English Surnames

English names are used in English-speaking countries. See also about English names.
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HEADEnglish
From Middle English hed meaning "head", from Old English heafod. It may have referred to a person who had a peculiar head, who lived near the head of a river or valley, or who served as the village headman.
HEADLEYEnglish
From place names meaning "heather clearing" in Old English.
HEATHEnglish
Originally belonged to a person who was a dweller on the heath or open land.
HENDRYScottish, English
Derived from the given name HENRY.
HENRYEnglish
Derived from the given name HENRY.
HENRYSONEnglish
Means "son of HENRY". A bearer of this surname was the poet Robert Henryson (1425-1500).
HENSONEnglish
Means "son of Henne", a medieval diminutive of HENRY.
HEPBURNEnglish, Scottish
From northern English place names meaning "high burial mound" in Old English. It was borne by Mary Queen of Scot's infamous third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwall. Other famous bearers include the actresses Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) and Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
HERBERTEnglish, German, French
Derived from the male given name HERBERT.
HERBERTSONEnglish
Means "son of HERBERT".
HERMANEnglish, Dutch
From the given name HERMAN.
HERMANSONEnglish
Means "son of HERMAN".
HERRIOTEnglish
From an Old French diminutive of the given name HERRY.
HERSHEYEnglish
Originally denoted a person from Hercé in Normandy.
HEWITTEnglish
Derived from a diminutive of the given name HUGH.
HEXTEnglish
From a nickname meaning "tallest" in Middle English. It is most common in the southwest of England in the county of Devon.
HIBBERTEnglish
Derived from the given name HILBERT.
HICKSEnglish
Derived from the medieval given name Hicke, a diminutive of RICHARD.
HIGHTOWEREnglish
Possibly a variant of HAYTER.
HILLEnglish
Originally given to a person who lived on or near a hill, derived from Old English hyll.
HILLAMEnglish
From English places by this name, derived from Old English hyll meaning "hill".
HILTONEnglish
From various English place names derived from Old English hyll "hill" and tun "enclosure, town". Famous bearers of this name include the Hilton family of hotel heirs.
HOBBESEnglish
Derived from the medieval given name HOB. A famous bearer of this name was British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), the author of 'Leviathan'.
HOBBSEnglish
Derived from the medieval given name HOB.
HOBSONEnglish
Means "son of HOB".
HODGESEnglish
Patronymic of Hodge, a medieval diminutive of ROGER.
HODSONEnglish
Means "son of Hodge", a medieval diminutive of ROGER.
HOGGARDEnglish
Occupational name meaning "pig herder", from Old English hogg "hog" and hierde "herdsman, guardian".
HOLLAND (1)English
From various English places of this name, derived from Old English hoh "point of land, heel" and land "land".
HOLLAND (2)Dutch, German, English
Indicated a person from the Dutch province of HOLLAND (1).
HOLLINSEnglish
Referred to someone living by a group of holly trees, from Old English holegn.
HOLMEEnglish, Scottish
Referred either to someone living by a small island (northern Middle English holm, from Old Norse holmr) or near a holly tree (Middle English holm, from Old English holegn).
HOLMESEnglish, Scottish
Variant of HOLME. A famous fictional bearer was Sherlock Holmes, a detective in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery stories beginning in 1887.
HOLTEnglish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian
From Old English, Old Dutch and Old Norse holt meaning "forest".
HOMEWOODEnglish
From various place names derived from Old English ham meaning "home" and wudu meaning "wood".
HONEYCUTTEnglish
Derived from the name of the English town of Hunnacott, derived from Old English hunig "honey" or the given name Huna combined with cot "cottage".
HONEYSETTEnglish
Possibly a variant of HONEYCUTT.
HOOKEREnglish
Originally applied to one who lived near a river bend or corner of some natural feature, from Old English hoc "angle, hook".
HOOPEREnglish
Occupational name for someone who put the metal hoops around wooden barrels.
HOPEEnglish
Derived from Middle English hop meaning "small valley".
HOPKINSEnglish
Patronymic formed from a diminutive of HOB.
