200+ Top Southern Last Names And Meanings

Baby

Southern last names encapsulate stories of the southern part of the US and keep them alive for the next generation to learn about their ancestors. Right from the historical landmarks in Delaware and Tex-Mex cuisines in Texas to the warm beaches of Florida and the world-famous fried chicken in Kentucky, each state has its unique heritage that has developed over centuries. These surnames also exhibit the transformation that the Native American culture has undergone through the introduction of European, Spanish, and African traditions.

Whether you come from the South or want to know more about Southern culture, this article gives you a new perspective to explore history. Have a look at the top Southern last names and meanings that will help you understand more about the people from the American South.

200+ Top Southern Last Names And Meanings

Every Southern last name has its significant past and rich background. Let’s get an insight into the complexity of Southern history through their surnames.

Common And Popular Southern Last Names

Many families have lived in the southern part of the US for several generations. Here are some common Southern last names and their historical connections .

1. Adams

The surname is derived from the masculine name Adam meaning ‘man’. It is popular not only in the US but also in England.

2. Allen

Rooted in Irish history, the surname could be derived from the name Ailin meaning ‘small stone’ or ‘harmony.’ Alternatively, it could also be inspired by the masculine name Alan, which means ‘handsome’.

3. Anderson

A symbol of family tradition, the patronym means ‘son of Andrew’. Of Greek origin, Andrew means ‘manly’.

4. Bailey

Also a popular feminine name, it is derived from the term ‘baili’ that means ‘bailiff’. It may have been a professional title for manager or custodian.

5. Ballard

Denoting an individual’s physical attribute, the surname is derived from the word ‘ball’ and means ‘bald-headed’.

6. Baker

Just as the title suggests, it is an occupational surname derived from the Old English term ‘bakere’, referring to a professional baker.

7. Bell

A melodic title, the surname is derived from the Old English term ‘belle’. It may have been an occupational surname for a bell-maker or a topographic title for an individual who lived near a bell.

8. Bennett

Rooted in European history, the surname is derived from the given name that means ‘blessed’. It is a popular title both in works of fiction and in real life.

9. Bryant

The surname is derived from the given name Bryan, which is a variant of Brian. The Irish name Brian means ‘hill’ or ‘power’. Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant was a famous bearer of this surname.

10. Brown

Originally a nickname, the descriptive surname was associated with people who had brown hair or complexion. It is a common surname in Australia, Jamaica, Canada, and the UK.

11. Campbell

Rooted in Scottish history, the surname is composed of two terms ‘cam’ and ‘beul’ meaning ‘crooked’ and ‘mouth’ respectively.

12. Chambers

Chambers was an occupational title for an individual who worked in the inner rooms of a mansion or looked after an exchequer room.

13. Clark

Does this name remind you of a specific superhero? Derived from the Old English term ‘clerec’, the surname means ‘cleric’ or a ‘priest’.

14. Coleman

Of Irish origin, the surname is derived from the masculine name Colmán, which means dove. Alternatively, it is also an English occupational surname referring to a person responsible for burning charcoal.

15. Collins

The patronymic surname means ‘son of Colin’ in English. In Irish, it is derived from the last name Ó Coileáin, meaning ‘descendant of Coileán.’

16. Cook

This occupational surname is derived from Latin ‘coquus’, referring to a person who cooked for a living or sold cooked food.

17. Cooper

Derived from the Old English term ‘couper’, the surname means ‘maker of barrels’. American actor Bradley Cooper is a popular namesake who has won the hearts of millions with his impeccable acting skill.

18. Cox

A patronymic surname, it is derived from the nickname ‘cok’, which refers to a ‘rooster’ or ‘cock’. It is also considered a variant of the surname Kok, an occupational title for a chef or cook.

19. Davis

Belonging to English and Welsh origin, the surname is a patronym meaning ‘son of Davis’.

20. Diaz

A traditional Spanish surname, it is a patronym that means ‘son of Diego’. American model and Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz is a popular bearer of this surname.

21. Dixon

A patronymic surname, it means ‘son of Dick’. Dick is a diminutive of the given name Richard, meaning ‘brave ruler’.

22. Edwards

A last name popular amongst African Americans, Edwards is a patronym meaning ‘son of Edward’.

23. Fisher

With English and German origins, it is the occupational surname for a ‘fisherman’.

24. Fleming

The surname denotes a native of Flanders, a region in Belgium. It is also popular in south and east Scotland.

25. Ford

A habitational title, it denotes a ‘person who lives near a ford’. The Old English term ‘ford’ means ‘a low place in a river or stream where the water is shallow enough for a person to cross by foot or vehicles’. Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, has contributed towards the popularity of this surname.

26. Garcia

One surname, multiple meanings. It is believed to be a patronym derived from the given name García. It may also have Germanic roots with the meaning ‘young warrior’ or inspired by the Visigothic terms ‘garxa’ and ‘garcha’, which mean ‘graceful prince.’

27. Graves

Derived from the Old English term ‘greyve’, the occupational surname refers to a ‘steward.’

28. Hall

The popular European surname means ‘a spacious medieval home’. It may have been an occupational title adopted by individuals who worked in a hall or a topographic surname denoting a person who lived in or near a hall.

29. Harris

Symbol of ancestral lineage, the surname is a patronym meaning ‘son of Harry’. Also derived from Henry, the traditional English name Harry means ‘ruler of home’.

30. Hayes

With records dating as old as the 11th century, the surname is derived from the Old English term ‘hæg’ meaning ‘enclosure’ or ‘fence’. Alternatively, it also means ‘life’ in Yiddish. In Irish, it is derived from the word ‘Ó hAodha’ meaning ‘descendant of Aodh’.

31. Hill

A habitational surname, it denotes ‘a person living on a hill’. The surname may have been derived from the Old English term ‘hyll’.

32. Holt

Rooted in Old English, Dutch, and Norse languages, the surname means ‘forest’. It may have been adopted as a topographic last name by people who lived near a grove of trees.

33. Hughes

Having Welsh and Irish origins, it is a patronymic surname related to the Germanic name Hugh, which means ‘mind’ or ‘spirit.’

34. Jackson

The surname is a patronym meaning ‘son of Jack’. American singer, Michael Jackson is undoubtedly one of the most popular name bearers.

35. Johnson

As the surname suggests, it means ‘son of John’. WWE superstar and Hollywood actor, Dwayne Johnson is one of the most prominent namesakes who has helped popularize this surname.

36. Jones

Having Welsh and English origin, the patronymic surname means ‘son of John’. Alternatively, it may also be a surname derived from the given name Jon, which is a variant of John.

protip_icon Did you know?
Southern surnames Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, and Brown were listed as the top five most popular surnames in the US over the three decades of 1991, 2000, and 2010 (1).

37. King

Derived from the Old English term ‘cyning’, the surname literally means ‘king.’ It is also believed to be the English variant of the German surname Küng, which also has the same meaning.

38. Lewis

Derived from the Latin Ludovicus, which is inspired by the Germanic name Hlūtwīg, the surname means ‘famed battle.’ British writer C.S.Lewis is a noteworthy namesake known for writing popular books such as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy.

39. Long

From an endearing nickname to a surname, this title has surely come a long way. The surname means ‘long’ or ‘tall.’ It may have been given to a person who had good height.

40. Martinez

Hinting at Spanish influence on American history, the surname means ‘son of Martin’. Derived from a Roman name, Martin is another name of the Roman God of War, Mars, which means ‘of war’ or ‘warlike.’

41. Martin

Coming from the given name Martin, it is the name of Mars, Roman God of War, which means ‘warlike’. It is a popular surname in France.

42. Miller

Image: Momjunction Design Team

As the name suggests, it is an occupational surname for a ‘miller’ or ‘a person who owns or works in a grain mill.’

43. Moore

Originating from the British Isles, it was a habitational title that meant ‘open land’ or ‘bog.’ It was associated with people who lived near a moor or heath. Hollywood actress Demi Moore is a notable personality bearing this surname.

44. Morris

Derived from the first name Maurice, the surname refers to a ‘North African’. This surname is likely to have traveled to American shores through the Britishers, who may have learnt of this name through the Normans.

45. Murphy

Murphy is the English variant of the common Irish surname Ó Murchadha, which means ‘descendant of Murchadh’. The name Murphy is made of two terms ‘muir’ meaning ‘sea’ and ‘cath’ meaning ‘battle.’

46. Nelson

The patronymic surname could be derived from first names such as Nell, Nele, or Neil. It has several variants that include Nielsen, Nilsen, and Nilsson.

47. Parker

Often associated with Marvel’s superhero Spider-man, the surname is an occupational title that means ‘one who looks after a park’. It could also be a name denoting an officer who looked after deer and other game in a hunting park.

48. Patton

Originating in Northern Ireland and Scotland, this surname is derived from the personal name Patun. It may also be inspired by the Old French name Pat or Pate, which is a diminutive of the masculine name Patrick.

49. Perez

Perez is a patronymic surname that means ‘son of Pedro’. It could also be associated with similar first names such as Pero or Peter.

50. Phillips

A patronym, the surname means ‘son of Philip’. The masculine name Philip is of Greek origin and it means ‘lover of horses’.

51. Powell

Classy and chic, the surname means ‘son of Hywel’. Derived from the Old Welsh Higuel, the masculine name Hywel means ‘prominent’.

52. Reed

The short surname is derived from the name Read meaning ‘red’. It may have been associated with a person who had red hair.

53. Rice

Having Welsh origins, the surname is derived from the given name Rhys, which means ‘enthusiasm’.

54. Rivera

Derived from the Spanish term ‘ribera’, the surname means ‘riverbank’ or ‘shore of a river.’

55. Robinson

As the surname reads, it is a patronym meaning ‘son of Robin’. Robin is a diminutive of Robert and was popularized by the folklore legend, Robin Hood.

56. Roberts

The surname means ‘son of Robert’. The given name Robert means ‘bright fame.’

57. Ross

A masculine name popularized by the classic sitcom Friends, Ross is actually a Scottish habitational surname for inhabitants of a place called Ross in northern Scotland and other places with similar names.

58. Russell

The surname has multiple origins and meanings. Its most popular meaning is ‘red’ or ‘reddish’. It may have been associated with a person having red hair. American actor Kurt Russell is a notable namesake known for featuring in numerous movies and TV shows.

59. Sanchez

Rooted in Spanish culture, it means ‘son of Sancho’. The masculine name Sancho means ‘holy.’

60. Scott

The surname could refer to a ‘person from Scotland’ or a ‘person who spoke Scottish Gaelic’. It is one of the most prominent surnames in Scotland.

61. Shepherd

As the name indicates, it is an occupational title for a ‘sheep herder’. It is likely to be inspired by the Old English term ‘schepeherde’.

62. Sims

A short title, it is derived from the personal name Sim, which comes from the masculine name Simon, meaning ‘to listen’ or ‘to hear’.

63. Smith

An occupational title, it means ‘blacksmith’ or a person who works with metals. Oscar-winning actor Will Smith is a popular namesake known for featuring in several hit movies.

64. Steele

Clear as it seems, the surname comes from the Old English term ‘stele’ meaning ‘steel,’ and is associated with ‘steelworker’.

65. Stewart

Stewart is composed of the Old English terms ‘stig’ and ‘weard’, meaning ‘house’ and ‘guard,’ respectively. It is an occupational title given to a person who was a steward or an administrative personnel in charge of looking after an estate.

66. Taylor

The surname simply means ‘tailor’. It is derived from the Latin term ‘taliare’, which means ‘to cut’. British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor is a notable name bearer known for her exceptional beauty and acting skills.

67. Thompson

A patronym derived from the given name Thomas, which comes from the Aramaic Ta’oma’ meaning ‘twin’. Thomson is a popular variant of this surname.

68. Turner

Having origins in Normandy and France, the occupational surname denotes a worker who made small wooden or metallic objects turning it on a lathe. English actress Sophie Turner shot to fame after featuring in the globally famous TV show, Game of Thrones.

69. Vaughn

The surname is derived from the Welsh name Vaughan meaning ‘little’. American actor Vince Vaughn is a notable personality bearing this surname. He is known for featuring in comedy films such as The Internship, Old School, and The Break-Up.

70. Walker

Derived from the Old English term ‘wealcan’ which means ‘to move’, the surname is an occupational title. It denotes a person who walked on cloth that is soaked in lye to strengthen it.

71. White

Evolved from being a nickname to a family name, White may have been associated with a person having either white hair or pale complexion.

72. Wilson

Evident from the name itself, the surname is a patronym meaning ‘son of Will’. The given name Will means ‘will helmet’.

73. Wright

An occupational title for a craftsman or a carpenter, the surname could be derived from the Old English term ‘wyrhta’, meaning ‘maker’ or ‘craftsman’.

74. Young

Coming from the Old English ‘geong’, the surname literally means ‘young’. American basketball player Trae Young is a popular namesake known for his successful career in basketball.

Unique Southern Last Names

Some last names stand out for the specific culture and history associated with them. They are easily identified as a Southern last name.

75. Abernathy

A unique habitational last name, it refers to dwellers of Abernethy, a village in Scotland. The place name Abernethy means ‘mouth of the river Nethy’.

76. Abercrombie

Popularized by an American clothing brand, the surname is a habitational title adopted by people who hailed from the place name Abercrombie, located in Fife, Scotland. The place name means ‘mouth of the river Crombie’.

77. Ashcroft

The English surname is a habitational title for people who belonged to the suburbs of Agecroft, located in the town of Pendlebury, England. Alternatively, it could also be derived from the Old English terms ‘asche’ and ‘croft’ meaning ‘ash tree’ and ‘enclosure,’ respectively.

78. Ashford

A habitational name, it denotes a person belonging to the place named Ashford located in different countries. The surname is really old, with its origins dating back as early as the 10th century.

79. Ashworth

The surname denotes people who came from Ashworth located in Lancashire. The name Ashworth is composed of two Old English terms ‘æs’c meaning ‘ash tree’ and ‘worth’ meaning ‘enclosure.’

80. Beauchamp

Image: Momjunction Design Team

Finding its roots in French, it is derived from the word ‘beau’, which means ‘beautiful’, while ‘champ’ refers to a ‘field’. In Latin, the surname could refer to ‘lovely field.’

81. Beauregard

In French, beau means ‘beautiful’ and regard means ‘aspect’ or outlook.’ The surname is most likely to be a topographic title related to places that are named Beauregard for their beautiful view or fine aspect.

82. Beaumont

A common surname in England, Beaumont means ‘beautiful mountain’ or ‘lovely hill’. It is a habitational surname derived from the many places of the same name in Normandy.

83. Bradshaw

Derived from the Old English terms ‘brad’ meaning ‘broad’ and ‘sceaga’ meaning ‘thicket’, this surname is most likely to be a habitational title for people who belonged to places of that name.

84. Calhoun

The surname means ‘narrow corner’ or ‘narrow wood’. It may be inspired by the Scottish surname Colquhoun, which is derived from the Gaelic terms ‘còil’ or ‘cùil’ referring to a ‘nook’ or ‘corner’ or coill(e) meaning ‘wood’ combined with the term ‘cumhann’, which means ‘narrow’.

85. Carrington

This surname reflects the native place of an individual. Carrington refers to a place located in Greater Manchester. Cara is a feminine name, while the term ‘tun’ means ‘settlement’ in Old English.

86. Channing

Also a given name popularized by Hollywood actor Channing Tatum, the surname is most likely a variant of surnames such as Channon, which comes from the Irish surname Cannon meaning ‘descendant of Cano or Canán’.

87. Chatham

Adopted by the natives of the town of Chatham, belonging to the county of Kent in England, the surname means ‘wooden homestead’.

88. Chisholm

A popular surname across continents, it is composed of two Old English terms ‘c̄se’ or ‘cēse’ meaning ‘cheese’ and ‘holm’ meaning ‘the dry land in a fen’. It is likely to be a habitational surname of people who lived near a meadow that was suitable for dairy farming, which led to the production of cheese.

89. Covington

Denoting people hailing from the village Covington located in Cambridgeshire, this surname is composed of the given name Cofa and the Old English term ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement’.

90. Ellerbee

A habitational surname, it may have been adopted as a surname by people who belonged to the village of Ellerby located in North Yorkshire, England.

91. Ellerby

The surname could be a combination of the Old English personal name Ælfweard and the Old Norse term ‘bý’ meaning ‘farmstead village’. It could be a habitational name denoting people from the village of Ellerby in England.

92. Ellington

The name of several towns across England, the surname Eliington is derived from the given name Ella meaning ‘elf’ and ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement’. It could also be derived from the term ‘eald’ meaning ‘old’.

93. Elliston

A surname with multiple meanings, Elliston could be derived from Elston, which is the name of a village in England. The surname could also be a patronym derived from the English name Ellis.

94. Fairchild

The surname probably means ‘beautiful child’. It is likely to have been used as a nickname for a child who was beautiful or a child of noble descent.

95. Fontaine

As a surname, Fontaine could have been inspired by the Old French term ‘fontane’ that means ‘well’ or ‘fountain’. It could be a topographic name for people who lived near a spring or a well.

96. Forsythe

Inspired by the Gaelic given name Fearsithe, the surname means ‘peaceful man’. It is composed of the two terms ‘fear’ meaning ‘man’ and ‘sith’ meaning ‘peace.’

97. Gatlin

The surname is likely to be a short form for the Old English name Gœdeling meaning ‘companion’ or ‘kinsman’.

98. Hampton

A name well-recognized across England, the habitational surname comprises two Old English terms, ‘ham’ meaning ‘home’ or ‘water’ and ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement’.

99. Harlow

Of English origin, the surname means ‘army hill’ or ‘rock hill’. Harlow is a known title across countries because several regions or villages bear this name.

100. Hightower

A topographic title, the surname is derived from the English term ‘heyt’, which means ‘height’. It could be adopted by people who resided on a hill.

101. Hollingsworth

A popular name for regions across England, this surname comes from the Old English term ‘holegn’ meaning ‘holly’ and ‘worth’ meaning ‘enclosure’.

102. Kingsley

Denoting location, the surname comes from the word Cyningesleah meaning ‘king’s clearing’ or ‘from the king’s meadow’.

103. Landry

Inspired by the Germanic personal name Landric, the surname means ‘powerful ruler’ or ‘ruler of the land’.

