The list of most popular American surnames is relatively easy to guess. They have wide diversity. Nevertheless, one can spot a few surnames and last names in several states of the United States. America is a land of having residents settled in the country in the form of immigrants from across the world. The native Americans are pretty few, so no wonder – we have the popular American last names as an amalgam of people from different races, communities, and regions across the globe.

Interesting isn’t it! Today, let us check out, explore, and learn about the popular surnames in the USA. Here we go!

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Top Most and Common American Family Names and Surnames:

Let us now go ahead and check out the list of common last names in the US. These are among the most spotted surnames in the USA.

1. Smith:

According to the US census, Smith is among the most commonly found American surname and last names. Smith’s name is derived from Anglo-Saxian occupational name, and it implies ‘to strike.’

2. Johnson:

Johnson is the surname that has origins from English as well as Scottish regions. It means ‘the son of John.’

3. William:

William is again another most commonly spotted the last name in the US. It means son and descendant of William. It is mostly of English origin.

See More: Popular Surnames in Great Britain

4. Brown:

Brown has origins from English, Scottish or Irish. It means an old English word – ‘Brun.’

5. Jones:

Jones is another prevalent surname in America. It means ‘son of loan.’

6. Davis:

Davis means beloved or son of David. This is a common name across the globe, especially in the US.

7. Martin:

Martin is from the Latin word Martinus. It means the God of War or Roman God.

8. Anderson:

Anderson is from the Greek language, which means ‘manly.’ The word came from ‘Andreas.’

9. Bell:

Bell technically also means the bell or bell ringer and bell maker. It is of Middle English origin.

10. Brooks:

As the surname suggests, Brooks means someone who lives by Brooks, that is, by the stream.

11. Butler:

We all know the word Butler in English. The surname has also originated from the same source, and it is among the occupational last name.

12. Coleman:

We all have heard this common surname from America, even from several celebrities and stars. The name implies the son of Colman. It is of Irish origin initially in the past.

13. Cook:

Cook, as the name suggests, and one can guess, is the occupational surname. It is from Latin and English native.

14. Edwards:

Edwards is again meant ‘son of Edward’ or the ‘rich guard.’ It is from the native of Anglo-Saxian roots.

15. Evans:

Evans is another widespread surname we hear, even in celebrity circles. It is of European origin and means’ Son of Evan.’

16. Flores:

Flores implies the flower. The origin is from Welsh and Spain.

17. Foster:

Foster is a popular occupational last name. It means someone who has lived or worked in the forest or the woods.

18. Garcia:

Garcia and Gerald are both similar surnames in the family. So, it means son of Garcia.

19. Gomez:

Gomez’s surname is there in several countries. It is among Hispanic natives, which means ‘the man.’

20. Gray:

Gray does not have any specific meaning; it just means gray color. It is from the English-Scottish regions native.

21. Green:

Green implies greenery, grass, and nature. It is a prevalent surname and last name across the states in the US and also Europe.

22. Harris:

Harris is the name native to Britain and England. It means ‘son of Harry’ or the ‘ruler of Home.’

23. Hill:

Hill name originated from someone who lived by the hill.

24. Hughes:

Hughes means descendant of the fire. It is from a popular surname in the US and is popular even around Ireland and Scotland areas.

See More: Indian American Baby Names with Meanings

25. Jackson:

As the name suggests, Jackson means ‘son of Jack.’ It is of English origin too.

26. James:

The name James is from Hebrew origins. It means heel. The word is origin in Latin.

27. Kelly:

Kelly is a descendant of the war. It is a lesser popular surname in America.

28. Lee:

Lee means meadow. It also implies ‘forest clearing.’ Lee is a prevalent surname in America, from English origin too in the past.

29. Lewis:

Lewis means renowned or famous battle. It is from the German name Lodovicus that it has originated.

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30. Murphy:

Murphy means strong. It is an Irish surname popular in the United States of America.

31. Nelson:

Nelson means ‘son of Nell.’ It also means champion.

32. Ortiz:

Ortiz means “son of Orta’. It is a lesser common and known American surname.

33. Patterson:

As the name itself suggests, Patterson implies ‘son of Patrick.’ It is of English, Scottish and Irish origin and native.

34. Perry:

Perry technically implies a person who dwells around the pear tree.

35. Phillips:

Phillips is actually of Greek origin. It implies a friend of the horses.

36. Reyes:

Reyes’s name originally is given to someone who lived around the rea region – that is, hard ground within a marsh.

37. Richardson:

Richardson is the ‘son of Richard’ or a person who is immensely powerful. It has a German origin.

38. Rivera:

As the name suggests, Rivera or River is someone who lived by the river. It is a Hispanic and English native last name.

39. Robinson:

Robinson is none other than the ‘son of Robin.’ It is an English native surname and last name.

40. Rogers:

Rogers is a spear. It is native to Ireland and English.

41. Sanders:

The name sanders are native to Alexandros, which means ‘son of Alexander’ or ‘defender of the people.’So, it is of Greek origin name.

42. Simmons:

Simmons or Simons is a ‘victorious protector.’

43. Taylor:

Taylor is another prevalent occupational surname. It has come from tailors.

44. Thomas:

Thomas is of Welsh, Ireland, and English origin. It means ‘son or protector of Thomas.’

45. Thompson:

Thompson is another popular surname, is of English and Scottish native and origin.

See More: Best Names That Mean Inspiration

46. Turner:

Turner is another occupational surname that is quite popular. It means someone who makes things and items from wood or metal.

47. Walker:

Walker surname is popular in America and Germany too. It means officers who inspect forests.

48. Washington:

We all know this popular surname after one of the American presidents. Washington means hunting or settlement. It has originated from the English word, Wassa.

49. White:

White is another very known and heard surname and last name in the US. It just means a person who is of fair complexion. It is derived from England regions.

50. Wattson:

Wattson is the ‘son of the Watt.’ It is from Scottish and English natives.

Well, American culture is definitely inspired and masked by several other cultures and regions worldwide. Several of the American surnames and last names followed from origins and ancient natives in the past from English and nearby countries. We hope you learnt something new today; let us know your thoughts!


This is exclusively a guide to learn about American surnames, and last names are for informative purposes only. The content in this article is provided from research through various sources across the web. The author does not guarantee or promise any accuracy of the facts provided in this article.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.