How did the most common last names in Europe come about?
Many surnames stem from a profession. In England, the popular surname Smith is derived from the Old English term meaning "one who works in metal." In Austria, Gruber translates to "miner."
Other names come from a parent's name, such as Ivanov, which translates into "Ivan's" (as in, the child of Ivan), or Dimitrov, which means "son of Dimitar."