104. Lockwood

Meaning ‘enclosed wood’, the habitational surname is derived from the place name that is popular across England.

105. Merrick

The Welsh given name Meuric may have appealed to people, inspiring the surname Merrick.

106. Merritt

The surname means ‘gate of the boundary’. American journalist, W. Davis Merritt is a popular bearer of this surname as he is considered one of the fathers of public journalism.

107. Montgomery

Having French roots, the surname means ‘Gumarich’s mountain’. It is also a habitational name denoting people from Sainte-Foy-de-Montgomery or Saint-Germain-de-Montgomery in France.

108. Pendleton

Meaning ‘overhanging settlement’, the surname could be a habitational title referring to a person coming from the hills.

109. Radcliffe

Popularized by the British actor Daniel Radcliffe, the surname means ‘a red cliff’. It is a habitational title denoting the town located in Greater Manchester, England.

110. Radford

The surname was probably derived from the Old English terms ‘read’ meaning ‘red’ and ‘ford’ meaning ‘a shallow spot or place in a stream’. Alternatively, it could also be linked to the Old English term ‘ridan’ meaning ‘to ride’.

111. Raleigh

Raleigh is a well-loved given name and surname. This nature-related habitational title means ‘red woodland clearing’.

112. Ravenscroft

Raven refers to a large black crow while ‘croft’ refers to an ‘enclosed field’. It could be a habitational surname adopted by people who belonged to the township Ravenscroft located in Cheshire, England.

113. Rutherford

Several places in England and Scotland are named Rutherford. As a habitational surname, it could be composed of the two Old English terms ‘hriðer’ meaning ‘cattle’ or ‘ox’ and ‘ford’ meaning ‘a shallow spot or place in a stream’.

114. Sinclair

In France, there is a commune named Saint-Clair-sur-l’Elle. The habitational surname could be inspired by this commune or it could be derived from Scottish Clan Sinclair.

115. Sterling

The origin of this surname is unknown. However, it is believed to be derived from the city of Stirling, located in Scotland.

116. Clair

Likely to be a habitational title, the surname could be derived from the place name Sainte-Claire that exists in different countries across Europe. Alternatively, it could also have French origins as it may be derived from the terms ‘saint’ meaning ‘holy’ and ‘clair’ meaning ‘lightness’.

117. Stovall

The surname is of unknown origin. However, it is quite popular in the US. American swimmer William Gilbert Stovall has represented the country in the Olympics several times and has won multiple international competitions.

118. Thibodeaux

The surname is likely to be noticed for its uncommon spelling. It means ‘people who are bold’.

119. Thornton

Derived from the term ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement,’ the surname may be connected to a place near a thorn tree or a region full of thorns. Several regions across Europe bear this name and people belonging to these places may have adopted it as a habitational surname.

120. Tinsley

Image: Shutterstock

The surname is a combination of the given name Tynni with the Old English term ‘hlaw’ meaning ‘barrow’ or ‘hill’. Alternatively, it may also be derived from the personal name Tint and the Old English term ‘lēah’ meaning ‘woodland clearing’.

121. Townsend

A topographic title, the surname refers to people who lived at the town’s edge. It is derived from the Old English term ‘ende’ meaning ‘end’.

122. Waverly

The surname is derived from the Old English term ‘wæfre’ meaning ‘ground that is swampy’ and ‘lēah’ meaning ‘woodland clearing’. The surname has become popular in the US over the last couple of years.

123. Whitfield

Meaning ‘white field’, the surname is derived from the Old English terms ‘hwit’ meaning ‘chalky’ or ‘white’ and ‘feld’ referring to ‘open country or land’.

124. Winslow

Inspired by the given name Wine, the surname may have been created with the suffix ‘hlāw’ meaning ‘mound hill’. So, it means ‘a hill that belongs to Wine.’

125. Witherspoon

Coming from the county of Lanarkshire, the surname has Scottish roots. It is a combination of the terms ‘wether’ meaning ‘sheep’ and ‘spang’ meaning ‘a narrow strip of land’.

126. Worthington

Worthington is the name of multiple places across England. Natives belonging to these places may have adopted it as a habitational last name. It is likely to be derived from the given name Weorth with the suffix tūn meaning ‘settlement’.

Rich Southern Last Names

Some last names are associated with wealth and legacy. Here are some Southern family names that have been known for having a prominent societal status.

127. Astor

The surname is of Occitan origin in which it means ‘hawk’. It finds its roots in the Italian Alps and is the last name of several influential families in America and England.

128. Bellamy

Popular as a unisex name, the surname has French origins and it means ‘beautiful friend’. It could also be a habitational surname referring to a person from Belleme.

129. Berkeley

Berkeley is a known name of several places across England. It means ‘birch clearing’.

