American Surnames

American names are used in the United States. See also about American names.
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SPARKSEnglish
From an Old Norse nickname or byname derived from sparkr meaning "sprightly".
SPEAREnglish
From Old English spere "spear", an occupational name for a hunter or a maker of spears, or a nickname for a thin person.
SPEARINGEnglish
Patronymic form of SPEAR.
SPEARSEnglish
Patronymic form of SPEAR.
SPEIGHTEnglish
English form of SPECHT, probably a loanword from German or Dutch.
SPENCEREnglish
Occupational name for a person who dispensed provisions to those who worked at a manor, derived from Middle English spense "larder, pantry".
SPOONEREnglish
Occupational name for a maker of spoons or a maker of shingles, derived from Middle English spone meaning "chip of wood, spoon".
SPURLINGEnglish
From Middle English sparewe "sparrow" and the diminutive suffix -ling.
STACEYEnglish
Variant of STACY.
STACKEnglish
From a nickname for a big person, derived from Middle English stack "haystack", of Old Norse origin.
STACKSEnglish
Variant of STACK.
STACYEnglish
Derived from Stace, a medieval form of EUSTACE.
STAFFORDEnglish
From the name of the English city of Stafford, Staffordshire, derived from Old English stæð meaning "wharf, landing place" and ford meaning "ford, river crossing".
STAINTHORPEEnglish
Originally indicated a person from Staindrop, County Durham, England, derived from Old English stæner meaning "stony ground" and hop meaning "valley".
STAMPEnglish
Originally denoted a person from Étampes near Paris. It was called Stampae in Latin, but the ultimate origin is uncertain.
STANFORDEnglish
Derived from various English place names meaning "stone ford" in Old English.
STANLEYEnglish
From various place names meaning "stone clearing" in Old English. A notable bearer was the British-American explorer and journalist Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904).
STANTONEnglish
From one of the many places named Stanton or Staunton in England, derived from Old English stan meaning "stone" and tun meaning "enclosure, town".
STARKEnglish, German
From a nickname meaning "strong, rigid", from Old English stearc or Old High German stark.
STARREnglish
From Middle English sterre meaning "star". This was usually a nickname, but it could also occasionally be a sign name from the name of an inn called the Star.
STATHAMEnglish
From the name of a village in the English county of Cheshire, derived from Old English stæð meaning "wharf, landing place".
STEEDEnglish
Occupational name for one who tended horses, derived from Middle English steed, in turn derived from Old English steda meaning "stallion".
STEELEEnglish
Occupational name for a steelworker, from Old English stele meaning "steel".
STEFFENLow German, English
Derived from the given name STEPHEN.
STEPHENSEnglish
Derived from the given name STEPHEN.
STEPHENSONEnglish
Means "son of STEPHEN".
STERN (1)English
From Old English styrne meaning "stern, severe". This was used as a nickname for someone who was stern, harsh, or severe in manner or character.
STIDOLPHEnglish
From the Old English given name STITHULF.
ST JOHNEnglish
From a place named for Saint JOHN.
STODDARDEnglish
Occupational name for a horse keeper, from Old English stod "stallion, stud" and hierde "herder".
STONEEnglish
Name for a person who lived near a prominent stone or worked with stone, derived from Old English stan.
STRANGEEnglish
Derived from Middle English strange meaning "foreign", ultimately from Latin extraneus.
STREETEnglish
Habitational name for a person who lived in a place called Street, for example in Somerset. It is derived from Old English stræt meaning "Roman road", from Latin strata.
STRICKLANDEnglish
From the name of a town in Cumbria, derived from Old English stirc "calf, young bullock" and land "cultivated land".
STRINGEREnglish
Occupational name for a maker of string or bow strings, from Old English streng "string".
STROUDEnglish
From Old English strod meaning "marshy ground overgrown with brushwood".
STRUDWICKEnglish
From an English place name derived from Old English strod meaning "marshy ground overgrown with brushwood" and wíc meaning "village, town".
STYLESEnglish
Locational name for one who lived near a steep hill, from Old English stigol "stile, set of steps".
SUDWORTHEnglish
From an English place name composed of Old English suþ "south" and worþ "enclosure".
SUMMERFIELDEnglish
Originally indicated the bearer was from a town of this name, derived from Old English sumor "summer" and feld "field".
SUMNEREnglish
Occupational name for a summoner, an official who was responsible for ensuring the appearance of witnesses in court, from Middle English sumner, ultimately from Latin submonere "to advise".
SUTTONEnglish
From various English place names meaning "south town".
SWEETEnglish
From a nickname meaning "sweet, pleasant", from Old English swete.
