American Surnames

American names are used in the United States. See also about American names.
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AARON Jewish, English
From the given name AARON.
ABBEY English
Indicated a person who lived near an abbey or worked in an abbey, from Middle English abbeye.
ABBOTT English
English cognate of ABATE.
ABEL (1) English, French, Danish, Spanish
Derived from the given name ABEL.
ABNEY English
From the name of a town in Derbyshire, derived from Old English meaning "Abba's island".
ABRAHAM Jewish, English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch
Derived from the given name ABRAHAM.
ABRAM English
Derived from the given name ABRAHAM.
ABRAMS Jewish, English
Means "son of ABRAHAM".
ABRAMSON English
Means "son of ABRAHAM".
ACKER German, English
Denoted a person who lived near a field, derived from Middle English aker or Middle High German acker meaning "field".
ACKERMAN English
Means "ploughman", derived from Middle English aker "field" and man.
ADAIR English
Derived from the given name EDGAR.
ADAM English, French, German, Polish, Romanian, Jewish
Derived from the given name ADAM.
ADAMS English, Jewish
Derived from the given name ADAM.
ADAMSON English
Means "son of ADAM".
ADCOCK English
Derived from a diminutive of the given name ADAM.
ADDISON English
Means "son of ADDY (2)".
ADKINS English
Variant of ATKINS.
AIKEN English
From the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive of ADAM.
AINSWORTH English
Habitational name for a person from the village of Ainsworth near Manchester, itself from the Old English given name Ægen and worþ meaning "enclosure".
AITKEN Scots, English
Derived from the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive of ADAM.
AKERS English
Variant of ACKER.
ALAN English, Scottish
Derived from the given name ALAN.
ALBERT English, French, Catalan, Hungarian, Romanian, German
Derived from the given name ALBERT.
ALBERTS English, Dutch
Means "son of ALBERT".
ALBERTSON English
Means "son of ALBERT".
ALBINSON English, Swedish
Means "son of ALBIN".
ALDEN English
Derived from the Old English given name EALDWINE.
ALEXANDER English
Derived from the given name ALEXANDER.
ALFREDSON English
Means "son of ALFRED".
ALGER English
From the given name ALGAR.
ALLAN English, Scottish
Derived from the given name ALAN.
ALLARD French, English
Derived from the given name ADALHARD (or the Old English cognate ÆÐELRÆD).
ALLEN English, Scottish
Derived from the given name ALAN.
ALLSOPP English
From the name of the village of Alsop en la Dale in Derbyshire, England. It means "Ælli's valley" in Old English.
ALVEY English
Derived from the given name ÆLFWIG.
ALVIN English
Variant of ELWYN.
ANDERSON English
Means "son of ANDREW".
ANDREWS English
Means "son of ANDREW".
ANSEL English
Derived from the given name ANSELM.
ANSON English
Means "son of AGNES".
APPLEBY English
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English æppel "apple" and Old Norse býr "farm, settlement".
APPLETON English
From the name of several English towns, meaning "orchard" in Old English (a compound of æppel "apple" and tun "enclosure, yard").
APTED English
Probably from an unidentified place name meaning "up tower" in Old English.
ARCHER English
Occupational name for one who practiced archery, from Latin arcus "bow" (via Old French).
ARKWRIGHT English
Occupational name for a chest maker, from Middle English arc meaning "chest, coffer" and wyrhta meaning "maker, craftsman".
ARMISTEAD English
Means "hermitage", indicating a person who lived near one, from Middle English ermite "hermit" and stede "place".
ARMSTRONG English
Means "strong arm" from Middle English. Tradition holds that the family is descended from Siward, an 11th-century Earl of Northumbria. Famous bearers of this name include the Americans Louis Armstrong (1901-1971), a jazz musician, and Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), an astronaut who was the first person to walk on the moon.
ARNOLD English
Derived from the given name ARNOLD.
ARRINGTON English
From the name of a town in Cambridgeshire, originally meaning "Earna's settlement" in Old English (Earna being a person's nickname meaning "eagle").
ARTHUR English, French
From the given name ARTHUR.
ARTHURSON English
Means "son of ARTHUR".
ASH English
From Old English æsc meaning "ash tree", indicating a person who lived near ash trees.
ASHLEY English
Denoted a person hailing from one of the many places in England that bear this name. The place name itself is derived from Old English æsc "ash tree" and leah "woodland, clearing".
ASHWORTH English
From an English place name meaning "ash enclosure" in Old English.
ASTON (1) English
From a place name meaning "east town" in Old English.
ASTON (2) English
From the Old English given name ÆÐELSTAN.
