I’m having an identity crisis.
My birth certificate states: Dianna Lynn Tibert, but am I really that person recorded many decades ago? Shouldn’t a name give a hint of personality, of trade, of origin?
“Aye,” you say, “a surname tag gives the origin.”
That’s only one-fourth correct. A surname at birth gives only the origin of the father’s father’s father’s father. It completely ignores the father’s mother and the mother’s family lines.
More than four hundred years ago, when surnames were becoming standard, people wore names of their profession—Baker, Fletcher, Crofter—and their father—M’Donald, McIsaac, O’Brien—and their surroundings—Forrest, Glen, Field—and their locations—Glasgow, Paris, Lomond—and countless other things associated with their lives. There was great pride to be known as Joe the Fletcher or Matilda of the Meadow.