Alternatively William could also be distinguished by his occupation for example William the baker leading to the surname of Baker, Richard the Gardner leading to the surname of Gardiner and John the smith being called John Smith.
Medieval Names - Meanings and origins
The meanings and origins of Surnames extended to places, described a profession, trade or status, were connected to Nationalities or were highly descriptive reflecting a physical or characteristic attribute or have been derived from nicknames. Most people are familiar with the legend of Robin Hood and the names used in this story. Here's a reminder of some of them which provide some examples of the origins of Medieval names:
Robin Hood - A descriptive name from 'Robin in the hood'
Little John - A descriptive name describing a physical characteristic
Maid Marion - A descriptive name describing a characteristic i.e. Maid
Alan a Dale - First name combined with a place name
Friar Tuck - Name reflecting a status i.e. Friar
Much the Miller's son - Family name combined with a trade name
Will Scarlet - A descriptive name
Examples of Medieval Names - Male Medieval Names
The following examples details Medieval names for men:
Examples of Medieval Names - Female Medieval Names
The following examples details Medieval names for women: