--- In India, when someone has the surname Abraham, it usually means that they are originally Christians from the state of Kerala. The trouble is that the surname rarely passes down from one generation to another. There is a curious system of name reversal between fathers and sons. The father's first name becomes the eldest son's last name and his last name becomes the son's first. The only name that stays consistent across generations is the family name. So each person has 3 names (including the family name) and a separate (and usually unrelated) nickname to avoid the confusion caused by this continuous recycling of names.
For example, Kadavil Poulose Abraham's eldest son will be named Kadavil Abraham Poulose, whose eldest son in turn will be named Kadavil Poulose Abraham and so on.
For this reason, although my surname is Abraham, it is not really considered my family name as such due to its instability. That being said, modern-day Keralites are slowly dispensing with this old naming custom and retaining one surname for the whole family.