SWINDLEHURSTEnglish
From the place name Swinglehurst in the Forest of Bowland in central Lancashire, derived from Old English swin "swine, pig", hyll "hill" and hyrst "wood, grove".
SYMONDSEnglish
Derived from the given name SIMON (1).
SYMONSEnglish
Derived from the given name SIMON (1).
TAFTEnglish
Variant of TOFT.
TANNEREnglish
Occupational name for a person who tanned animal hides, from Old English tannian "to tan", itself from Late Latin and possibly ultimately of Celtic origin.
TASHEnglish
From Middle English at asche meaning "at the ash tree".
TASKEREnglish
From Middle English taske meaning "task, assignment". A tasker was a person who had a fixed job to do, particularly a person who threshed grain with a flail.
TATEEnglish
Derived from the Old English given name TATA.
TATHAMEnglish
From the name of the town of Tatham in Lancashire, itself from the Old English given name TATA combined with ham meaning "homestead".
TATTONEnglish
Originally indicated a person from a town by this name, derived from the Old English given name TATA combined with tun meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
TATUMEnglish
Variant of TATHAM.
TAYLOREnglish
Derived from Old French tailleur meaning "tailor", ultimately from Latin taliare "to cut".
TEELEnglish
From Middle English tele meaning "teal, duck".
TENNISONEnglish
Means "son of DENIS".
TENNYSONEnglish
Means "son of DENIS".
TERRELLEnglish
Probably derived from the Norman French nickname tirel meaning "to pull", referring to a stubborn person.
TERRYEnglish
Derived from the medieval name Thierry, a Norman French form of THEODORIC.
THACKEREnglish
Northern Middle English variant of THATCHER.
THATCHEREnglish
Referred to a person who thatched roofs by attaching straw to them, derived from Old English þæc meaning "thatch".
THOMASEnglish, French
Derived from the given name THOMAS.
THOMPSETTEnglish
From a diminutive form of the given name THOMAS.
THOMPSONEnglish
Means "son of THOMAS".
THORBURNEnglish, Scottish
Derived from the Old Norse given name ÞÓRBJÖRN.
THORLEYEnglish
From any of the various places in England called Thornley or Thorley, meaning "thorn clearing" in Old English.
THORNEnglish, Danish
Originally applied to a person who lived in or near a thorn bush.
THORNEEnglish
Variant of THORN.
THORNTONEnglish
From any of the various places in England by this name, meaning "thorn town" in Old English.
THORPEEnglish
From Old Norse þorp meaning "village".
THRUSSELLEnglish
From Old English þrostle meaning "song thrush", referring to a cheerful person.
THURSTANEnglish
Derived from the Old Norse name ÞÓRSTEINN.
THWAITEEnglish
Indicated a dweller in a forest clearing or pasture, from Old Norse þveit "clearing, pasture".
TIFFTEnglish
Variant of TOFT.
TIMBERLAKEEnglish
From an English place name, derived from Old English timber "timber, wood" and lacu "lake, pool, stream".
TINDALLEnglish
From Tindale, the name of a town in Cumbria, derived from the name of the river Tyne combined with Old English dæl "dale, valley".
TINKEREnglish
Occupational name for a mender of kettles, pots and pans. The name could derive from the tinking sound made by light hammering on metal. It is possible that the word comes from the word tin, the material with which the tinker worked.
TIPTONEnglish
Originally given to one who came from the town of Tipton, derived from the Old English given name Tippa combined with tun "enclosure, yard, town".
TITTENSOREnglish
Indicated a person from Tittensor, England, which means "Titten's ridge".
TOBIASEnglish, German, Jewish
From the given name TOBIAS.
TOBINEnglish
From a diminutive of the given name TOBIAS.
TODEnglish
Variant of TODD.
TODDEnglish
Means "fox", derived from Middle English todde.
TOFTEnglish
Denoted a person hailing from one of the many places in Britain of that name, derived from Old Norse topt meaning "homestead".
TOLBERTEnglish
Possibly from a Germanic given name of unknown meaning, the second element of the name is derived from beraht meaning "bright, famous".
TOLLEMACHEEnglish
Means "knapsack" in Old French.
TOLLEREnglish
Occupational name meaning "tax gatherer", derived from Old English toln "toll, fee, tax".
TOWNSENDEnglish
Indicated a person who lived at the town's edge, from Old English tun "enclosure, yard, town" and ende "end, limit".
TRACEY (1)English
From the village of Tracy-sur-mer on the Normandy coast in France. It was brought to England with William the Conqueror.
TRASKEnglish
Originally indicated a person from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, derived from Old Norse þresk meaning "fen, marsh".