130. Bush

A surname that needs no introduction. Bush is derived from the Old English word ‘busc’ meaning ‘shrub’ or a ‘bush.’ Two of the most prominent US presidents George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush are the most popular bearers of this surname.

131. Carnegie

Having Scottish roots, it is a habitational surname for people who belonged to the many places named Carnegie. It means ‘fort at the gap’.

132. Charleston

Quite easy to guess, the surname means ‘son of Charles’. American journalist Rondi Charleston is a recipient of Emmy and Peabody Awards for her exceptional skills as a TV journalist.

133. DuPont

Meaning ‘of the bridge’, the surname is very popular in France. The French tern ‘pont’ means ‘bridge’.

134. Duke

The Latin title dux seems to be the source of this surname. It means ‘leader’. It could also be derived from the Irish name Maelmaedoc meaning ‘servant of Maedoc’.

135. Fairfax

Not too difficult to guess, the surname refers to a person with ‘fair hair’ or ‘beautiful tresses’.

136. Faulkner

A surname ideal for a lover of falcons, it is an occupational title that means ‘trainer of falcons’. Falconry was a common sport back in the Medieval times in Europe.

137. Getty

Having Irish roots, Getty means ‘hill’ or ‘valley’. American businessman Mark Getty, the co-founder of Getty Images, is one of the most popular bearers of this surname.

138. Granger

An occupational title, the surname means ‘farm bailiff’. The intelligent witch Hermione Granger, from the famous fictional series Harry Potter, can be credited for popularizing this surname.

139. Hargrave

The surname means ‘gray grove’. It could be a habitational title as it is the name of several villages and settlements across England.

140. Hearst

The topographic surname means ‘a person who lived near a wood or wooded hill’. It is inspired by the English last name Hurst.

141. Hinton

Hinton is composed of two Old English terms, ‘heah’ meaning ‘high’ and ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement’. It is most likely to be a habitational surname taken after the different places named Hinton located around England.

142. Huntington

Huntington is a popular name for regions situated not only in the US but across different countries. As a habitational surname, it could denote a person hailing from one of these regions.

143. Kennedy

A surname that defines power and legacy, Kennedy is derived from the Gaelic last name Ó Ceannéidigh, meaning ‘descendant of Ceannéidigh’.

144. Lancaster

The habitational surname probably means ‘city of Lon’. It is derived from Lon, an ancient Roman fort located on the River Lune combined with the Old English term ‘ceaster’ meaning ‘city’.

145. Mellon

A surname of many origins, Mellon’s English roots indicate that it is a habitational name for people from Meulan. The place is located in the French commune of Seine-et-Oise, now known as Meulan-en-Yvelines.

146. Morgan

Having Welsh roots, the surname means ‘sea circle’. It is derived from the given name Morcant. It could also be a derivative of the Irish Gaelic surname Ó Muireagáin that means ‘descendant of Muireagáin’.

147. Pemberton

The surname may be a habitational surname referring to the area of Pemberton, located in Greater Manchester. The name is created with three terms: ‘penn’ meaning ‘hill,’ ‘bere’ meaning ‘barley’, and ‘tūn’ meaning ‘enclosure’.

148. Rockefeller

A traditional German surname, it is a habitational title adopted by the people who belonged to the village of Rockenfeld, located near Neuwied in Rhineland. It is derived from the High German terms ‘rocke’ meaning ‘rye’ and ‘feld’ meaning ‘open country’.

149. Rutledge

The surname could have English and Scottish roots with the meaning ‘loud stream’. It may be a habitational title for people who lived near the lake of Routledge Burn located in Cumberland.

150. Sheffield

Originating from South Yorkshire, England, the surname is formed of the Old English terms ‘scēath’ meaning ‘boundary’ and ‘feld’ meaning ‘open country.’

151. John

Several places or regions in France are named Saint-Jean, so St. John can be considered an American variant. As a surname, it could be a habitational title denoting a person coming from Saint-Jean.

152. Stratford

The surname is composed of the Old English term ‘strǣt’ meaning ‘Roman road’ and ‘ford’ meaning ‘a shallow place in a stream of water.’ It was probably a habitational title for people who belonged to places named Stratford.

153. Stratton

A habitational surname referring to people belonging to different places named Stratton across England, it is derived from the Old English terms ‘strǣt’ that means ‘paved road’ or ‘Roman road’ and ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement.’

154. Thurston

A habitational title, Thruston is derived from the Norse given name Thóri, combined with the suffix ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement.’

155. Tyson

A surname of French origin, it is derived from the term ‘tison’ meaning ‘fire’ or ‘high-spirited’. Former professional boxer Mike Tyson is a popular bearer of this last name.

