Have you ever wondered what your surname means? I found a website entitled Surname Database which listed thousands of names. When you type in your last name, the database will give you the historical meaning and origin of your name. While the database contains the most common surnames, it does not include all names.

An excellent example of this is my surname, which is Wakenight. I came across a website, The Descendants of Daniel Wakenight, created by Sharon Strow. On this site, I found that my ancestors came from Germany.

On Ancestry.com, the American records list the name as Waicknight, Wechnecht, Wegnicht, Whiteknight, to name a few. The German birth records that I found have the name written as Wechnacht and Weichenacht.

To find out more about this surname, I looked on the internet for German websites. I came across doGenealogy.com which gave me a list of several free sites that I could use to help in my search. One was the German Genealogy Server. It is in German, but with the Google Translator, I can use this site to my benefit.

I also used the Reverso Dictionary and found that Wakenight, in two separate German words, translates to Wachen Nacht (to be awake and night). I am still trying to establish the correct spelling of my Germanic surname. With the help of these websites and tools, I am getting closer to my goal.

So, if your surname is not among the most common, you can always use the internet to your advantage. You may be surprised at what you will find!

If you have a unique surname that you would like to list, please add it to my comments section. I would love to hear from you and help you search for the meaning of your name.

The photograph was taken by Photo Travel Book, on StockSnap.com.