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This is NOT a question about people who have surnames that are usually found as given names, such as Rand Paul.

My question relates to the process of Americanization of surnames. For example, I have done genealogical research about descendants of Harry Krewiansky who took the surnames Harris and Harrison, and descendants of Bernard Gogolinsky who took the surname Barney.

  • Why in the world would this have a “term” for it? You simply describe it, and you are done. – tchrist Feb 15 '14 at 18:12
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    I take issue with "Americanization" in this context; this process has been happening worldwide, for hundreds of years - certainly since the widespread European adoption of surnames and possibly even longer elsewhere. In Scandinavian-derived names there's the suffix -son / -ssen; in Russian there's the suffix -ov; in Ukrainian -enko; in Armenian -ian / -yan; there are surely other patterns I'm forgetting. – MT_Head Feb 15 '14 at 18:55
  • Armenian tradition is a little unusual in that the same suffix is used both for patronymic and geographic names; Grigoryan is a guy whose ancestor was named Grigor, while Alepyan is a guy whose family came from Aleppo. – MT_Head Feb 15 '14 at 18:59
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Patronymic:

a name derived from that of the father or a paternal ancestor usually by the addition of an affix

Also from wikipedia:

A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the given name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor.


Matronymic:

a name derived from that of the mother or a maternal ancestor

Also from wikipedia:

A matronymic is a personal name based on the name of one's mother, grandmother, or any female ancestor. It is the female equivalent of a patronymic.


For second part of the question, we may call the process as "Anglicisation of Patronymic names" or "Anglicisation of Matronymic names".

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