ATKINS English
Means "son of Atkin", a medieval diminutive of ADAM.
ATKINSON English
Means "son of Atkin", a medieval diminutive of ADAM.
ATTAWAY English
Means "at the way", originally denoting someone who lived close to a road.
ATTEBERRY English
Means "dweller at the fortified town" from Middle English at and burh "fortified place".
ATWATER English
From Middle English meaning "dweller at the water".
ATWOOD English
From Middle English meaning "dweller at the wood".
AUDLEY English
From a place name meaning "EALDGYÐ's clearing" in Old English.
AUGUSTINE English
From the given name AUGUSTINE (1).
AUSTIN English
Derived from the given name AUSTIN.
AVERILL English
Derived from the feminine given name EOFORHILD.
AVERY English
Derived from a Norman French form of the given names ALBERICH or ALFRED.
AYERS (1) English
From Middle English eir meaning "heir".
AYERS (2) English
Derived from the given name EALHHERE.
AYERS (3) English
Indicated a person from the town of Ayr in Scotland. The town was named for the river that flows through it, itself derived from an Indo-European root meaning "water".
AYLMER English
Derived from the Old English name ÆÐELMÆR.
AYTON English
From the name of towns in Berwickshire and North Yorkshire. They are derived from Old English ea "river" or eg "island" combined with tun "enclosure, yard, town".
BABCOCK English
Derived from the medieval name Bab, possibly a diminutive of BARTHOLOMEW or BARBARA.
BACKUS English
Means "bakery", an occupational name for a baker, from Old English bæchus literally "bake house".
BADCOCK English
From a diminutive of the medieval given name BADA.
BAGLEY English
From various English place names, all derived from Old English bagga "bag, badger" combined with leah "woodland, clearing".
BAILEY English
From Middle English baili meaning "bailiff", which comes via Old French from Latin baiulus "porter".
BAINES (2) English
From a nickname derived from Old English ban "bones", probably for a thin person.
BAKER English
Occupational name meaning "baker", derived from Middle English bakere.
BALDWIN English
Derived from the given name BALDWIN.
BALL English
From Middle English bal, Old English beall meaning "ball". This was either a nickname for a rotund or bald person, or a topographic name for someone who lived near a ball-shaped feature.
BANCROFT English
From any of the various places of this name, derived from Old English bean meaning "bean" and croft meaning "small enclosed field".
BANKS English
Originally indicated someone who lived near a hillside or a bank of land.
BANNER English
Occupational name for a flag carrier, derived from Old French baniere meaning "banner", ultimately of Germanic origin.
BANNISTER English
From Norman French banastre meaning "basket". This was originally a name for a maker of baskets.
BARBER English, Scottish
Indicated a barber, one who cut hair for a living.
BARDSLEY English
From the name a village near Manchester, from the Old English given name BEORNRÆD and leah "woodland, clearing".
BARKER English
From Middle English bark meaning "to tan". This was an occupational name for a leather tanner.
BARLOW English
Derived from a number of English place names that variously mean "barley hill", "barn hill", "boar clearing" or "barley clearing".
BARNES English
Denoted a person who worked or lived in a barn. The word barn is derived from Old English bere "barley" and ærn "dwelling".
BARNETT English
Derived from Old English bærnet meaning "a place cleared by burning".
BARR English
Indicated a person who lived near a barrier, from Old French barre.
BARRETT English
Probably derived from a Middle English word meaning "strife", originally given to a quarrelsome person.
BARTON English
From a place name meaning "barley town" in Old English.
BARTRAM English
From the given name BERTRAM.
BASS English
English cognate of BASSO.
BATES English
Means "son of BATE".
BATESON English
Means "son of BATE".
BATTLE English
From a nickname for a combative person. In some cases it may come from the name of English places called Battle, so named because they were sites of battles.
BATTS English
Means "son of BATE".
BAXTER English
Variant (in origin a feminine form) of BAKER.
BEAN English
English cognate of BOHN.
BEASLEY English
From the name of a place in Lancashire, from Old English beos "bent grass" and leah "woodland, clearing".
BEAUMONT French, English
From French place names derived from beau "beautiful" and mont "mountain".
BECK (1) English, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
Cognate of BACH, from Middle English bekke (from Old Norse), Low German beke or Old Norse bekkr all meaning "stream".
BECK (3) English
From a nickname for a person with a big nose, from Middle English beke meaning "beak".
BECK (4) English
From Old English becca meaning "pickaxe", an occupational surname.
BECKETT English
Originally a diminutive of BECK (1) or BECK (3).