HOPPEREnglish
Occupational name for an acrobat or a nickname for someone who was nervous or restless. A famous bearer was the American actor Dennis Hopper (1936-2010).
HORNEnglish, German, Norwegian, Danish
From the Germanic word horn meaning "horn". This was an occupational name for one who carved objects out of horn or who played a horn, or a person who lived near a horn-shaped geographical feature, such as a mountain or a bend in a river.
HORNEEnglish
Variant of HORN.
HORSFALLEnglish
From a minor place in Yorkshire derived from Old English hors "horse" and fall "clearing".
HORTONEnglish
From the names of various places in England which are derived from Old English horh "dirt, mud" and tun "enclosure, yard, town".
HOUSEEnglish
Referred to a person who lived or worked in a house, as opposed to a smaller hut.
HOWARD (1)English
Derived from the given name HUGHARD or HÁVARÐR.
HOWARD (2)English
Occupational name meaning "ewe herder", from Old English eowu "ewe" and hierde "herdsman, guardian".
HOWEEnglish
Name for one who lived on a hill, from Middle English how "hill" (of Norse origin).
HOWSEEnglish
Variant of HOWE.
HUDDLESONEnglish
Means "son of Hudel", a diminutive of HUDDE.
HUDDLESTONEnglish
From the name of a town in the Yorkshire region of England, which means "Hudel's town" in Old English.
HUDNALLEnglish
From various English place names, derived from the Old English given name Huda combined with halh "nook, recess".
HUDSONEnglish
Means "son of HUDDE".
HUFFEnglish
Means "spur of a hill", from Old English hoh.
HUGHES (1)English
Patronymic of the given name HUGH.
HULLEnglish
Variant of HILL.
HUMEScottish, English
Variant of HOLME. A famous bearer was the philosopher David Hume (1711-1776).
HUMPHREYEnglish
Derived from the given name HUMPHREY.
HUNNISETTEnglish
Possibly a variant of HONEYCUTT.
HUNTEnglish
Variant of HUNTER.
HUNTEREnglish, Scottish
Occupational name which referred to someone who hunted for a living, from Old English hunta.
HURSTEnglish
Originally a name for a person who lived near a thicket of trees, from Old English hyrst "thicket".
HUXLEYEnglish
From the name of a town in Cheshire. The final element is Old English leah "woodland, clearing", while the first element might be hux "insult, scorn". A famous bearer was the British author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).
HUXTABLEEnglish
Derived from the name of an English place meaning "hook post", from Old English hoc "hook" and stapol "post".
HYLAND (1)English
Topographic name meaning "high land", from Old English heah and land.
IBBOTEnglish
Variant of IBBOTT.
IBBOTTEnglish
Matronymic surname derived from the old feminine name Ibota, which in turn was derived from ISABEL, the oldest form of ELIZABETH to be introduced into England.
IKINEnglish
Derived from a diminutive of the medieval given name IDA.
ILBERTEnglish
Derived from a Norman French form of the Germanic given name HILDIBERHT.
INGHAMEnglish
From an English place name meaning "INGA's homestead".
INGRAMEnglish
Derived from the Norman French given name ENGUERRAND.
IRVINEnglish
Variant of IRVING or IRWIN.
IRVINGScottish, English
Originally derived from a Scottish place name (in North Ayrshire) meaning "green water".
IRWINEnglish
Derived from the Old English given name EOFORWINE.
ISAACSONEnglish
Means "son of ISAAC".
IVERSEnglish, Irish
Patronymic derived from the given name IVOR.
JACKEnglish, Scottish
From the given name JACK.
JACKSONEnglish
Means "son of JACK". A famous bearer of this name was American president Andrew Jackson (1767-1845). Another famous bearer was the singer Michael Jackson (1958-2009).
JACOBSEnglish, Dutch
Derived from the given name JACOB.
JACOBSONEnglish
Means "son of JACOB".
JAKEMAN (1)English
English form of the French name Jacquème (see JAMES).
JAKEMAN (2)English
Means "servant of JACK".
JAMESEnglish
Derived from the given name JAMES.
