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Picking Out Patterns
Surnames developed different ways in various regions and countries, but all tend to fall into one of four categories. Use these tips to decipher your family's monikers.

Patronymic Names

Virtually every culture had some form of patronymic naming system, though some, especially in areas such as Ireland, Wales, Spain and the Scottish highlands, used it more than others. These are common clues to patronymic names:

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