156. Vanderbilt

Image: Momjunction Design Team

Derived from the German term ‘bulte’ meaning ‘low hill’ or a ‘mound’, the surname refers to a person who lives near a low hill.

157. Wainwright

The occupational surname means ‘maker of wagons’ or ‘wagon builder’. It could also refer to a person who repaired wagons.

158. Walton

Walton is the name of many villages across England. It is also a habitational surname that could be derived from Old English terms such as ‘wealh’ meaning ‘foreigner’, ‘weald’ meaning ‘forest,’ or ‘weall’ meaning ‘wall.’ The suffix ‘tūn’ is added to denote ‘settlement.’

159. Wellington

The surname is a habitational title derived from the masculine name Weola meaning ‘holy’ or ‘idol’.

160. Whitman

Evident from the spelling, the surname means ‘white man’. American actor Stuart Whitman is a popular namesake known for a career spanning more than 50 years.

Old Southern Last Names

Traditional Southern last names carry the lineage and heritage of antebellum South. It has connections to the original inhabitants of the regions.

161. Barrett

Likely to be derived from a nickname, the surname means ‘distress’ or ‘trouble’. It may have been a title given to a person who was quarrelsome.

162. Blake

As the name suggests, the title refers to a person who is ‘dark-haired’ or has ‘dark complexion’. It is derived from the Old English term ‘blæc’ or ‘blac’ meaning ‘black.’

163. Brooks

The surname is derived from Swedish surname Bäckland meaning ‘of the brook’. It may be a habitational name denoting a person who lived near a brook.

164. Caldwell

Derived from the Old English terms ‘ceald’ and ‘wille’, the surname means ‘cold spring’ or ‘cold stream’. It may have originated as a habitational title for people who lived in places named Caldwell.

165. Carter

Inspired by the French term ‘caretier’ or ‘charetier’, the surname refers to a person who used a cart to transport goods. American singer and member of the famous boy band Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter is a popular namesake.

protip_icon Trivia
Apart from being a popular surname, Carter also continues to be a popular masculine name in the US. In 2022, it featured within the top 100 popular masculine names with the rank of 47 (2).

166. Cobb

The surname means ‘lump’. It is derived from the Middle English given name Cobba or Cobbe.

167. Drake

Also a popular given name, the last name Drake is derived from the Greek ‘drakon’ meaning ‘snake’ or ‘dragon’.

168. Evans

Evans is a patronymic surname that means ‘son of Evan’. The surname has Welsh roots and is common in England.

169. Fletcher

Fletcher means ‘a person who either made or sold arrows’. It is an occupational title derived from the French ‘flechier’ or ‘flecher’ or the Old English ‘fleccher’.

170. Foley

Derived from the Irish surname Ó Foghladha, it means ‘son/daughter of Foghlaidh’. Foghlaidh refers to a ‘pirate,’ ‘plunderer’, or a ‘robber’.

171. Foster

The surname is an occupational title denoting ‘a person who works in the forest’. Alternatively, it could also be linked to the French ‘forcetier’, meaning ‘maker of scissors’.

172. Grant

Having French roots, the surname means ‘grand’ or ‘tall’. It may have been derived from the term ‘graund’. English actor Hugh Grant is a popular bearer of this surname.

173. Griffin

A surname with roots in English, Irish, and Welsh languages, it may have been derived from the given name Gruffin or Griffin, which is considered a nickname for Gruffudd. It may also be derived from the last name Ó Gríobhtha, meaning ‘descendant of Gríobhtha’.

174. Holloway

The term ‘hollow’ means ‘sunken,’ while ‘weg’ means ‘way’. It may be a habitational name referring to people who came from places named Holloway or Holway.

175. Hubbard

The surname is derived from the masculine name Hubert, which comes from Germanic Hugibert meaning ‘bright spirit’.

176. Hunt

No prizes for guessing, the surname is an occupational title for someone who hunted for survival. It is also linked to the Irish surname Ó Fiachna, which is derived from the term ‘fiach’ meaning ‘the chase’.

177. Ingram

The surname comes from the masculine given name Ingram. It is a combination of two Germanic terms ‘engil’ meaning ‘angel’ and ‘hram’ meaning ‘raven’.

178. Jefferson

Evident from its spelling, the patronymic surname means ‘son of Jeffrey’. American president Thomas Jefferson is a popular name bearer.

179. Lane

The surname is a habitational title that refers to someone who ‘lived by the lane or pathway.’It is also believed to be the English version of the French Laine meaning ‘the eldest (son)’.

180. Lee

Lee is a known surname across various cultures and languages. In English, it is a topographic title referring to a person who ‘lived near a meadow’.

