18 Rare And Extinct Last Names With Meaning

Last names are a means of family identification and give a sense of belonging
Share
Tweet

If you are looking for a way to trace your roots, your last name is a good place to start.

However, certain last names have gone extinct which makes it harder to trace exact genealogical roots. These extinct names have gone completely out of circulation, showing it is possible for surnames to die out, while others are incredibly rare with less than 100 bearers.

The common root cause of surnames going extinct can be seen in the age old tradition of women taking their husband’s last name in marriage. When women take their husband’s last name it is inevitable that some names will go extinct, especially in families that don’t have sons. Some people have countered this by having compound last names with their own family name followed by their husband’s last name. In order to preserve some names, a child might be given the mother's last name as a first name if it is rare. This helps to keep the name in circulation but it does not preserve it in its true form.

We have curated a list with some rare English surnames and extinct last names that are no longer in circulation, for more surnames take a look at these nature last names and these gothic last names.

Extinct British Surnames

Certain names are no longer found in registers and important records.

A lot of these extinct surnames are old English family names that stopped being in use years ago. These last names are now extinct and no longer serve as a family name.

1. Bread (Germanic origin) means “morsel” or “broken piece”.

2. Bythesea (Anglo-Saxon origin) a name that came about when a family lived by a drain or watercourse.

3. Bytheseashore (Anglo-Saxon origin) a name that was borne by families who lived by the seashore.

4. MacCaa (Scottish origin) a variant of the name McCaw and can also be McCaa. A famous bearer was George McCaa an American footballer and coach.

5. Puscat (Dutch origin) could mean “poes”.

6. Pusset (Celtic origin) means “mouth, lip”.

7. Pussmaid (English origin) this was a name most likely given as a name of affection which became a last name but has since gone extinct.

8. Spinster (English origin) the feminine version of the name Spinner, and was a last name given to females in medieval times who has no family of their own and who spent most of their time on a spinning wheel.

Rare British Surnames

A rare last name is like a precious gem

Endangered last names are names that are about to go extinct. These rare surnames have less than 200 bearers and are found in about one in every 50,000 households. The list comprises of some of the most uncommon last names and some of the oldest English surnames. We hope you find a unique last name that you like among these endangered last names.

9. Ajax (Greek origin) means “of the earth”.

10. Berrycloth (English origin) this cool location surname is from Barrowclough in West Yorkshire.

11. Birdwhistle (English origin) the name is said to denote a junction on a river where birds nest.

12. Edevane (Welsh origin) could possibly mean “the younger happy one” or “the younger prosperous one”.

13. Fernsby (English origin) meaning “a dwelling near the ferns,” and was gotten from two words ‘fern’ and a Danish suffix ‘-by’.

14. Loughty (Scottish origin) this is the Anglicised form of the name Lauchra, derived from the name Lauchair which means “sedges” or “rushes”.

15. MacQuoid (Scottish origin) it is derived from the name Aodh, a cognate form of Huge.

16. Relish (English origin) the name refers to taste or flavor, and is gotten from the French word 'relaisse' which means “something remaining”.

17. Slora (Scottish origin) the meaning of this cool last name is uncertain, but it may be a derivative of the name Sluagdach meaning “leader”.

18. Tumbler (English origin) this was an occupational surname given to an acrobat or an acrobatic dancer.

Kidadl has lots of great name articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for extinct last names then check out these cool last names, or for something different these Viking last names.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.