BECKHAM English
From an English place name meaning "Becca's homestead". The byname Becca means "pickaxe" in Old English. A famous bearer is retired English soccer player David Beckham (1975-).
BELANGER English
From the given name BERENGAR.
BELCHER English
From a Middle English version of Old French bel chiere meaning "beautiful face". It later came to refer to a person who had a cheerful and pleasant temperament.
BELL (1) English
From Middle English belle meaning "bell". It originated as a nickname for a person who lived near the town bell, or who had a job as a bell-ringer.
BELL (2) English
Derived from the given name Bel, a medieval short form of ISABEL.
BELLAMY French, English
From Old French bel ami meaning "beautiful friend".
BELMONT French, English
French and English form of BELMONTE.
BENBOW English
From a nickname "bend the bow" given to an archer.
BENN English
From a short form of BENEDICT.
BENNET English
Derived from the medieval English given name BENNETT.
BENNETT English
Derived from the medieval English given name BENNETT.
BENSON English
Means "son of BENEDICT".
BENTLEY English
From a place name derived from Old English beonet "bent grass" and leah "woodland, clearing". Various towns in England bear this name.
BENTON English
Denoted someone who came from Benton, England, which is derived from Old English beonet "bent grass" and tun "enclosure".
BERINGER German, English
From the given name BERENGAR.
BERNARD French, English, Dutch, Czech
From the given name BERNARD.
BERRY English
Derived from a place name, which was derived from Old English burh "fortification".
BEST (1) English
Derived from Middle English beste meaning "beast", an occupational name for a keeper of animals or a nickname for someone who acted like a beast. A famous bearer of this surname was soccer legend George Best (1946-2005).
BEVERLY English
Derived from the name of an English city, meaning "beaver stream" in Old English.
BIRD English
Occupational name for a person who raised or hunted birds.
BISHOP English
Means simply "bishop", ultimately from Greek επισκοπος (episkopos) meaning "overseer". It probably originally referred to a person who served a bishop.
BISSET English
From Old French bis meaning "drab, dingy", a nickname for someone who looked drab.
BLACK English
Means either "black" (from Old English blæc) or "pale" (from Old English blac). It could refer to a person with a pale or a dark complexion, or a person who worked with black dye.
BLACKBURN English
From the name of a city in Lancashire, meaning "black stream" in Old English.
BLACKMAN English
From a nickname, a variant of BLACK.
BLACKWOOD English, Scottish
From an English place name meaning "black wood".
BLAKE English
Variant of BLACK. A famous bearer was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).
BLAKELEY English
From name of various English places, derived from Old English blæc "black" and leah "woodland, clearing".
BLAKESLEY English
From the name of a town in Northamptonshire, itself meaning "Blæcwulf's meadow" in Old English. Blæcwulf is a byname meaning "black wolf".
BLANCHARD French, English
Derived from the given name BLANCHARD.
BLOODWORTH English
Originally indicated someone from the town of Blidworth in Nottinghamshire, which was derived from the Old English byname Blīþa (meaning "happy, blithe") combined with worð "enclosure".
BLOXHAM English
From a place name meaning "Blocca's homestead". The Old English byname Blocca is of uncertain origin.
BLUE English
From a nickname for a person with blue eyes or blue clothing.
BLYTHE English
From Old English meaning "happy, joyous, blithe".
BOATWRIGHT English
Occupational name meaning "maker of boats".
BOLTON English
From any of the many places in England called Bolton, derived from Old English bold "house" and tun "enclosure".
BOND English
Occupational name for a peasant farmer, from Middle English bonde.
BONE (1) English
Derived from Old French bon meaning "good".
BONHAM English
English form of BONHOMME.
BONNER English
From Middle English boneire "kind, courteous", derived from Norman French bon aire "good bloodline".
BONNEY English
From northern Middle English boni meaning "pretty, attractive".
BOON (2) English
Originally indicated a person from the town of Bohon, in Manche in France. The town's name is of unknown origin.
BOOTH English
Topographic name derived from Middle English both meaning "hut, stall".
BOTTERILL English
Probably indicated someone from the town of Les Bottereaux in Normandy, itself derived from Old French bot "toad".
BOURKE English
Variant of BURKE.
BOURNE English
Derived from Old English burna "stream, spring".
BOWMAN English
Occupational name for an archer, derived from Middle English bowe, Old English boga meaning "bow".
BOYCE English
From Old French bois meaning "wood", originally given to someone who lived by or in a wood.
BRADDOCK English
From various locations derived from Old English meaning "broad oak".
BRADFORD English
Derived from the name of the city of Bradford in West Yorkshire, which meant "broad ford" in Old English. This is also the name of other smaller towns in England.