JAMESONEnglish
Means "son of JAMES".
JAMISONEnglish
Means "son of JAMES".
JARDINEScottish, English
Means "garden", denoting someone who worked as a gardener.
JARVISEnglish
Derived from the given name GERVAIS.
JEANES (1)English
The first record of this name comes from records of William the Conqueror's land grants to his supporters during the Conquest of England. The name at that time was De Genez, which indicated a person who came from Genez in Normandy. Over the years the De was dropped and the name was corrupted in Britain to Jeanes. Recently it has been suggested that De Genez did not refer to a place name in Normandy, as might be expected, but instead to Genoa, Italy, making the etymology of this surname the same as the etymology of the jeans in blue jeans (jeans is from Genoa, the fabric having originated in Genoa).
JEANES (2)English
Derived from the given name Jan, a medieval form of JOHN.
JEFFERSEnglish
Patronymic of the given name JEFFREY. A famous bearer was poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962).
JEFFERSONEnglish
Means "son of JEFFREY". A famous bearer was American president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).
JEFFERYEnglish
Derived from the given name JEFFREY.
JEFFRIESEnglish
Derived from the given name JEFFREY.
JEKYLLEnglish
Derived from the Breton given name JUDICAËL. This name was used by Robert Louis Stevenson for the character of Dr Henry Jekyll in the book 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' (1886).
JENKINSEnglish
From the given name Jenkin, a medieval diminutive of Jen, itself a Middle English form of JOHN.
JENNINGSEnglish
From the given name Jenyn, a medieval diminutive of Jen, itself a Middle English form of JOHN.
JEPSONEnglish
Means "son of JEP".
JERNIGANWelsh, English
Derived from the Old Breton name Iarnuuocon meaning "iron famous".
JEROMEEnglish
Derived from the given name JEROME. A famous bearer of this surname was the American-born Jennie Jerome, Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Sir Winston Churchill.
JEWELEnglish
Variant of JEWELL.
JEWELLEnglish
Derived from the Breton given name JUDICAËL.
JINKSEnglish
Means "son of Jenk", Jenk meaning "little JOHN".
JOHNSEnglish
Derived from the given name JOHN.
JOHNSONEnglish
Means "son of JOHN". Famous bearers include American presidents Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973).
JOINEREnglish
Occupational surname for a carpenter (that is, a person who joined wood together to make furniture).
JONESEnglish, Welsh
Derived from the given name Jon, a medieval variant of JOHN.
JORDAN (1)English, French
Derived from the given name JORDAN.
JOSEPHSEnglish
Derived from the given name JOSEPH.
JOSEPHSONEnglish
Means "son of JOSEPH".
JUDDEnglish
Derived from the medieval name JUDD.
KAY (1)English
Derived from the given name KAY (2).
KAY (2)English
Derived from Middle English kaye "wharf, quay". A name for one who lived near or worked on a wharf.
KEENEnglish
From Old English cene "bold, brave".
KEIGHLEYEnglish
Derived from an English place name meaning "clearing belonging to Cyhha". The Old English given name Cyhha is of unknown meaning.
KELLOGGEnglish
From the Middle Ages, a name for a butcher meaning "killer of hogs".
KELSEYEnglish
From an English place name meaning "Cenel's island", from the Old English name Cenel "fierce" in combination with eg "island".
KEMPEnglish
Derived from Middle English kempe meaning "champion, warrior".
KENDALLEnglish
Derived from the town of Kendale in England, and was so called from the river Kent, on which it is situated, and dael "valley, dale". Therefore, it means "valley on the river Kent".
KENDRICK (1)English
From the Old English given names CYNERIC or CENRIC.
KENNARDEnglish
Derived from the given names CYNEWEARD or CYNEHEARD.
KERSEYEnglish
From an English place name meaning "watercress island".
KEVINSEnglish
Means "son of KEVIN".
KEVINSONEnglish
Means "son of KEVIN".
KEYEnglish
Variant of KAY (1) or KAY (2).
KEYSEnglish
Variant of KAY (1).
