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What does your surname mean?

As every genealogist knows, we're all the product of our family's history. But genetics aren't the only thing that we pass down the generations. Used to identify our familial bonds, surnames link us to even our most distant ancestors. If your curious about your family history, doing a surname search is a great place to start.

The origin of your last name can reveal a lot about your earliest ancestors' birthplaces, occupations and more.

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Surname of the Week


If you meet a Watson, tell them...

Watson is an English and Scottish surname, where it is still popular as the 19th most common in Scotland, 46th most common in England. Watson is believed to have patronymic roots, referring to someone being the son of Walter or Wat (the diminutive form), this name being quite common in the 1200s and 1300s.

Interesting facts about Watsons

How common is your surname?

36th most common surname in the UK

We have 657,000 records for the Watson surname. The oldest one dates back to 1100.

Who were Watsons most likely to marry?

Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Watsons.

What are the most common Watson first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Watson family members

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