BRADLEY English
From a common English place name, derived from brad "broad" and leah "woodland, clearing".
BRAND German, English
Derived from the Germanic given name BRANDO or its Old Norse cognate BRANDR.
BRANDON English
From the name of various places in England meaning "hill covered with broom" in Old English.
BRANSON English
Means "son of BRANDR".
BRASHER English
Means "brass worker", derived from Old English bræs "brass".
BRASSINGTON English
From a place name, which derived from Old English meaning "enclosure by a steep path".
BRAXTON English
From an English place name place name meaning "Bracca's town" in Old English.
BRAY English
From a place name derived from Cornish bre "hill".
BRECKENRIDGE Scottish, English
Originally indicated someone from Brackenrig in Lanarkshire, derived from northern Middle English braken meaning "bracken" (via Old Norse brækni) and rigg meaning "ridge" (via Old Norse hryggr).
BRENT English
Originally derived from the name of a hill (or the village nearby) in Somerset, perhaps derived from a Celtic word meaning "hill".
BRETT English
Originally a name given to someone who was a Breton or a person from Brittany.
BREWER English
Occupational name for a maker of ale or beer.
BREWSTER English
Variant of BREWER, originally a feminine form of the occupational term.
BRICE English
From the given name BRICE.
BRIGHAM English
Originally referred to one who came from a town called Brigham, meaning "homestead by the bridge" in Old English. This is the name of towns in Cumberland and Yorkshire.
BRINLEY English
Possibly from English places named Brindley, derived from Old English berned "burned" and leah "woodland, clearing".
BRISTOL English
From the name of a city in England meaning "the site of the bridge".
BRISTOW English
From the name of the city of Bristol, originally Brycgstow in Old English, meaning "the site of the bridge".
BRITTON English
Originally given to a person who was a Briton (a Celt of England) or a Breton (an inhabitant of Brittany).
BROADBENT English
From a place name derived from Old English brad "broad" and beonet "bent grass".
BROCK English
Derived from Old English brocc meaning "badger", ultimately of Celtic origin.
BRONSON English
Patronymic form of BROWN.
BROOK English
Denoted a person who lived near a brook, a word derived from Old English broc.
BROOKE English
Variant of BROOK.
BROOKS English
Variant of BROOK.
BROWN English
Originally a nickname for a person who had brown hair or skin. A notable bearer is Charlie Brown from the 'Peanuts' comic strip by Charles Schulz.
BROWNE English
Variant of BROWN.
BROWNLOW English
From Old English brun meaning "brown" and hlaw meaning "mound, small hill". The name was probably given to a family living on a small hill covered with bracken.
BRYAN English
From the given name BRIAN.
BRYANT English
From the given name BRIAN.
BRYCE English
From the given name BRICE.
BRYSON English
Means "son of BRICE".
BUCKLEY (1) English
From an English place name derived from bucc "buck, male deer" and leah "woodland, clearing".
BULL English
From a nickname for a person who acted like a bull.
BULLARD English
Possibly a nickname derived from Middle English bole "fraud, deceit".
BULLOCK English
From a nickname meaning "young bull".
BUNKER English
Derived from Old French bon cuer meaning "good heart".
BURKE English, Irish
Derived from Middle English burgh meaning "fortress, fortification, castle". It was brought to Ireland in the 12th century by the Norman invader William FitzAdelm de Burgo.
BURNHAM English
From the name of various towns in England, typically derived from Old English burna "stream, spring" and ham "home, settlement".
BURNS (1) English, Scottish
Derived from Old English burna "stream, spring". A famous bearer was the Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).
BURRELL English
English form of BUREAU.
BURTON English
From a common English place name, derived from Old English meaning "fortified town".
BUSH English
Originally a name for a person who lived near a prominent bush or thicket.
BUTCHER English
Occupational name for a butcher, derived from Old French bouchier.
BUTLER English, Irish
Occupational name derived from Norman French butiller "wine steward", ultimately from Late Latin butticula "bottle". A famous bearer of this surname is the fictional character Rhett Butler, created by Margaret Mitchell for her novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936).
BUTTS English
From a nickname meaning "thick, stumpy", from Middle English butt.
BYRD English
Variant of BIRD.
CALDWELL English
From various English place names derived from Old English ceald "cold" and well "spring, stream, well".
CANNON English
From the ecclesiastical usage of canon, referring to a church official or servant who worked in a clergy house.
CANTRELL English
Originally a name for someone from Cantrell in Devon, from an unknown first element and Old English hyll meaning "hill".
CARL English, German
From the given name CARL.
