What is the strangest/oddest surname on your tree?

+7 votes
What does the name mean? Where does it originate? Mine is BYTHEWAY. It means "on the side of the road" and comes from Shropshire in the UK.
in The Tree House by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (77.8k points)

7 Answers

+5 votes

Mine could be Skiff, only in that in researching the name, sometimes the result of looking for a person, the result is a boat.

The men got in a "skiff" and took it across the lake, kind of find. 

James Skiff came across the Atlantic Ocean to Massachusetts early in the 1600's.

From "The Descendants of James Skiff of London, England and Sandwich, Mass.", p. 1:

"James Skiff, the ancestor of all the Skiffs in America, is said to have come from London, England, but at what precise time is unknown.  He was a proprietor of Lynn, Mass., in 1637, before which time nothing is certainly known about him, and removed to Sandwich, Mass., that year.  Lynn was a grant from the Old Plymouth Colony, and began to be settled in 1629.  It was incorporated in 1630.  October 3, 1639, the General court of Sandwich "Resolved, that a summons be sent for James Skiff to answer to things as shall be objected against him in regard to traducing the law about refusing to take the oath of fidelity. "In 1659 James Skiff, Town Deputy from Sandwich, was rejected by the General Court for his toleration of Quakers..."


The heaviest concentration from 1840 - 1920 in the United States seems to be in New York state. 


by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)
I do hope that he crossed the Atlantic in a sturdier vessel.

Skiff is an interesting surname indeed. I had a look around and found two possible origins:

1. (the most logical) English: unexplained. Possibly a metonymic occupational name for a waterman on the Thames. The name is found in the 16th and 17th c's in London. 


2. Perhaps from Anglo-Saxon scife, scyfe, a precipice.


A few years back I worked with a descendant of: Hubert Blane W. Surname = Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffvoralternwarengewissenhaftschafers wesenchafewarenwholgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvonangereifen duchihrraubgiriigfeindewelchevorralternzwolftausendjahresvorandieer scheinenbanderersteerdeemmeshedrraumschiffgebrauchlichtalsseinu rsprungvonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternartigraumaufde rsuchenachdiesternwelshegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichund wohinderneurassevanverstandigmenshlichkeittkonntevortpflanzenundsiche rfreunanlebenslamdlichfreudeundruhemitnichteinfurchtvorangreifenvon andererintlligentgeschopfsvonhinzwischensternartigraum. 

http://www.historyrundown.com/top-5-people-with-the-longest-names/ :)

eek. Imagine trying to fit that onto a form. LOL
+5 votes

Mine would definitely be Skägg (=Beard). A line of smiths in Hälsingland, Sweden. Also the sort of name that is a bit frustrating to google for.

by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (557k points)
+5 votes
I suggest Rose since a Rose by any other name would sound as strange.

Of course, since in most cases we're all part of the same world tree here.  If a strangest surname is picked we can all say, Me too!
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (430k points)
+4 votes

Duesler / Duessler / Dueßler  http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Dussler-6 , http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Dussler-2  Andrew & brother Jacob were the Progenitors of Duesler, Duessler, Dueßler s from 1752 Germany to America. 

The name as I understand it: In the Church congregation, carried a  (4-5 foot long stick or rod.. with a feather on one end & a bald Knob on the other). When attendees dozed-off; A Dueßler would tickle them awake with the feather end of the stick. If the attendee would become more fully asleep the Dueßler would use the Knobbed blunt end of the rod to awaken them. Dueßlers were also in charge of keeping the children in order & quiet as to not disrupt the main congregation. JPVIV

by Anonymous Vickery G2G6 Pilot (252k points)
Cool one!

Cool / Kewl / ein uberbabe / Fresco como en suave / Sej mand all as in:

♪ War, Low Rider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NkgiFHEm0Y ♫

& from: Woodstock, New York., August 18 1970 ! Santana - Oye Como Va!

♫ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAB70rFcKSs ♪ or for non Spanish speakers: "Hey, how is it going" Reply: ¡Muy bien

OOPS my age is showing :-) JPVIV

When I was a child  the adults would intersperse older siblings among the smaller  kids when we went to Mass.    Los Angles.(HOT)  High Mass (TOOK FOREVER) Interest level (BOR-ING!)   When we got too wiggly the first warning was a "Behave yourself"  look.   The second  was a softly hissed "SIT STILL".  The 3rd and last indication that we were about to step over the line was a solid THUMP  to the head from a flick of the older siblings fingers.   I guess it was a lot better than being set upon by a DuBler !

  PS Mom and my Aunty SWORE that they did not endorse the Thumping method of behavioral  modification but we never quite believed them.
+5 votes

If only for it's length the surname Van den Heuvel tot Beichlingen gezegd Bartolotti Rijnders is probably in the running for my oddest surname - it originates in the Netherlands. No profile for the individual sporting that surname but wife Maria Ton mentions the individual.

by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (285k points)
+4 votes
THWENG.  It sounds like a banjo string breaking.
by Anonymous Roach G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
Thweng? Great name. Must look it up.
ohh. I thought I had heard it before. The De Thweng family was an important medieval one in England.

Susan , I may one day find out if it is certain.  At the rate I'm going I need to stay alive a couple hundred years just to get around to the 1600s.  And Marmaduke ain't that a kick !
I think that the de Thwengs are on my tree somewhere. Thweng is a place name in Yorkshire (I think).
Well Susan you probably are related to him , we are 20 th cousins through Thomas ( De ) Courtenay.  Hey , nice to meet you cousin.
I love meeting cousins, however many degrees distant. :-)
+3 votes
It is not  a name in my tree but have heard a story of one in town. The name was Hy and I noticed it on a work order to the gentleman's house. It seems his ggrandfather had come over and people coming off the boat that could write were told to sign their name. The old gentleman wrote Hij and the person taking the information asked if that was 'hi' and hearing it pronounced correctly agreed. They typed Hy and he thought it might be the American version of spelling it.... his paperwork then followed him with the change. If you write Hij in cursive it could cause that confusion. I have not found the name on wikitree but still and interesting story.
by Charles West G2G6 Mach 1 (14.3k points)

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