TRAVERSEnglish, French
From an English and French place name that described a person who lived near a bridge or ford, or occasionally as an occupational name for the collector of tolls at such a location. The place name is derived from Old French traverser (which comes from Late Latin transversare), which means "to cross".
TRAVESEnglish
English variant of TRAVERS.
TRAVISEnglish
English variant of TRAVERS.
TRAVISSEnglish
English variant of TRAVERS.
TRAYLOREnglish
Meaning unknown.
TRELOAREnglish
Originally denoted a person from a place of this name in Cornwall, England.
TRENGOVEEnglish
Originally indicated a person from Trengove in Cornwall, England.
TRENTEnglish
Denoted one who lived near the River Trent in England.
TREVISEnglish
English variant of TRAVERS.
TRIGGSEnglish
From a byname derived from Old Norse tryggr meaning "true, loyal".
TRUMANEnglish
Means "trusty man" in Middle English. A famous bearer of the surname was American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972).
TUCKEREnglish
Occupational name for a fuller of cloth, derived from Old English tucian meaning "offend, torment".
TUFFEnglish
Variant of TUFT.
TUFTEnglish
Denoted one who lived near a clump of trees or bushes, from Middle English tufte "tuft, clump", from Old French.
TUPPEREnglish
Occupational name for a herdsman, derived from Middle English toupe "ram".
TURNBULLEnglish, Scottish
Nickname for someone thought to be strong enough to turn around a bull.
TURNEREnglish
Occupational name for one who worked with a lathe, derived from Old English turnian "to turn", of Latin origin.
TYLEREnglish
Occupational name for a tiler of roofs, derived from Old English tigele "tile". A famous bearer of this name was American president John Tyler (1790-1862).
TYSON (1)English
Derived from a nickname for a quarrelsome person, from Old French tison meaning "firebrand".
UNDERHILLEnglish
Means "dweller at the foot of a hill", from Old English under and hyll.
UNDERWOODEnglish
Means "dweller at the edge of the woods", from Old English under and wudu.
UPTONEnglish
Denoted a person hailing from one of the many towns in England which bear this name. The place name itself is derived from Old English upp "up" and tun "enclosure, yard, town".
VANCEEnglish
Indicated a dweller by a fen, from Old English fenn meaning "fen, marsh".
VANNEnglish
From Old English fenn meaning "fen, swamp, peat", indicating a person who lived near such a place.
VARLEYEnglish
Originally denoted a person from Verly, France, itself derived from the Roman name Virilius.
VERITYEnglish
From a nickname meaning "truth", perhaps given originally to a truthful person.
VERNONEnglish
Locational name in the Eure region of Normandy, from the Gaulish element vern "alder (tree)" with the genitive case maker onis.
VICTORFrench, English
Derived from the male given name VICTOR.
VICTORSEnglish
Derived from the given name VICTOR.
VINCENT (1)English, French
From the given name VINCENT.
VIPONDEnglish
From Vieux-Pont, the name of various places in Normandy, derived from French vieux "old" and pont "bridge".
VIRGOEnglish
Possibly from Latin virgo "virgin, maiden". It may have been a nickname for an actor who played the Virgin Mary in mystery plays, or for a shy man or a lecher.
WADE (1)English
Derived from the Old English place name wæd meaning "a ford".
WADE (2)English
From the Old English given name Wada, a derivative of the word wadan "to go".
WAKEFIELDEnglish
Originally indicated a person who came from the English city of Wakefield, derived from Old English wacu "wake, vigil" and feld "field".
WALKEREnglish
Occupational name for a person who walked on damp raw cloth in order to thicken it. It is derived from Middle English walkere, Old English wealcan meaning "to move".
WALLACEScottish, English, Irish
Means "foreigner, stranger, Celt" from Norman French waleis (of Germanic origin). It was often used to denote native Welsh and Bretons. A famous bearer was the 13th-century Sir William Wallace of Scotland.
WALLER (1)English
Derived from Old French gallier meaning "a person with a pleasant temper".
WALLER (2)English
Derived from Old English weall meaning "wall", denoting a builder of walls or someone who lived near a prominent wall.
WALLER (3)English
From Old English well meaning "well, spring, water hole".
WALMSLEYEnglish
Originally denoted a person from the English town of WALMERSLEY.
WALSHEnglish, Irish
From Old English wælisc meaning "foreigner, stranger, Celt".
WALTEREnglish, German
Derived from the given name WALTER.
WALTERSEnglish
Derived from the given name WALTER.
WALTERSONEnglish
Means "son of WALTER".