CARLISLE English
From the name of a city in northern England. The city was originally called by the Romans Luguvalium meaning "stronghold of LUGUS". Later the Brythonic element ker "fort" was appended to the name of the city.
CARMAN (1) English
Occupational name for a carter, from Middle English carre "cart" (of Latin origin) and man "man".
CARMAN (2) English
From an Old Norse byname derived from karlmann meaning "male, man".
CARPENTER English
From the occupation, derived from Middle English carpentier (ultimately from Latin carpentarius meaning "carriage maker").
CARTER English
Occupational name for a person who operated a cart to transport goods, from Norman French caretier. A famous bearer is the former American president Jimmy Carter (1924-).
CARTWRIGHT English
Occupational name indicating one who made carts.
CARVER English
Occupational surname for a carver, from Middle English kerve "cut".
CASON English
From the English place name Cawston, derived from the Old Norse given name KÁLFR combined with Old English tun meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
CASTLE English
From Middle English castel meaning "castle", from Late Latin castellum, originally indicating a person who lived near a castle.
CAULFIELD English
From a place name meaning "cold field", from Old English ceald "cold" and feld "pasture, field".
CAUSER English
Occupational name for one who made leggings, derived from Old French chausse "leggings".
CAUSEY English
Indicated a person who lived near a causeway, from Old French caucie.
CHADWICK English
From the name of English towns meaning "settlement belonging to CHAD" in Old English.
CHAMBERLAIN English
Occupational name for one who looked after the inner rooms of a mansion, from Norman French chambrelain.
CHAMBERS English
From Old French chambre "chamber, room", an occupational name for a person who worked in the inner rooms of a mansion.
CHANCE English
From a nickname for a lucky person or a gambler.
CHANCELLOR English
Occupational name for an administrator, a chancellor, from Norman French chancelier.
CHANDLER English
Occupational name meaning "candle seller" or "candle maker" in Middle English, ultimately derived from Old French.
CHAPMAN English
Occupational name derived from Old English ceapmann meaning "merchant, trader".
CHASE English
Occupational name for a hunter, from Middle English chase "hunt".
CHESHIRE English
Originally indicated a person from the county of Cheshire in England. Cheshire is named for its city CHESTER.
CHESTER English
From the name of a city in England, derived from Latin castrum "camp, fortress".
CHRISTIAN French, German, English
Derived from the given name CHRISTIAN.
CHRISTIANS English
Derived from the given name CHRISTIAN.
CHRISTOPHER English
Derived from the given name CHRISTOPHER.
CHRISTOPHERS English
Derived from the given name CHRISTOPHER.
CHURCH English
From the English word, derived from Old English cirice, ultimately from Greek κυριακον (kyriakon) meaning "(house) of the lord". It probably referred to a person who lived close to a church.
CLARK English
Means "cleric" or "scribe", from Old English clerec meaning "priest", ultimately from Latin clericus. A famous bearer was William Clark (1770-1838), an explorer of the west of North America.
CLARKE English
Variant of CLARK.
CLARKSON English
Patronymic form of CLARK.
CLAY English
Means simply "clay", originally referring to a person who lived near or worked with of clay.
CLAYTON English
From the name of various places meaning "clay settlement" in Old English.
CLEMENS English
Derived from the given name CLEMENT. This was the surname of the author Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), also known as Mark Twain.
CLEMENT English
Derived from the given name CLEMENT.
CLIFFORD English
Derived from various place names that meant "ford by a cliff" in Old English.
CLIFTON English
Derived from various place names meaning "settlement by a cliff" in Old English.
CLINTON English
Derived from the place name Glympton meaning "settlement on the River Glyme" in Old English.
CLOSE English
From Middle English clos meaning "enclosure", a topographic name for someone who lived near a courtyard or farmyard.
COBB English
From a medieval English byname meaning "lump".
COCK English
Derived from the medieval nickname cok meaning "rooster, cock". The nickname was commonly added to given names to create diminutives such as Hancock or Alcock.
COCKBURN Scottish, English
Originally indicated someone who came from Cockburn, a place in Berwickshire. The place name is derived from Old English cocc "rooster" and burna "stream".
COCKS English
Patronymic form of COCK.
COKE English
Variant of COOK.
COKES English
Variant of COOK.
COLBERT English, French
Derived from the given name COLOBERT.
COLE English
From the Old English byname COLA.
COLEMAN Irish, English
From the given name COLMÁN.
COLLINGWOOD English
From a place name, itself derived from Old French chalenge meaning "disputed" and Middle English wode meaning "woods".
COLT English
Occupational name for a keeper of horses, derived from Middle English colt.
COLTON English
From a place name meaning "COLA's town".