How did your last name come to be — and who brought it to America? Find out in this book, featuring 400 pages of information about more than a thousand last names of the original colonists and other early settlers!
Discover information about hundreds of people who left their mark on this country — whether by fighting for it, legislating it, building it, improving it… or simply by having helped make it possible for millions of people to exist today.
Decades ago, genealogists and other researchers spent countless hours investigating and tracing the ancestries of many of the last names common in America. They paged through rare old books and referenced dusty archival documents to find the sources of these surnames, to reconstruct how and when those families arrived in the United States.
We rediscovered a wealth of information — drawing from more than a thousand different sources — and combined the best of what we found into this encyclopedia. Find out how the names were formed, and get unique insights about the families who carried the names hundreds of years ago.
Now, you can benefit from their years of research in this one book — a collection like no other. You’ll find countless threads connecting people and places, gain new perspectives on topics covered in history books, and pick up some interesting trivia. Most important of all, it might be able to illuminate your own family heritage, or provide starting points for your own genealogical journey.
It all starts with our not-so-simple heritage of last names — things that really only came into existence a couple dozen generations ago. By understanding the stories behind these names, we can learn not just about our own lineage, but get a whole new perspective on many of the real flesh-and-blood people who walked this earth long before us, and who have made it possible for us to stand here today.
Scroll down to see a list of names featured!
The Encyclopedia of American Last Names: Family Genealogy and Meanings for 1000 Surnames of Early European Settlers to the United States
More than 2300 names are mentioned in total (including variations), but those with specific definitions include: Abbott, Abell, Abernethy, Ackerson, Adams, Adger, Affleck, Africa, Agnew, Albert, Albin, Alcom, Aldrich, Allbright, Allen, Allston, Ambler, Ames, Amos, Angell, Anker, Anthony, Applegate, Arbuckle, Armor, Armstrong, Arnold, Arthur, Ash, Ashley, Asquith, Atlee, Atwood, Aubert, Austin, Avery, Axtell, Ayre, Babcock, Bacchus, Bache, Bacheller, Bacon, Badger, Badon, Bagley, Bailey, Bainbridge, Baker, Baldwin, Ball, Ballance, Bancroft, Bangs, Banister, Bannerman, Barclay, Bardwell, Barker, Barrett, Barry, Bartholomew, Bassett, Bates, Battle, Baxter, Beach, Beacon, Beard, Beavers, Becker, Beckett, Beckwith, Bedel, Bedlow, Beldam, Bell, Belsher, Benjamin, Bennet, Bennydick, Benson, Benton, Bergen, Berger, Beveridge, Biddle, Bigelow, Birdseye, Bishop, Blair, Blake, Blakeman, Bliss, Blood, Bloom, Bloomfield, Blossom, Boehm, Bok, Bomberger, Bonneau, Booker, Boon, Borden, Boreman, Bottom, Bowker, Bowles, Boynton, Bradbury, Bragg, Brainard, Brandow, Bray, Breese, Brewer, Brian, Briggs, Brinton, Bristow, Broadbent, Brock, Bronson, Brooks, Broomall, Brown, Browning, Bruce, Bruner, Brush, Bryson, Buck, Buckley, Buckner, Bullard, Bullock, Bunyon, Burbank, Burgess, Burgwin, Burke, Burnett, Burns, Burr, Bush, Burton, Butterworth, Buttolph, Button, Butts, Buxton, Byard, Byram, Byrd, Cabell, Cable, Cage, Callender, Cameron, Campbell, Cannon, Carey, Carpenter, Carr, Carrington, Carroll, Carson, Carter, Carver, Case, Cassel, Catt