The use of a surname not only separates us from our peers, but also separates us from much of the non-Western world. In many countries, such as Indonesia and India, it is common for people to be addressed by a single name, or mononym.

The history behind one's surname tends to be even more fascinating, as they typically derive from something that has to do with their ancestry. So I went ahead and did a little research about myself, and according to, Van Wagoner means "one who was a cartwright". Seriously?

I was really hoping it'd be more interesting than that. Now I imagine my ancestors as Bubble's from Trailer Park Boys, stealing, fixing and re-selling shopping carts for $18 dollars a piece. 

C'mon ancestors!