Last name: Nation

Recorded in many forms including Nachin, Nathan, Naton, Nation, Nason, Netton, Nettching, and many other obsure forms, this is a surname of uncertain origins. It is believed to derive from the biblical name Nathan. This was introduced into the British Isles by returning knights from the famous Crusades to the Holy Land in the 12th century. All the various expeditions were unsuccessful, and at at least one, that in 1199, ended in the death of the leader, the famous King Richard of England. However this does not seem to have dampened the enthusiasm for biblical names of which the most famous examples are probably Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the latter being the most popular name in the Christian lists, and best known as the surname Jones. It has been claimed that the 'Nathan' surname in England in its various forms is most generally found in the Midlands region, and this may be so, although it is equally well recorded in London. As Nason it is mainly recorded in Ireland where it is understood that it was a Dutch introduction following the victory of William of Orange in 1690 over the army of his father-in-law, King James 11nd of England and Ireland. Early examples of the surname recording include Joane Nation who was married at St Stephans church in the city of London, on November 7th 1596, William Nachin, who was christened at St Olaves Southwark, on January 1st 1660, whilst Margaret Nason of Cork, was an emigrant to America in 1846. This was during the Irish Famine (1846-1851). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Sorry, forgot to mention the surname, it is Kemack or might have been Kemack


I only know that my father's family left Russia and went to England in the 1800's and they were Jewish. Not sure if the were Lithuanian, Ukranian, or where they originated. I would like to know where they came from and how to trace their family members

Mr Christopher Nation
My own surname, Nation, is particularly associated with Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. A Devonian Nation who showed me a family tree going back to the 16thC found the easternmost Nation on record at Batheaston at the village - you would never guess - on the eastern edge of Bath, Somerset. The Somerset Nations are most commonly associated with the villages around Taunton, particularly West Monkton and Norton Fitzwarren. It was the West Country Nations in the 17thC/18C/19thC who made for Bristol to take ship west to the USA where there are many branches in the southeastern States and to the Caribbean. A Nation from Norton Fitzwarren was transported to Australia in the 18thC for stealing a sheep from an estate at Anstey. There are branches of the nation lineage in Oz as a result. I find this entry on this site very poor, consisting mostly of general knowledge [some erroneous] and, as we see, completely lacking in any detail of the West Country Nations

Elizabeth Whittaker
Christopher, I found it so interesting to read your comments I put in Nation as my Grandma was Caroline Mary Nation and she lived in and around Langport, Taunton and Westmonkton. I was trying to find out about the origin of her surname as I always liked it she was born in 1886.

Ryan Nation
I had no clue where my last name originated from. As I live in USA I find this interesting. Thanks

Van Rhodes
My name is really Van Lee Nations but was changed when I was a small child as my mother married Freddie Rhodes . I have since reconnected with My Nations Family . My Uncle James Nations said our family came from England and I seen this on internet where a James Nations came to America in 1839 .

Van Rhodes/Nations
I also have been told we came from Israel before England . Does anyone know if Nations were Jewish ?

My grandmother came over to Canada from Wales near Tonypandy, I have info of her father Walter Edward Nation of Wells/Bath area do you have any information on this branch?

David Rossiter
Richard I did not die as a result of the III Crusade but as a result of the war which had broken out with France in his absence. He died whilst defending his lands in Maine/Normandy.