Last name: Oman

Recorded in the spellings of Oman, Omand and Omond, this is interesting and unusual surname is Scottish. Although not locational, it does originate from the Orkney and Shetland Isles, and in particular the Isle of Yell. It is almost certainly of Norse-Viking pre 10th century origins, as these were areas very much controlled by the Scandanavian invaders of the Dark Ages, and it is claimed, derives from either of two personal names. This may be the compound "Hamundr", composed of the elements "ha", meaning high and "mundr" protection, or from another personal name "Amundr", comprising the elements "a" meaning an ancestor and again "mundr". Both could be translated as meaning "high protector", but not too much credence should be given to a translation, as with many compound personal names of this period of history between the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and the coming of Emperor Charlemagne in the 9th, there is often little apparent logical relationship between the two elements. Early examples of the surname recording include: Thome Omond of Kirkbuster in the year 1530, Edduard Homonsone of Orkney in 1546, and Edward Oman of the same place, in 1576. Richard Eumound was recorded in Clouston in 1602, whilst Robert Omond was a resident of Kirkwall in 1647. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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