KIDDEnglish, Scottish
From a nickname meaning "young goat, kid" in Middle English.
KILLAMEnglish
Denoted one who hailed from the English town of Kilham, meaning "kiln hamlet".
KIMBALLEnglish
Derived from the Welsh given name CYNBEL or the Old English given name CYNEBALD.
KIMBERLEYEnglish
From various English places called Kimberley. They mean either "CYNEBURGA's field", "CYNEBALD's field" or "CYNEMÆR's field".
KINGEnglish
From Old English cyning, originally a nickname for someone who either acted in a kingly manner or who worked for or was otherwise associated with a king.
KINGSLEYEnglish
From a place name meaning "king's clearing" in Old English.
KINGSTONEnglish
From a place name meaning "king's town" in Old English.
KINSLEYEnglish
Derived from the given name CYNESIGE.
KIPLINGEnglish
From the name of a town in Yorkshire. A famous bearer of this name is the author Rudyard Kipling.
KIRBYEnglish
Derived from Kirkeby, a name for numerous locations in northern England. Kirkeby is derived from kirkja and byr, two Norse words meaning "church" and "settlement" respectively.
KITCHENEnglish
Occupational name for a person who worked in a kitchen (of a monastery for example).
KNAGGSEnglish
Found most commonly in the north of England, in particular Yorkshire. It means "someone that lived by a knagg (a small mound)".
KNIGHTEnglish
From Old English cniht meaning "knight" or "tenant serving as a mounted soldier".
KYNASTONEnglish
Originally derived from a place name meaning "CYNEFRITH's town" in Old English.
LACEYEnglish
Variant of LACY.
LACYEnglish
Derived from Lassy, the name of a town in Normandy. The name of the town was Gaulish in origin, perhaps deriving from a personal name which was Latinized as Lascius.
LAMARFrench, English
Originally from a place name in Normandy, which was derived from Old French la mare meaning "the pool".
LANE (1)English
Originally designated one who lived by a lane, a narrow way between fences or hedges, later used of any narrow pathway, including one between houses in a town.
LANGDONEnglish
Derived from an Old English place name meaning "long hill" (effectively meaning "ridge").
LANGLEY (1)English
From any of the various places with this name, all derived from Old English lang "long" and leah "woodland, clearing".
LARSONEnglish
Means "son of Lar", where Lar is a medieval diminutive of LAURENCE (1).
LAWEnglish
Derived from old English hlaw "hill".
LAWRENCEEnglish
Derived from the given name LAURENCE (1). Famous bearers include revolutionary T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935) and author D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930).
LAYTONEnglish
Derived from a place name meaning "settlement with a leek garden" in Old English.
LEACHEnglish
Originally indicated a person who was a physician. It comes from the medieval practice of using leeches to bleed people of ills.
LEAVITTEnglish
From Livet, a region in Normandy, France. Vikings conquered the area and a particular family had taken up the name by the time of the Battle of Hastings 1066, when William the Conqueror invaded England.
LEDFORDEnglish
Means "path leading across a ford" from Old English lædan, Middle English leden "to lead" and ford, a shallow area in a stream that may be crossed by wading.
LEE (1)English
Originally given to a person who lived on or near a leah, Old English meaning "woodland, clearing".
LEONARDEnglish
Derived from the given name LEONARD.
LEONARDSONEnglish
Means "son of LEONARD".
LEWINEnglish
Derived from the given name LEOFWINE.
LEWIS (1)English
Derived from the given name LEWIS. The author C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) was a bearer of this surname.
LINCOLNEnglish
Originally indicated that the bearer was from the English city of Lincoln, called Lindum Colonia by the Romans, derived from Brythonic lindo "lake, pool" and Latin colonia "colony". A famous bearer was Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), president of the United States during the American Civil War.
LINDSAYEnglish, Scottish
From the region of Lindsey in Lincolnshire, which means "LINCOLN island" in Old English.
LINTONEnglish
Originally from place names meaning either "flax town" or "linden tree town" in Old English.
LINWOODEnglish
Originally derived from a place name meaning "stream forest" in Old English.
