Typically surnames can be derived from 4 sources:

1 Local Surnames

eg Kendal (town in Westmorland),Southam (village in Warwickshire), Hartshorn (village in Derbyshire)

2 Surnames of relationships

eg Thompson (son of Thomas), Dunning (son of Dunn in old English)

3Surnames of occupation

eg Fletcher, Cook, Glover, Carpenter

4 Nicknames

eg Dunn ("swarthy one" evolving into Dunning - see above)

An excellent book on the subject is "A Dictionary of English Surnames" by Reaney and Wilson

For more information on some of the surnames on my tree click on the name

Kendell, Montgomery, Gee, Shortgrave, Dunning, Hazlewood