WALTONEnglish
From the name of any of several villages in England, derived from Old English wealh "foreigner, Celt", weald "forest", weall "wall", or well "well, spring, water hole" combined with tun "enclosure".
WARD (1)English
Derived from Old English weard meaning "guard, guardian".
WARDROBEEnglish
From Old French warder "to guard" and robe "garment", an occupational name for a servant responsible for the clothing in a household.
WARE (1)English
From Old English wer meaning "dam, weir", indicating someone who lived near such a structure.
WARE (2)English
From the Middle English nickname ware meaning "wary, astute, prudent".
WARREN (1)English
Denoted a person who lived near a warren, from Norman French warrene meaning "animal enclosure" (of Germanic origin).
WARREN (2)English
Originally denoted a person from the town of La Varenne in Normandy, which may derive from a Gaulish word meaning "sandy soil".
WARWICKEnglish
From the name of an English town, itself derived from Old English wer "weir, dam" and wíc "village, town".
WASHEnglish
Derived from the Norman name WAZO.
WASHINGTONEnglish
From a place name meaning "settlement belonging to Wassa's people", from the given name WASSA and Old English tun meaning "enclosure, yard, town". A famous bearer was George Washington (1732-1799), the first president of the United States.
WATERMAN (1)English
Means "servant of WALTER".
WATERMAN (2)English, Dutch
Occupational name for a boatman or a water carrier. It could also describe a person who lived by water.
WATERS (1)English
Originally given to a person who lived near the water.
WATERS (2)English
Derived from the given name WALTER.
WATKINSEnglish
Derived from the Middle English given name Wat or Watt, which was a diminutive of the name WALTER.
WATSONEnglish, Scottish
Patronymic derived from the Middle English given name Wat or Watt, a diminutive of the name WALTER.
WATTEnglish
Derived from the Middle English given name Wat or Watt, a diminutive of the name WALTER.
WATTSEnglish
Patronymic derived from the Middle English given name Wat or Watt, a diminutive of the name WALTER.
WAYEnglish
From Old English weg meaning "way, road, path".
WAYNEEnglish
Occupational name meaning "wagon maker, cartwright", derived from Old English wægn "wagon". A famous bearer was the American actor John Wayne (1907-1979).
WEAVER (1)English
Occupational name for a weaver, derived from Old English wefan "to weave".
WEAVER (2)English
From the name of the River Weaver, derived from Old English wefer meaning "winding stream".
WEBBEnglish
Occupational name meaning "weaver", from Old English webba, a derivative of wefan "to weave".
WEBSTEREnglish
Occupational name meaning "weaver", from Old English webba, a derivative of wefan "to weave".
WEEKESEnglish
Derived from Old English wíc meaning "village, town".
WELCHEnglish
Variant of WALSH.
WELLSEnglish
Derived from Middle English welle meaning "well, spring, water hole".
WEMBLEYEnglish
From the name of a town, now part of Greater London, meaning "WEMBA's clearing" in Old English.
WESTEnglish, German
Denoted a person who lived to the west of something, or who came from the west.
WESTBROOKEnglish
From the name of places in England, derived from Old English west "west" and broc "brook, stream".
WESTCOTTEnglish
From any of the several English towns by this name, derived from Old English meaning "west cottage".
WESTLEYEnglish
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English west "west" and leah "woodland, clearing".
WHEELEREnglish
Occupational name for a maker of wagon wheels, derived from Middle English whele "wheel".
WHEELOCKEnglish
Originally indicated a person from the town of Wheelock, England. It was named for the nearby River Wheelock, which is derived from Welsh chwylog meaning "winding".
WHINERYEnglish
From Middle English whin "gorse bush" and wray "nook of land".
WHITAKEREnglish
From a place name composed of Old English hwit "white" and æcer "field".
WHITEEnglish
Originally a nickname for a person who had white hair or a pale complexion, from Old English hwit "white".
WHITNEYEnglish
Originally from the name of an English town, meaning "white island" in Old English.
WHITTEMOREEnglish
From various English place names derived from Old English hwit "white" and mor "moor, heath, bog".
WHITTLEEnglish
From various English place names derived from Old English hwit "white" and hyll "hill".
WICKHAMEnglish
From any of various towns by this name in England, notably in Hampshire. They are derived from Old English wíc "village, town" (of Latin origin) and ham "home, settlement".
WILBUREnglish
From the nickname Wildbor meaning "wild boar" in Middle English.
WILCOXEnglish
From a diminutive of the given name WILLIAM.
WILKERSONEnglish
Means "son of WILKIN".
WILKIEEnglish
Double diminutive of the given name WILLIAM.
WILKINSEnglish
Means "son of WILKIN".