LITTLEEnglish
Derived from a nickname given to a short person.
LOCKWOODEnglish
From an English place name meaning "enclosure forest".
LOMANEnglish
From the name of the River Loman in Devon.
LONDONEnglish
From the name of the capital city of the United Kingdom, the meaning of which is uncertain.
LONGEnglish
Originally a nickname for a person who had long limbs or who was tall.
LONGSTAFFEnglish
Name for a tipstaff or beadle who carried a long staff as a badge of office, or else referred to someone who was very tall.
LOVEEnglish
From the Old English given name Lufu meaning "love".
LOVELEnglish
Variant of LOWELL.
LOWEnglish, Scottish
Variant of LAW.
LOWELLEnglish
Derived from a Norman French nickname, from lou "wolf" and a diminutive suffix.
LOWRYScottish, English
From a diminutive of LAURENCE (1).
LUCASEnglish, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch
Derived from the given name LUCAS. A famous bearer of this surname is George Lucas (1944-), the creator of the 'Star Wars' movies.
LUKESONEnglish
Means "son of LUKE".
LUMEnglish
From places in Lancashire and West Yorkshire called Lumb, both apparently originally named for Old English lum(m) "pool". The word is not independently attested, but appears also in Lomax and Lumley, and may be reflected in the dialect term lum denoting a well for collecting water in a mine. In some instances the name may be topographical for someone who lived by a pool, Middle English lum(m).
LUNDDanish, Swedish, Norwegian, English
Indicated a person who lived near a grove of trees, from Old Norse lundr meaning "grove". There are towns in Sweden and Britain called Lund.
LYNDONEnglish
Originally from a place name meaning "linden tree hill" in Old English.
LYNNEnglish
From the Welsh word llyn meaning "lake".
LYON (1)English, French
Habitational name from either the Lyon in southern central France, or Lyons-la-Forêt in Eure, Normandy.
LYON (2)English, French
Either from the given name LEON or else a nickname meaning "lion".
MACEYEnglish
Variant of MASSEY.
MACYEnglish
Variant of MASSEY.
MADISONEnglish
Means "son of MAUD". A famous bearer of this surname was the fourth American president James Madison (1751-1836).
MALLORYEnglish
From Old French maloret meaning "unfortunate, unlucky", a term introduced to England by the Normans.
MANNGerman, English
From a nickname meaning "man". This may have originally been given in order to distinguish the bearer from a younger person with the same name.
MARCHANDEnglish, French
Occupational surname meaning "merchant", ultimately from Latin mercari "to trade".
MARKEnglish
Derived from the given name MARK.
MARLEYEnglish
Originally denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in Britain called Marley, ultimately meaning either "pleasant wood", "boundary wood" or "marten wood" in Old English. One of the main characters in Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' (1843) bears this last name.
MARLOWEnglish
Originally a name for a person from Marlow (Buckinghamshire), England. The place name means "remnants of a lake" from Old English mere "lake" and lafe "remnants, remains".
MARSDENEnglish
From a place name derived from Old English mearc "boundary" and denu "valley".
MARSHALLEnglish
Derived from Middle English mareschal "a marshal", ultimately derived from Germanic marah "horse" and scalc "servant". It originally referred to someone who took care of horses.
MARSTONEnglish
From a place name derived from Old English mersc "marsh" and tun "enclosure".
MARTEL (1)English, French
Derived from the given name Martel, a medieval diminutive of MARTIN.
MARTEL (2)French, English
Nickname for a smith, derived from old French martel "hammer", ultimately from Latin martellus.
MARTINEnglish, French, German, Czech
Derived from the given name MARTIN.
MARTINSEnglish
Derived from the given name MARTIN.
MARTINSONEnglish
Means "son of MARTIN".
MASONEnglish
Occupational name for a stoneworker or layer of bricks, from Old French masson, ultimately of Germanic origin (akin to Old English macian "to make").
MASSEYEnglish
Derived from Massy, the name of several towns in France. The name of the town is perhaps derived from a personal name that was Latinized as Maccius.
MASTERSEnglish, Scottish
Means "son of the master" from Middle English maister.
