Except for aristocrats, wealthy people and well off Jewish merchants did not get surnames in Eastern Europe until the Napoleonic years of the early 19th century. Most of the Jews from countries captured by Napoleon Russia, Poland, and Germany were ordered to get surnames.
However, In Africa, your family name is a mark of your identity and the evidence of your root. The reason for the last names was for sustaining of the family lineage. This reason has shaped the mind of a lot of Africans in different ways. To some African Community, A family that does not have a male child is afraid of breaking the chain of their family linage. Sometimes, they go step further to ensure that this philosophy is maintained. This page contained a lot of African names and their meaning.