We are a family run web site, that has built up a database of surname origins over the last 20 years. The research was started by the founder of "Name Origin Research" Michael Brook and the requests for surname researches came in via mail order and off the page advertising. The business grew to a team of 5 researchers based in the Republic of Ireland, and ran for many years before the mail order market became much tougher and business became unprofitable.
For the last 5 or 6 years the database remained pretty much under lock and key, with Micheal adding the odd name every now and then as he came across names of special interest. Then in October 2006 we decided that rather than let the database fester, we would open it up to the world at large via this wonder fully medium we refer to as the world wide web. So we knocked up a quick site complete with numerous bugs, and added a little contextual advertising in the form of Google Adwords to cover the operating costs.
The web site was far more successful than we originally anticipated, which got us excited and we started to come up with lots of ideas, about how it would be great if we could add this or that. So we went back to the drawing board and came up with this site. We hope that it will become a friendly place to discover and share information on family surnames, and we hope that you enjoy playing with it...
It's also worth mentioning that nearly all of the research in our database was conducted prior to the invention of the world wide web. With all the information now at our finger tips we should be able to greatly expand our knowledge on the probable origin of surnames. If you think we have it wrong, please add your theories and findings as comments on the surname origin tab, so others can profit from the information.