Surnames Categorized "history"

This is a list of surnames in which the categories include history.
usage
Bach German
Topographic name for someone who lived by a stream, from Middle High German bach meaning "stream". This name was borne by members of the Bach musical family, notably the composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).
Castro Spanish, Portuguese
Means "castle" in Spanish and Portuguese, referring to one who lived near a castle. A famous bearer was Fidel Castro (1926-2016), revolutionary and president of Cuba.
Darwin English
From the given name Deorwine.
Dickens English
From the medieval given name Dicun, a medieval diminutive of Dick 1. A famous bearer of this surname was the English writer Charles Dickens (1812-1870).
Edison English
Means "son of Eda 2" or "son of Adam". The surname was borne by American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
Franklin English
Derived from Middle English frankelin meaning "freeman". It denoted a landowner of free but not noble birth, from Old French franc meaning "free".
Freud German, Jewish
Means "joy" in German, a nickname for a cheerful person. A famous bearer was the psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).
Fry English
From Old English frig (a variant of freo) meaning "free".
Grant English, Scottish
Derived from Norman French meaning "grand, tall, large, great".
Hamilton English, Scottish
From an English place name, derived from Old English hamel "crooked, mutilated" and dun "hill". This was the name of a town in Leicestershire, England (which no longer exists).
Hitler German
Variant of Hiedler. This was spelling used by Alois Hitler, the father of German dictator Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), when he adopted his stepfather Johann Georg Hiedler's surname.
Khan Urdu, Pashto, Bengali
From a title meaning "king, ruler", probably of Mongolian origin but used in many languages.
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).
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.
Luther German
From the old given name Leuthar.
McMahon Irish
Anglicized form of Irish Mac Mathghamhna meaning "son of Mathgamain".
Newton English
From the name of one of many English towns meaning "new town". A famous bearer was the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
Rasputin Russian
From Russian распутье (rasputye) meaning "crossroads". A famous bearer was the Russian mystic Grigoriy Rasputin (1869-1916).
Reagan Irish
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Riagáin meaning "descendant of Riagán". A famous bearer was American president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).
Roosevelt Dutch
Means "rose field" from Dutch roos "rose" and veld "field". This was the surname of American presidents Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
Shakespeare English
From a nickname for a warlike person, from Old English scacan "to shake" and spere "spear". A famous bearer was the English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare (1564-1616).
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.