181. Manning

Manning is the English counterpart of the Irish surname Ó Mainnín, meaning ‘descendant of Mainnín’. It is also considered a patronymic title derived from the name Mann.

182. Marshall

Derived from the Middle English term ‘mareshal’, the surname denotes a ‘farrier’. Its French and German roots give it the meaning ‘horse servant’, referring to a person who looked after horses.

183. Mason

Taking inspiration from the Old English title ‘masoun’, the surname denotes a person who worked as a stoneworker. Alternatively, it could also be derived from the French topographic surname Maison meaning ‘house’.

184. Mitchell

The surname is derived from the masculine name Michael, which means ‘who is like God’.

185. Morton

A habitational title, Morton refers to people who hailed from Moortown located in Leed, England.

186. Owen

Also a popular masculine name, Owen is derived from the Welsh name Owain meaning ‘well-born noble’.

187. Perry

Image: Shutterstock

Multiple origins give this surname varied meanings. In English, it is considered a habitational surname that means ‘the one who lives near a pear tree’. In Welsh, the name is considered patronymic, meaning ‘son of Harry’.

188. Pierce

The surname is derived from the masculine name Piers, which comes from Peter, meaning ‘stone’.

189. Pruitt

From a nickname to a surname, Pruitt certainly has made its place in people’s hearts. Derived from the Old French term ‘proux’, the surname means ‘brave’ or ‘wise’.

190. Richards

The surname is derived from the given name Richard, which means ‘brave ruler’. American actress Denise Richards is a known bearer of this surname.

191. Rogers

A patronymic title, the surname means ‘son of Roger’. Alternatively, it may also be derived from the Irish surname Mac Ruaidhrí.

192. Simmons

The surname comes from the Hebrew name Simon, meaning ‘hearing’ or ‘listening’.

193. Singleton

Singleton is a habitational surname that is derived from the Old English term ‘scingol’, meaning ‘shingle’ or ‘wooden roof tile’ and ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement.’

194. Stanley

Also a popular given name, Stanley means ‘stone’ or ‘rock clearing’. American businessman and co-founder of the multinational company Morgan Stanley, Harold Stanley is a notable bearer of this last name.

195. Summers

The surname is likely to be an occupational title denoting a person who worked for an individual named Somer. Alternatively, the surname could also be a variant of the name Sumner, meaning ‘one who summons the witness in a court’.

196. Tate

The surname cannot be traced to any known source but it is believed to be derived from the Old English masculine name Tata.

197. Warren

In Norman French, the term ‘warrene’ means ‘animal enclosure’. The surname may have been used for a person who lived near such an enclosure. Alternatively, it may have been derived from the Germanic term ‘warino’, which means ‘protection shelter’.

198. Wells

A topographic title, it refers to a ‘stream,’ ‘well’, or ‘spring’. It may have been used to denote people who lived near a stream of water.

199. Williams

The surname is a patronym meaning ‘son of William’. The name William is derived from the Germanic terms ‘will’, meaning ‘desire’, and ‘helm’, meaning ‘protection’.

200. Wood

The surname may have been used to denote a person who worked in or lived near a forest.

201. Wyatt

Wyatt is believed to be derived from the given names Wiot or Wiet. Alternatively, it may also be the variant of Wyard or Wigheard, which is a combination of two terms ‘wīg’, meaning ‘battle’, and ‘heard’ meaning ‘bold brave’.

1. Can I find Southern last names that are associated with specific states?

Southern American last names are not associated with any specific state but they do exhibit their root language or country of origin. For instance, surnames such as Beauchamp, Fontaine, and Montgomery are examples of their French connection, while Covington, Ashcroft, and Ellerbee have British roots.

2. Can Southern last names have prefixes like ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac’?

Yes, many Southern last names do show Scottish and Irish influence. Also, families who may have adopted the original Gaelic titles and not their anglicized variants may have surnames with such prefixes.

The one thing that makes Southern last names different from other family names is their universal appeal. Most of these surnames are also used as first names not only in the US but also in other countries. These surnames have passed down from one generation to another in different forms, keeping the legacy of the American South alive wherever they go. Americans carry their southern surname with pride as it is a symbol of their struggles, resilience, and triumph. Their surnames are a reminder of their culture and common history.

Key Pointers

  • Southern last names have deep historical roots that reflect influences from various cultures and traditions, such as English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Spanish.
  • These surnames are mostly patronymics, occupational titles, or topographic last names.
  • Many last names also denote physical attributes of people. For instance, the surname Brown may be associated with someone having brown hair or complexion, while Long may denote someone of tall stature.

References

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Green Tea Keeps My Mind Sharp Like Nothing Else. Here’s How.
Vahdam India Black Tea Makes The Perfect Morning – Get It Now For 20% Off

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *