May Family History
May Name Meaning
English, French, Danish, Dutch, and German: from a short form of the personal name Matthias (see Matthew) or any of its many cognates, for example Norman French Maheu. English, French, Dutch, and German: from a nickname or personal name taken from the month of May (Middle English, Old French mai, Middle High German meie, from Latin Maius (mensis), from Maia, a minor Roman goddess of fertility). This name was sometimes bestowed on someone born or baptized in the month of May; it was also used to refer to someone of a sunny disposition, or who had some anecdotal connection with the month of May, such as owing a feudal obligation then. English: nickname from Middle English may ‘young man or woman’. Irish (Connacht and Midlands): when not of English origin (see 1–3 above), this is an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Miadhaigh ‘descendant of Miadhach’, a personal name or byname meaning ‘honorable’, ‘proud’. French: habitational name from any of various places called May or Le May. Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from Mayen, a place in western Germany. Americanized spelling of cognates of 1 in various European languages, for example Swedish Ma(i)j. Chinese : possibly a variant of Mei 1, although this spelling occurs more often for the given name than for the surname.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press