Surnames Categorized "folk heroes"

This is a list of surnames in which the categories include folk heroes.
usage
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.
Bartosz Polish
Derived from the given name Bartosz.
Bolívar Spanish
From Bolibar, the name of a small Basque village, derived from Basque bolu "mill" and ibar "meadow". This name was borne by the revolutionary Simón Bolívar (1783-1830).
Bonney English
From northern Middle English boni meaning "pretty, attractive".
Boone English
Variant of Boon 1 or Boon 2.
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.
Bruce Scottish
Possibly from the name of the town of Brix in Normandy, which is of unknown meaning. It was brought to Scotland in the 12th century by the Anglo-Norman baron Robert de Brus. It was later borne by his descendant Robert the Bruce, a hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland.
Cassidy Irish
From Irish Ó Caiside meaning "descendant of Caiside". Caiside is a given name meaning "curly haired".
Chapman English
Occupational name derived from Old English ceapmann meaning "merchant, trader".
Chen Chinese
From Chinese (chén) meaning "exhibit, display, old, ancient" and also referring to the former state of Chen, which existed in what is now Henan province from the 11th to 5th centuries BC.
Durand French, English
From Old French durant meaning "enduring", ultimately from Latin durans. This was a nickname for a stubborn person.
Ferreira Portuguese, Galician
Denoted a person from a town named because it was near an iron mine, from Latin ferrum meaning "iron".
Guzmán Spanish
From the name of the town of Guzmán in Burgos, Spain. The town's name itself may be derived from an old Visigothic given name, from the Germanic elements *gautaz "a Geat" and *mannô "person, man".
Hale English
Derived from Old English halh meaning "nook, recess, hollow".
Henry English
Derived from the given name Henry.
Hill English
Originally given to a person who lived on or near a hill, derived from Old English hyll.
Hofer German
Occupational name for a farmer, from German Hof "farm", from Old High German hof "yard, court".
Huerta Spanish
Means "garden, orchard" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin hortus.
Ishikawa Japanese
From Japanese (ishi) meaning "stone" and (kawa) meaning "river, stream".
James English
Derived from the given name James.
Johnson English
Means "son of John". Famous bearers include American presidents Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973).
Jones English, Welsh
Derived from the given name Jon, a medieval variant of John.
Kelly 1 Irish
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Ceallaigh meaning "descendant of Ceallach".
King English
From Old English cyning "king", originally a nickname for someone who either acted in a kingly manner or who worked for or was otherwise associated with a king. A famous bearer was the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968).
Lam Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Lin.
Lin Chinese
From Chinese (lín) meaning "forest".
Lincoln English
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.
López Spanish
Means "son of Lope" in Spanish.
MacGregor Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacGriogair meaning "son of Gregor". It originates from the Highland clan Gregor. A famous bearer was the Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734).
Marion French
Derived from the given name Marion 1.
Martí Catalan
Derived from the given name Martí.
Miyamoto Japanese
From Japanese (miya) meaning "temple, shrine, palace" and (moto) meaning "base, root, origin". A notable bearer is video game pioneer Shigeru Miyamoto (1952-).
Murphy Irish
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Murchadha meaning "descendant of Murchadh". This is the most common Irish surname.
Patton English, Scottish
Diminutive of the medieval name Pate, a short form of Patrick.
Perry 1 English
From Old English pirige meaning "pear tree", a derivative of peru meaning "pear", itself from Latin pirum. A famous bearer was Matthew Perry (1794-1858), the American naval officer who opened Japan to the West.
Petit French, Catalan, English
Means "small, little" derived from Old French and Catalan petit. It was perhaps used for a short, small person or to denote the younger of two individuals.
Reeves English
Variant of Reeve.
Rodríguez Spanish
Means "son of Rodrigo" in Spanish. This is among the most common surnames in Spain.
Ross English, Scottish
From various place names (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland), which are derived from Scottish Gaelic ros meaning "promontory, headland".
Roy 2 Scottish
From Gaelic ruadh meaning "red-haired".
Sampson English
Derived from a medieval form of the given name Samson.
Silva Portuguese, Spanish
From Spanish or Portuguese silva meaning "forest". This is the most common surname in Portugal and Brazil.
Singh Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi, Indian (Sikh)
From Sanskrit सिंह (sinha) meaning "lion". In 1699 Guru Gobind Singh gave all his Sikh male followers the surname Singh and all females Kaur. It is among the most common surnames in India.
Steele English
Occupational name for a steelworker, from Old English stele meaning "steel".
Svoboda Czech
Means "freedom" in Czech. This was a medieval name for a freeman, someone who was not a serf.
Tsang Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Zeng.
Turner English
Occupational name for one who worked with a lathe, derived from Old English turnian "to turn", of Latin origin. A famous bearer is the American musician Tina Turner (1939-2023), born Anna Mae Bullock.
Tyler English
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).
Villa Italian, Spanish
Means "town" in Italian and Spanish, from Latin. It was originally given to a person who came from a town, as opposed to the countryside.
Wallace Scottish, 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.
Walsh English, Irish
From Old English wælisc meaning "foreigner, stranger, Celt".
Washington English
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. This surname was sometimes adopted by freed slaves, resulting in a high proportion of African-American bearers.
Wen Chinese
From Chinese (wén) meaning "literature, culture, writing".
Wong 1 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Wang 1.
Yuan Chinese
From Chinese (yuán), (yuán) or (yuán), which mean "origin, source".
Zeng Chinese
From Chinese (zēng) referring to the former state of Zeng, which existed during the Zhou dynasty in what is now Hubei province.
Zhang Chinese
From Chinese (zhāng) meaning "stretch, extend". It may have denoted a bowmaker whose job it was to stretch bow wood.