An interesting post on the Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore’s blog:
A surname can tell you a lot about someone's ancestry. Some names derive from specific places or regions of a country. Others are actually modifications or shortenings of entirely different names. Still others derive from the names of animals, plants, insects, and so forth. In genealogy, knowing where surnames come from and how they have been changed over time can make the difference in finding a sought-after ancestor. Want to know more about surname research? Check out the latest article posted on our blog, www.genealogyandfamilyhistory.com.