MASTERSONEnglish
Means "son of the master" from Middle English maister.
MATHERSEnglish
Occupational surname meaning "mower" in Old English.
MATHEWSEnglish
Derived from the given name MATTHEW.
MATHEWSONEnglish
Means "son of MATTHEW".
MATTHEWSEnglish
Derived from the given name MATTHEW.
MATTHEWSONEnglish
Means "son of MATTHEW".
MAYEnglish
Derived from the given name MATTHEW.
MAYER (3)English
Occupational name for a mayor, from Middle English mair.
MAYESEnglish
Patronymic form of MAY.
MAYNARDEnglish
Derived from the Germanic given name MEGINHARD.
MEADOWSEnglish
Referred to one who lived in a meadow.
MERCEREnglish
Occupational name for a trader, from Old French mercier.
MERRILLEnglish
Derived from the given name MURIEL.
MERRITTEnglish
From an English place name meaning "boundary gate".
MICHAELEnglish
From the given name MICHAEL.
MICHAELSEnglish
Derived from the given name MICHAEL.
MICHAELSONEnglish
Means "son of MICHAEL".
MIDGLEYEnglish
From a village in England called Midgley which meant "midge (insect) wood" in Old English.
MILBURNEnglish
Derived from a place name meaning "mill stream" in Old English.
MILESEnglish
From the given name MILES.
MILFORDEnglish
Originally derived from various place names all meaning "ford by a mill" in Old English.
MILLEREnglish
Occupational surname referring to a person who owned or worked in a grain mill, from Middle English mille "mill".
MILLHOUSEEnglish
Name for someone whose house was in a mill or who worked in a mill.
MILLSEnglish
Originally given to one who lived near a mill or who worked in a mill, from Middle English mille.
MILLWARDEnglish
Means "guardian of the mill" in Old English.
MILTONEnglish
Derived from an English place name meaning "mill town" in Old English. A famous bearer was John Milton (1608-1674), the poet who wrote "Paradise Lost".
MINETTEnglish
From the medieval given name Minne, derived from the Germanic element minna "love".
MITCHELL (1)English, Scottish
Derived from the given name MICHAEL.
MITCHELL (2)English
From a nickname for a large person, from Old English micel "big".
MONDAY (1)English
Derived from the Old Norse given name Mundi which was a diminutive of names beginning with the element mundr meaning "protection".
MONDAY (2)English
Denoted a person for whom this was a significant day, often the day they would pay their feudal service.
MONTGOMERYEnglish, Scottish
From a place name in Calvados, France meaning "GUMARICH's mountain". A notable bearer was Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), a British army commander during World War II.
MOON (2)English
Originally indicated a person from the town of Moyon in Normandy.
MOORE (1)English
From Middle English mor meaning "open land, bog".
MOORE (2)English
Derived from the given name MAURUS.
MOORE (3)English
Nickname for a person of dark complexion, from Old French more meaning "Moor".
MORRISEnglish, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Derived from the given name MAURICE.
MORRISONEnglish
Means "son of MORRIS".
MORRISSEnglish
Derived from the given name MORRIS.
MOSESJewish, English
Derived from the given name MOSES.
MOTTERSHEADEnglish
Derived from the name of a lost place in Cheshire, from the Old English byname Motere which meant "speaker" and Middle English heved meaning "headland".
MOULDEnglish
From the given name Mauld, a medieval form of MATILDA.
MOUNCEEnglish
Possibly an Americanized form of the German given name Manz.
MUNSONEnglish
Patronymic formed from the Norman French nickname moun meaning "monk".
MURGATROYDEnglish
From a place name meaning "MARGARET's road".
MUTTONEnglish
Referred to someone who took care of sheep (a shepherd), or else someone who in some way resembled a sheep.
MYERSEnglish
Patronymic form of MAYER (3).
MYLESEnglish
Variant of MILES.
NASHEnglish
Derived from the Middle English phrase atten ash "at the ash tree". A famous bearer was the mathematician John Nash (1928-).
NATHANSEnglish
Derived from the given name NATHAN.
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