Great Britain Research
Stephen   Thomas
26 Noel Coward Gardens
Aldington Kent
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Great Britain Research    Stephen Thomas

UK Professional Family History Research

Topographical features refer to buildings and places that show the effect of man on the natural landscape. They often became the surnames our ancestors chose or were given.

Abbey: lived by an abbey or priest’s house

Acker, Ackerman: someone who lived by a plot of cultivated land.

Acton: from the towns of that name in Middlesex and Shropshire

Agate: lived near a gate

Backhouse: from bake house

Badger: a village in Shropshire

Badham: a place in West Midlands

Bailey, Bales, Bayley: lived near the outermost wall of a castle

Barnes: a person who lived near a barn or granary

Barrow: lived by a burial mound

Berry, Bury: a fortified place

Birmingham: from that city

Bridge: lived near a bridge

Church: lived near a church

Churchill: a place in Devon, Oxfordshire and Somerset

Coates: from cott, a humble shelter

Cross, Crouch, Croucher, Crouchman: lived near a cross

Downton: From the town on the hill (Old English for hill is dun)

Drayton: from various towns by that name

Dyke: lived near an ancient earthworks

Eckersley: from the town of that name (Eckhardt’s settlement in the wood)

Eggleston: from towns of that name (Ecgwulf’s enclosure or tun )

Endecott: lived at the end of a row of cottages

Fallow: land left uncultivated

Field: lived near a field

Fieldhouse: lived in a house in pasture land

Fordham: from the village by the ford

Foyle: lived near a pit or man made hollow

Furlong: length of a field

Garner: lived near a granary

Garth: an enclosed area or yard

Gates: lived near a road or gate

Gillingham: from that town

Greenaway: a grassy path

Greenhouse: someone who lived in a house by the village green

Hall: lived in or near a large house

Hardcastle: an impregnable castle

Hatch, Hatcher: a gate or entrance to a forest

Hathaway: a path across a heath

Haw, Hawe: someone who lived near an enclosure

Hay, Hayman: lived near an enclosure

Hayhurst: an enclosure on a wooded hill

Hilton: from the settlement on the hill

House: lived in a house rather than a cottage

Howes: dwelt by a barrow

Hyde: farmed a “hide” of land (about 100 acres)

Kershaw: Church near a grove

Lampit: a loam pit

Langton, Longton: long town

Lee, Lees: cultivated land

Loader: lived by a road or man made channel (Middle English loden to lead)

Malthus: lived near a malthouse

Meynell: an isolated dwelling

Mill: lived near the village mill

Monkhouse: lived or worked in a monastery

Newbold: lived in a new dwelling

Newhouse: a new building

Newey: new enclosure

Orchard: lived by an orchard

Ormiston: Orme’s settlement

Overall: lived in the upper hall

Park, Parke; lived near the landowner’s hunting ground

Parsonage: lived in or near the parson’s house

Pickles: lived near a small field (Middle English pighel)

Pound: lived near an animal enclosure

Port:lived near a gate to a town, harbour or market

Prescott: the priest’s cottage

Rigby: lived at a farm or settlement on a ridge

Rochester: from that town

Rowe: lived by a hedge or in a row of houses

Ryland: lived near a field where rye was grown

Schofield: a hut in a field

Scholes: lived in a rough hut or shelter

Sell, Seller: lived in arough hut made for animals

Somerscales: summer shelter

South: lived in the south of the settlement

Southgate: lived near the south gate

Stables: lived near the stables

Staples; lived near a boundary post

Titchener, Tickner, Tichner: lived near a crossroads (Old English twicen, two)

Town,Toner: came from a village rather than the country

Townshend, Townend: lived at the extremity of the village or town

Travers: lived near a bridge

Tye: lived near a common pasture

Upton: living in the upper part of the village

Vine: lived near a vineyard

Wall: near a stone built wall

Wallbank: lived near a bank with a wall upon it

Ware, Weir: lived near a weir or dam

Way: lived near a road or path

West: lived in the west of the settlement

Westgate: lived near the west gate of the settlement

Yard: lived by a small enclosure

Real Lives:

Church: Did Charlotte Church’s ancestor sing in the choir?

Churchill: Sir Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace in 1875. His forebear John Churchill was 1st Duke of Marlborough and Blenheim was built for him by a grateful nation after his exploits in wars against the French in the 18th century. The family came from Dorset where their original home would have been much humbler!

Monkhouse: The late Bob Monkhouse’s humour may not have been appreciated in the monastery where his ancestor lived or worked!

Prescott: John Prescott may be a political firebrand but his ancestor may have been a Priest!