Here are several very good websites that tell the meaning of your surname and the original places of origin. 
How some surnames were based on location, occupation or personal characteristics

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Search for Meanings & Distribution of 11 Million Surnames. A surname is part of a personal name that is passed from either or both parents to their offspring. Customs on the format of surnames change from region to region and their use has changed over time. In most Western nations, the surname occurs at the end of a personal name, after a given name or names. Conversely, some East Asian counties and Hungary place the surname before given names.

Behind the Name – the etymology and history of first names with their meanings and origins. – Enter your last name to learn its meaning and origin. Also, average life expectancy and common occupations.

Geneanet – Origin of Last Names.  How much do you really know about your name? Discover the origin and the meanings of your name.  9,990 indexed names.

The Internet Surname Database – Our Database contains 49,352 last names from Smith to Smiley and Aaron to Zywicki.  Where does yours come from and what does it mean?

familyeducation – Last names by country of origin.  Top 100 names for boys and for girls, celebrity names, names by trait.  Last names by origin.

So when did your Ancestors begin using a Surname
and how did they choose to use yours?
Here are very good videos from YouTube

Surnames 1


* History of Surnames by Johannes de Tripoli


* The Origin of English Surnames by Tim Lambert


* The History of Jewish Surnames (Truth & Myths)


* How to Find the Origin of your Last Name
    Four Methods