time. Regardless, it was a fun exercise. The search for the true me continues.
What’s your surname mean?