1024+ American Last Names: Meanings and Origins (Generator)

American last names have a rich history and diversity, reflecting the many cultures and ethnicities that have shaped the United States. Some of America’s most common last names have English, Irish, and Scottish origins, while others have come from German, Italian, and Hispanic backgrounds. 

Let’s check out some amazing American last names:

Most Common American Last Names With Meanings

Another common American last name is Johnson, which has English and Scottish origins. The name is patronymic, meaning it is based on the father’s first name, and was given to the son of John.

Today, Johnson is the second most common last name in the United States, with over 2 million people bearing the name. 

Last NamesMeanings
SmithDerived from the occupation of a blacksmith or metalworker.
JohnsonPatronymic surname meaning “son of John.”
Gonzalez Gonzalez is a surname derived from the given name “Gonzalo,” which itself has Visigothic origins. The name is patronymic, indicating “son of Gonzalo
BrownDerived from the Old English word “brun,” meaning “brown” or “dark-skinned.”
JonesPatronymic surname meaning “son of John.”
GarciaDerived from the Basque word “gaztea,” meaning “young.”
MillerOccupational surname for someone who operated a mill or worked in a mill.
DavisPatronymic surname meaning “son of David.”
RodriguezPatronymic surname meaning “son of Rodrigo,” a given name of Germanic origin meaning “famous ruler.”
MartinezPatronymic surname meaning “son of Martin,” derived from the given name Martin, meaning “warrior” or “dedicated to Mars.”

Lopez

Diaz

Cruz

Reyes

Morales

Murphy

Gutierrez

Ortiz

Peterson

Bailey

Kelly

Howard

Ramos

Kim

Cox

Ward

Watson

Brooks

Chavez

Wood

James

Bennett

Gray

Mendoza

Ruiz

Hughes

Alvarez

Castillo

Sanders

Myers

Ross

Foster

Jimenez

Powell

Jenkins

Perry

Russell

Sullivan

Coleman

Butler

Henderson

Barnes

Gonzales

Fisher

Vasquez

Simmons

Romero

Jordan

Patterson

Alexander

Hamilton

Graham

Reynolds

Griffin

Wallace

Moreno

West

Cole

Hayes

Bryant

Herrera

Gibson

Ellis

Tran

Medina

Aguilar

Stevens

Murray

Ford

Castro

Popular American Last Names

A popular American last name is Williams, which has Welsh origins. The name is patronymic, meaning it is based on the father’s first name, and was given to the son of William.

Today, Williams is the most popular American last name in the United States, with over 1.5 million people bearing the name.

  • Anderson
  • Taylor
  • Thomas
  • Hernandez
  • Moore
  • Jackson
  • Perez
  • White
  • Harris
  • Martin
  • Owens
  • Harrison
  • Fernandez
  • Mcdonald
  • Woods
  • Washington
  • Kennedy
  • Wells
  • Vargas
  • Henry

Chen

Mason

Dixon

Munoz

Hunt

Hicks

Holmes

Palmer

Wagner

Black

Robertson

Byrd

Craig

Ayala

Lowe

Frazier

Powers

Neal

Leonard

Gregory

Carrillo

Sutton

Fleming

Rhodes

Shelton

Schwartz

Boyd

Rose

Stone

Salazar

Fox

Warren

Mills

Meyer

Rice

Schmidt

Garza

Daniels

Ferguson

Nichols

Stephens

Soto

Weaver

Ryan

Gardner

Payne

Grant

Dunn

Kelley

Spencer

Hawkins

Arnold

Pierce

Vazquez

Hansen

Peters

Santos

Hart

Bradley

Knight

Elliott

Cunningham

Duncan

Armstrong

Hudson

Carroll

Lane

Riley

Andrews

Alvarado

Ray

Delgado

Berry

Perkins

Hoffman

Johnston

Matthews

Pena

Richards

Contreras

Best American Last Names With Meanings

Other common American last names include Brown, Jones, Garcia, Miller, Davis, Rodriguez, Martinez, Anderson, Taylor, and Thomas. These names have a diverse range of origins, with Brown and Jones having English origins, Garcia and Martinez having Spanish origins, and Miller having German origins.

Here is a list of some best American Last Names.

Last NamesMeanings
ThompsonIndicates that the person is the son of someone named Tom.
YoungSuggests that the person is youthful or the youngest in a family or community.
AllenDescribes someone with a light or fair complexion.
KingImplies a position of royalty or leadership, suggesting power and authority.
WrightIndicates that the person is involved in a profession or trade, specifically work.
ScottRefers to someone who hails from Scotland.
GreenCould describe someone with a greenish skin tone or a person associated with greenery or nature.
BakerIndicates that the person works as a baker or is associated with baking.
NelsonImplies that the person is the son of someone named Neil.
CarterSuggests that the person is a driver, particularly of a cart or similar vehicle.