, Cauldwell, Chaffee, Chamberlain, Champness, Chaplin, Chapman, Charles, Chase, Cheney, Chester, Chiles, Chisholm, Choate, Crowninshield, Church, Churchill, Cist, Claggett, Claiborne, Clark, Claypoole, Clayton, Cleveland, Clevenger, Clift, Clinton, Coburn, Coffee, Coffin, Cole, Colfax, Colledge, Colt, Conant, Condit, Conover, Conrad, Cooke, Coolidge, Cooper, Copeland, Corbet, Coriell, Corliss, Cornell, Corwin, Cotton, Cottrell, Couch, Covert, Covill, Cox, Crane, Craven, Crawford, Crockett, Crofton, Crosby, Cross, Crouch, Cruger, Crutcher, Cryer, Cummings, Cunningham, Curtis, Cushing, Cushman, Dabney, Dahlgren, Dana, Danforth, Daniel, Danvers, Dare, Davenport, Davidson, Davis, Dawes, Day, De Forest, De Pauw, De Schweinitz, Deacon, Dean, Dehart, Delano, Demeritt, Dempster, Dennis, Derr, Derrick, Devoe, Dexter, Dickerson, Dimond, Dole, Donner, Dorland, Dougherty, Doughty, Douglas, Dover, Dow, Dowd, Downer, Doyle, Drake, Drexel, Drinkwater, Drum, Drury, Duane, Dudley, Dunbar, Dunham, Dunlevy, Dunn, Durand, Duryea, Dvorak, Dwight, Dyer, Dymoke, Easterling, Eastman, Eby, Eddy, Edwards, Eichelberger, Elliot, Ellison, Elmer, Ely, Emerson, Emery, Eno, Entwistle, Epstein, Espy, Evans, Ewell, Ewing, Eyre, Fairfax, Faneuil, Farley, Farragut, Farrer, Fauld, Fay, Fenimore, Fenner, Fenton, Fenwick, Ferguson, Ferris, Finch, Fink, Finn, Fish, Fiske, Fitch, Fitz, Flagg, Flanders, Fleet, Fleetwood, Fleming, Fletcher, Folsom, Ford, Foreigner, Forrest, Forsyth, Fosgate, Foss, Foster, Fox, Franklin, Fraser, Freeland, Freeman, Frisby, Frothingham, Fry, Fulton, Furnell, Galbraith, Gallatin, Gallup, Galloway, Galusha, Garber, Gardiner, Gardner, Garfield, Garland, Garnett, Garrett, Garth, Gartrell, Gay, Gaylord, Gaynor, George, Gest, Getty, Gibbons, Gibson, Gifford, Gilbert, Gilchrist, Giles, Gillespie, Gilman, Gilmer, Gilmore, Gilpin, Gladden, Glass, Godfrey, Godson, Goff, Golden, Goldsbrough, Goldthwaite, Goodman, Goodrich, Goodwin, Gordon, Gorman, Gottfried, Gottschalk, Gough, Graham, Gray, Grayson, Green, Greenleaf, Greenough, Gregory, Grosvenor, Gruber, Grubb, Grundy, Grylls, Guion, Gunnison, Gwynn, Gwynnesmith, Hackett, Haggard, Haldeman, Hale, Halliday, Halsey, Hamilton, Hamlin, Hammond, Hampton, Hancock, Hardee, Harding, Haring, Harper, Harriman, Harris, Harrison, Harvard, Hasell, Haskell, Hastings, Hatch, Hatcher, Hawke, Hawkesby, Hawkshaw, Hawthorne, Hay, Hayes, Hazard, Head, Hearn, Heathfield, Hecker, Hedden, Henderson, Hendricks, Henry, Henshaw, Hepburn, Herrick, Hershey, Hester, Hicks, Hill, Hinkley, Hinman, Hinsdale, Hobart, Hobson, Hoffman, Holden, Holder, Holland, Hollingshead, Holm, Holman, Holmes, Holy, Homer, Hooker, Hope, Hopper, Hornblower, Horner, Horsnail, Horton, Hotchkiss, Hough, Houghton, House, Howard, Howe, Howitt, Howland, Hoyt, Hubbard, Hudson, Huger, Hugh, Hull, Humphrey, Hunt, Huntington, Hurst, Hutson, Hyde, Ide, Ingall, Inman, Ireland, Irons, Irving, Ives, Izard, Jacobs, James, Janeway, Jarvis, Jay, Jefferson, Jenks, Jessup, Jewell, Jewett, Jocelyn, Johnson, Jones, Jordan, Judson, Junkins, Kay, Keen, Kehoe, Keith, Kellogg, Kelly, Kemp, Kendall, Kennedy, Kent, Kershaw, Kester, Kidder, Kiefer, Kimball, King, Kissam, Kittinger, Knickerbocker, Knight, Knowles, Knox, Kuhlthau, Lacey, Ladd, Laidlaw, Lake, Lamb, Lambert, Lamborn, Lander, Landis, Lang, Lansing, Larkin, Latrobe, Lavender, Laville, Lawrence, Le