WILKINSONEnglish
Means "son of WILKIN".
WILLARDEnglish
From the given name WILHEARD or WILLIHARD.
WILLIAMEnglish
Derived from the given name WILLIAM.
WILLIAMSEnglish
Means "son of WILLIAM".
WILLIAMSONEnglish
Means "son of WILLIAM".
WILLISEnglish
Derived from the given name WILLIAM. A famous bearer of this surname is actor Bruce Willis (1955-).
WILLOUGHBYEnglish
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English wilig meaning "willow" and Old Norse býr "farm, settlement".
WILMEREnglish
Derived from the given name WILMǢR.
WILSONEnglish
Means "son of WILL".
WILTONEnglish
From any of the English towns named WILTON.
WINCHESTEREnglish
From an English place name, derived from Venta, of Celtic origin, and Latin castrum meaning "camp, fortress".
WINFIELDEnglish
From a place name derived from Old English winn "meadow, pasture" and feld "field".
WINSHIPEnglish
Possibly denoted a person who came from Wincheap Street in Canterbury, England. It is uncertain origin, possibly meaning "wine market" in Old English.
WINSLOWEnglish
Derived from an Old English place name meaning "hill belonging to WINE".
WINSTONEnglish
Derived from the given name WYNNSTAN.
WINTEREnglish, German, Swedish
From Old English winter or Old High German wintar meaning "winter". This was a nickname for a person with a cold personality.
WINTERBOTTOMEnglish
From Old English winter meaning "winter" and botm meaning "ground, soil, bottom". This name probably referred to a winter pasture at the bottom of a lowland valley.
WINTHROPEnglish
Habitational name from the place names WINTHROPE (1) or WINTHROPE (2).
WINTONEnglish
Derived from the name of several English villages. Their names derive from Old English meaning "enclosure belonging to WINE".
WITHERSPOONEnglish
Originally given to a person who dwelt near a sheep enclosure, from Middle English wether "sheep" and spong "strip of land".
WOLFGerman, English
From Middle High German or Middle English wolf meaning "wolf", or else from a Germanic given name beginning with this element.
WOLFEEnglish
Variant of WOLF.
WOMACKEnglish
Of uncertain origin. One theory suggests that it indicated a dweller by a hollow oak tree, derived from Old English womb "hollow" and ac "oak".
WOODEnglish, Scottish
Originally denoted one who lived in or worked in a forest, derived from Old English wudu "wood".
WOODCOCKEnglish
Nickname referring to the woodcock bird.
WOODHAMEnglish
Indicated a person who had a home near a wood, derived from Old English wudu "wood" and ham "home".
WOODROWEnglish
From a place name meaning "row of houses by a wood" in Old English.
WOODWARDEnglish
Occupational name for a forester, meaning "ward of the wood" in Old English.
WOOTTONEnglish
Derived from Old English wudu "wood" and tun "enclosure, town".
WORTHAMEnglish
Derived from the name of a town in Suffolk, England meaning "enclosed homestead".
WRAGGEEnglish
Derived from the Old Danish given name Wraghi, a variant of VRAGI.
WRAYEnglish
Originally denoted someone who came from any of the various places of this name in northern England, from Old Norse vrá meaning "corner, nook".
WRIGHT (1)English
From Old English wyrhta meaning "wright, maker", an occupational name for someone who was a craftsman. Famous bearers were Orville and Wilbur Wright, the inventors of the first successful airplane.
WRIGHT (2)English
Americanized form of DROIT.
WYATTEnglish
From the medieval given name WYOT.
WYMANEnglish
From the Old English given name WIGMUND.
WYNDHAMEnglish
From the name of the town of Wymondham, meaning "home belonging to Wigmund", from the given name WIGMUND combined with Old English ham meaning "home".
WYNNEEnglish
Derived from the given name WINE.
YAPEnglish
From a nickname for a clever or cunning person, from Middle English yap meaning "devious, deceitful, shrewd".
YATESEnglish
From Old English geat meaning "gate", a name for a gatekeeper or someone who lived near a gate.
YONGEnglish
Variant of YOUNG.
YORKEnglish
From the name of the English city of York, which was originally called Eburacon (Latinized as Eboracum), meaning "yew" in Brythonic, but was altered by association with Old English Eoforwic, meaning "pig farm".
YOUNGEnglish
Derived from Old English geong meaning "young". This was a descriptive name to distinguish father from son.
YOUNGEEnglish
Variant of YOUNG.
YOXALLEnglish
Originally indicated a person from the town of Yoxall in Staffordshire, itself derived from Old English geoc "oxen yoke" and halh "nook, recess".
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