Willis

Burke

Larson

Santiago

Maldonado

Morrison

Franklin

Carlson

Austin

Dominguez

Carr

Lawson

Jacobs

Obrien

Lynch

Singh

Vega

Bishop

Montgomery

Oliver

Jensen

Harvey

Williamson

Gilbert

Dean

Sims

Espinoza

Howell

Wong

Reid

Hanson

Mccoy

Garrett

Burton

Fuller

Wang

Weber

Welch

Rojas

Lucas

Marquez

Fields

Park

Yang

Little

Banks

Padilla

Day

Walsh

Bowman

Schultz

Luna

Fowler

Mejia

Davidson

Acosta

Brewer

May

Holland

Juarez

Newman

Pearson

Curtis

Cortez

Douglas

Schneider

Joseph

Barrett

Navarro

Figueroa

Keller

Avila

Wade

Awesome American Last Names

However, it is important to note that those above are the most common last names in America and it by no means represents the entire American population. As the United States is a country of immigrants, many of the population have last names that reflect their ethnic heritage.

  • Mitchell
  • Perez
  • Roberts
  • Turner
  • Phillips
  • Campbell
  • Parker
  • Evans
  • Edwards
  • Collins
  • Molina
  • Stanley
  • Hopkins
  • Campos
  • Barnett
  • Bates
  • Chambers
  • Caldwell
  • Beck
  • Lambert

Miranda

Norris

Jennings

Watts

Duran

Walters

Cohen

Mcdaniel

Moran

Parks

Steele

Vaughn

Becker

Holt

Deleon

Barker

Terry

Hale

Leon

Hail

Benson

Haynes

Horton

Miles

Lyons

Pham

Graves

Bush

Thornton

Wolfe

Warner

Cabrera

Mckinney

Mann

Zimmerman

Dawson

Lara

Fletcher

Page

Mccarthy

Robles

Cervantes

Solis

Erickson

Reeves

Chang

Klein

Salinas

Fuentes

Baldwin

Daniel

Simon

Velasquez

Hardy

Higgins

Aguirre

Lin

Cummings

Chandler

Sharp

Barber

Bowen

Ochoa

Dennis

Amazing American Last Names With Meanings

Some last names also have interesting stories behind them. For example, many African American last names can be traced back to slavery, as slaves were often given the last name of their owners.

Additionally, some Native American last names were chosen by early settlers or government officials, rather than being passed down within families.

Last NamesMeanings
StewartDark-skinned, refers to a person with a dark complexion.
SanchezSon of Sancho, derived from the given name Sancho, meaning “holy” or “sacred”.
MorrisDark-skinned, referring to a person with a dark complexion.
RogersSteward, is a person in charge of household affairs or a royal official.
ReedRed-haired or complexion, refers to a person with red hair or a reddish complexion.
CookCook, refers to a person who prepares food professionally.
MorganFrom the sea, referring to a person associated with the sea.
BellBell-ringer, referring to a person who rang bells, possibly indicating occupation.
CooperBarrel-maker, referring to a person who made barrels or casks.
RichardsonSon of Richard, derived from the given name Richard, meaning “brave power”.

Robbins

Liu

Ramsey

Francis

Griffith

Paul

Blair

Oconnor

Cardenas

Pacheco

Cross

Calderon

Quinn

Moss

Swanson

Chan

Rivas

Rodgers

Serrano

Fitzgerald

Rosales

Stevenson

Christensen

Manning

Gill

Curry

Mclaughlin

Harmon

Mcgee

Gross

Doyle

Garner

Newton

Burgess

Reese

Walton

Blake

Trujillo

Adkins

Brady

Goodman

Roman

Webster

Goodwin

Fischer

Huang

Potter

Delacruz

Montoya

Todd

Wu

Hines

Mullins

Castaneda

Malone

Cannon

Tate

Mack

Sherman

Hubbard

Hodges

Zhang

Guerra

Wolf

Valencia

Franco

Saunders

Rowe

Gallagher

Farmer

Hammond

Hampton

Townsend

Ingram

Wise

Gallegos

Clarke

Barton

Schroeder

Maxwell

Waters

Logan

Camacho

Strickland

Norman

Person

Colon

Parsons

Frank

American Last Names Generator

American Last Names Generator

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I trace the origin of my American last name?

Yes, tracing the origin of your American last name is possible. It often requires conducting genealogical research, examining historical records, and consulting with family members.

Through these efforts, you can uncover the specific origins and unique stories behind your surname.

Is there a pattern to the prefixes and suffixes used in American surnames?

Certain prefixes and suffixes are frequent in American surnames. The prefix “Mc” or “Mac” in names like McDonald or MacArthur, for example, denotes Scottish or Irish heritage.

Suffixes such as “-son” (Johnson, Thompson) denote “son of,” whereas “-sen” (Jensen, Larsen) denotes “son of” in Scandinavian names.

Can an American’s surname have a non-English origin?

Absolutely! Last names in the United States can come from a variety of languages and cultures. They can be of European, African, Asian, or Native American ancestry.

America’s history of immigration and cultural variety adds to the country’s large spectrum of non-English surnames.

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