Chien, Lea, Leach, Ledger, Ledoux, Lee, Lefferts, Leslie, Lesson, Lewin, Lewis, Lincoln, Lindabury, Linder, Little, Livermore, Livingston, Lloyd, Locke, Lomax, Lombard, Long, Longstreet, Loomis, Lovewell, Lowe, Lowell, Lowry, Lucas, Lumley, Luther, Lyell, Lyman, Lynch, MacIntosh, MacKenna, MacKenzie, MacKinnon, MacLoughlin, Macy, Maddox, Magruder, Mann, Manners, Manson, Mantle, March, Mariner, Markley, Marr, Marriott, Marsden, Marshall, Marston, Martin, Marvie, Mason, Mather, Maury, McClelland, McCord, Mccormack, McCullough, McCurdy, McDonald, McGregor, McKean, McMurphy, Melville, Melvin, Menefee, Merriam, Merrick, Merriman, Merritt, Meyer, Milliken, Milton, Mitchell, Money, Monoure, Montgomery, Monypenny, Moody, Moon, Moore, Morgan, Morris, Morrison, Morse, Mossman, Muir, Mulford, Munday, Murphy, Myers, Nagel, Nash, Nealley, Negus, Neil, Nesmith, Newberry, Newbold, Newport, Newton, Nicholas, Nicholson, Nims, Nixon, Noble, Norman, Norris, Nourse, Noyes, Nutt, Nye, O’Donnell, Ogden, Oliver, Olmstead, Olney, Opdyke, Ordway, Ormsby, Orwig, Osgood, Overton, Owen, Packard, Page, Paine, Palmer, Pardee, Pardoe, Park, Parker, Parrish, Parsons, Partridge, Pattison, Paul, Peabody, Pears, Peckham, Peddie, Pell, Penn, Penny, Perkins, Perrott, Perry, Peters, Peyton, Phelps, Phillips, Pickens, Pickering, Pickford, Pierrepont, Piper, Pitcairn, Pitcher, Pitt, Pleasant, Plumb, Plume, Polk, Pomeroy, Poor, Pope, Poree, Porter, Post, Potts, Powers, Pownall, Pratt, Pray, Preble, Prescott, Presley, Preston, Price, Prime, Prince, Proctor, Provoost, Pruyn, Pullman, Pumpelly, Pynchon, Quackenboss, Quarrel, Quartermaine, Quick, Quinby, Quincy, Quinn, Radcliffe, Ralston, Randlett, Rathvon, Rawle, Raymond, Reagan, Redfield, Redwood, Reich, Remington, Revere, Reynolds, Rickey, Riddle, Ridpath, Riggs, Riker, Ringwald, Ripley, Roberts, Robie, Robinson, Rochester, Rodgers, Roe, Rogers, Roosevelt, Rose, Rossell, Roth, Ruffin, Rugg, Rush, Ruskin, Russell, Rust, Rutgers, Rutherford, Saint-Gaudens, Salisbury, Samson, Sanborn, Sanderson, Savery, Sawyer, Saylor, Scales, Scanlan, Scarborough, Scarth, Schaeffer, Schenck, Schomberg, Schoolcraft, Schureman, Scott, Scribner, Scripp, Scudder, Seal, Sears, Seaton, Sedgwick, Semple, Senior, Sergeant, Sever, Severance, Sewall, Sexton, Seymour, Shanks, Sharp, Shaw, Shed, Shelby, Sheldon, Sherburn, Sherman, Sherwood, Shields, Shine, Shippen, Shoemaker, Sigourney, Silliman, Silver, Simpson, Skinner, Slade, Slater, Slemons, Smith, Smithson, Snell, Snowden, Sonman, Soper, Sowers, Sparks, Spenser, Spieker, Spofford, Springsteen, Srister, St John, Stacey, Standish, Staples, Stearn, Stephens, Steuart, Stille, Stites, Stockton, Stoddard, Stone, Storm, Story, Stout, Stradley, Straw, Strawbridge, Strieker, Styles, Sullivan, Swan, Sweeney, Sweet, Swift, Taine, Talbot, Taliaferro, Tappan, Tarbell, Tate, Tatum, Taylor, Temple, Tennent, Terhune, Thacker, Thatcher, Thayer, Thomas, Thompson, Thorn, Thornton, Thorpe, Thurston, Tibbett, Tiffany, Tilden, Todd, Torrey, Trump, Trusler, Tubb, Tubman, Tuck, Tucker, Tull, Tupper, Tuttle, Tyler, Tyson, Underhill, Underwood, Upton, Valentine, Vallandigham, Van Winkle, Vanderbilt, Vanderveer, Vane, Veeder, Veile, Venables, Venner, Vernon, Vervellen, Vickery, Vincent, Vise, Voorhees, Wagner, Waite, Wakeman, Wallace, Waller, Walling, Walter, Walworth, Warburton, Warfield, Warner, Warren, Washburn, Washington, Waterhouse, Waterman, Watterson, Webb, Weber, Webster, Weeks, Weightman, Weiss, Welles, Wellington, Wendell, Wesson, West, Weston, Whale, Wharton, Wheaton, Whistler, White, Whittaker, Wilde, Wilgus, Willard, Willcox, Williams, Wilson, Winchester, Winston, Winter, Wise, Wistar, Witherspoon, Wolfe, Womack, Wood, Woodbridge, Woodward, Woolley, Wright, Wycliffe, Wyeth, Wynans, Xander, Xavier, Yale, Yardley, Yeatman, Zane, Zimmerman.