Featured Surnames from August 2010

The #1 top surname for August 2010 comes in at an incredible, even 1,000 new contributions: Freeman.

The recent Freeman family additions have been led by David Wheeler. Unsurprisingly, there was a gedcom involved. David has apparently been researching his family tree for a long time. Thank you, David, for choosing to transform your research into WikiTree pages that can be collaboratively grown and shared with your family and with the wider wiki community.

David can trace his Freeman ancestry all the way back to Thomas Freeman of Gloucestershire, England, born in 1433. One of Thomas's eponymous descendants came to the Virginia colony in Jamestown.

Coming in at #2 is Toney, with an amazing 452 new contributions. The surname activity here has been led by Alice Lynch. She traces her ancestry to Edward Toney (1607-1638). Paralleling the Freeman line, Edward Toney was born in Devon, England, and immigrated to the Virginia colony.

Wood Ancestor

A photo of Col. Wood of the Third Iowa Cavalry, one of many unclaimed Wood family photos on Dead Fred.

A close #3 is the surname Wood. My friend Jamie Swindells traces his ancestry to an Edward Wood (1598-1642), a Massachusetts Bay colonist. Alice contributed here too. Her ancestor William Wood (1624-1685) was an early settler of Pennsylvania.

The deepest Wood ancestry currently on WikiTree comes from longtime contributor Crayton Smith. Crayton traces his family to Henry Wood (1594-1600), who was born in England and moved to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Crayton traces Henry's lineage back to William Atte Wode (1220-1278) and his father Peter De Wyckhurst, born around 1160.

As explained by Wikipedia on their page for William Atte Wode, "The Atte Wode family name underwent a number of changes through the centuries with numerous variations in spelling: in the earliest records they are known as de Wyckhurst, by about 1300 they were commonly known as Atte Wode, a name that evolved into the modern version, Atwood, and finally, some (though not all) family members adopted the surname Wood in the 16th century."

Wood is actually a very reasonable modern interpretation of Wyckhurst. "Wyck" means "village" in Old English and "Hurst" is Old High German for "wood". Of course, the modern surname Wood has many more direct derivations as well. It could simply come from the Middle English "wode" or the Old English "wudu", both meaning "wood". And some Irish families named Coll, Coill or O'Coill, translated their names from the Gaelic for "wood".

By the way, you can't keep Doug Coldwell off any of these featured surnames lists. The Trefry and Burgess pages are essentially single-handed achievements of Doug. His contribution count is up to over 20,000 — twenty thousand! — with no gedcom imports.

Top 10
  1. Freeman (1000 new contributions)
  2. Toney (452)
  3. Wood (358)
  4. Roberts (269)
  5. Howard (262)
  6. Smith (240)
  7. Bischoff (176)
  8. Dorsey (173)
  9. Harper (170)
  10. Truitt (166)
  1. Trefry (157)
  2. Darcy (154)
  3. Bolster (144)
  4. Fisher (138)
  5. Jarrett (136)
  6. Clinton (134)
  7. Jordan (132)
  8. Burgess (130)
  9. Jones (130)
  10. Rawson (126)
  11. Graves (126)
  12. Estes (121)
  13. McClaskey (118)
  14. Johnson (112)
  15. Wheeler (110)
  16. Ball (110)
  17. Sims (99)
  18. Haynes (96)
  19. Morris (94)
  20. Williams (93)

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