579+ Old Last Names [1600s, 1700s, 1800s / Victorian, 1900s, Vintage]

Old Last Names

Vintage and old last names are a topic of interest of many in the 21st century.

So what are some old last names and their origins?

That’s what we’ll cover below.

In this article, we cover different vintage surnames across various categories.

These include:

  • Old Last Names from the 1600s
  • Old Last Names from the 1700s
  • Old Last Names from the 1800s (Victorian Last Names)
  • Old Last Names from the 1900s
  • Old Last Names from the 1500s
  • Old Last Names from the 1400s
  • Fancy Old Last Names (Surnames)
  • Common Old-Fashioned Last Names
  • Old English Surnames (British Last Names)
  • Old Lady Last Names
  • Good Old Last Names
  • American Old Last Names
  • French Old Last Names
  • Italian Old Last Names
  • Japanese Old Last Names
  • Spanish Old Last Names
  • Irish Old Last Names
  • Old German Last Names
  • Rich Old Last Names
  • Last Name Ideas

Where Do Old-Fashioned Names Come From?

Old-fashioned last names are often derived from a word or phrase in the medieval era. For example, the surname “Wentworth” comes from the Old English word “went”, meaning “white” or “fair”.

Other old-fashioned surnames are derived from the names of places, such as “Howard” (from the town of Howard in England) or “Montgomery” (from the city of Montgomery in France).

Many old-fashioned surnames are still common today, such as “Smith”, “Taylor”, “Cook”, and “Bell”.

Others, such as “Somerset” or “Percy”, are less common but still used occasionally.

For authors, you are looking for a unique last name for your character, consider using an old-fashioned surname. These names often have interesting origins and can add flavor to your story.

Vintage Last Names with Meanings

Here are a few examples:

1. Smith – English origin, derived from the word ‘smithen’ meaning ‘to smite or hit’. Originally a trade name for someone who worked with metal.

2. Nguyen – Vietnamese origin, derived from the word ‘Nguyễn’ meaning ‘second son’. This is the most common surname in Vietnam.

3. Schmidt – German origin, derived from the word ‘schmied’ meaning ‘blacksmith or metalworker’.

4. Wong – Chinese origin, derived from the word ‘wáng’ meaning ‘king’ or ‘ruler’. A very common surname among Chinese people.

5. Brown – English and Scottish origin, derived from the color brown or dark skinned. It began to be used as a last name in the late 13th century.

6. Miller – English and Scottish origin, derived from the word ‘mill’ meaning ‘one who operates a mill’. It was originally given to someone who worked in that profession.

7. Davis – Welsh origin, derived from the first name David meaning ‘beloved’ or ‘friend’.

8. Wilson – English origin, derived from the word ‘wilson’ meaning ‘son of Will’. It was originally a given name but began to be used as a last name in the 14th century.

9. Anderson – Scottish origin, derived from the first name Andrew meaning ‘manly’ or ‘ brave’.

10. Thomas – Greek origin, derived from the first name Thomas meaning ‘twin’. It was popularized by Saint Thomas who is known as ‘Doubting Thomas’ because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when he saw him alive after his crucifixion.

A History of Family Names

Old Last Names from the 1600s

Shillington

Hanscombe

Bakewell

Woolstencroft

Baverstock

Balkwill

Bretton

Ashmore

Banning

Beale

Beadle

Burroughs

Capper

Chesterman

Clayton

Cooke

Crisp

Dent

Dickenson

Eeles

Emerson

Old Last Names from the 1700s

Fothergill

Gardner

Goodwin

Haldane

Hardcastle

Henderson

Hole

Howse

Innes

Irving

Jameson

Jardine

Johnstone

Kerr

Kinloch

Lambert

Leith

Macdonald

Macfarlane

Old Last Names from the 1800s (Victorian Last Names)

Old Last Names from the 1800s (Victorian Last Names)

Victorian-era last names come with a lot of history and meaning behind them.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular Victorian surnames.

Marshall

Moffatt

Morrison

Muirhead

Napier

Neilson

Niven

Parker

Paterson

Patten

Phillips

Pollock

Preston

Rose

Russell

Sanderson

Scott

Short

Simpson

Skinner

Stewart

Taylor

Allison

Archer

Armstrong

Bailey

Bell

Campbell

Carr

Chapman

Clark

Collins

Cunningham

Edwards

Ellis

Ferguson

Fraser

Graham

Grant

Gray

Green

Hamilton

Hay

Hill

Johnston

Keith

Kennedy

Old Last Names from the 1900s

The most popular last names in the 1900s were often derived from occupation, location, and nicknames.

Some examples of old last names from the 1900s include:

Cooper

Kelly

Murphy

Smith

Walsh

Byrne

Ryan

O’Brien

O’Connor

Doyle

McCarthy

Reynolds

HISTORY OF SURNAMES

Old Last Names from the 1500s

The following are all surnames that were common in England in the 1500s.

Surnames were not used consistently during this time period so you may see some variation in spelling.

Abbott

Ackland

Adams

Alcock

Allen

Anderson

Atkinson

Baker

Ball

Barnes

Becker

Bell

Bennett

Berry

Blackman

Blake

Bond

Boyd

Bradbury

Briggs

Bromley

Butler

Carter

Clarke

Clay

Coleman

Collins

Colyer

Cook

Cooper

Cotterill

Craft

Daniels

Davidson

Davis

Dixon

Dodd

Downing

Dunn

Durrant

 

Dyer

Edmunds

Ellis

Evans

Everett

Fisher

Foster

Freeman

Fuller

Gardiner

Garrett

Gibson

Gilbert

Giles

Godfrey

Gordon

Graham

Grant

Gray

Greenwood

Gregory

Hall

Hammond

Hanson

Hardcastle

Hardy

Harvey

Hawkins

Haynes

Henderson

Henry

Herbert

Hill

Holmes

Hope

Hughes

Hunter

Innes

Jackson

James

Jeffries

Johnson

Jones

Kelly

Kelsey

King

Lamb

Lane

Large

Lawrence

Lee

Lewis

Long

Marshall

Martin

Mason

Matthews

May

Miller

Mitchell

Morgan

Morris

Murray

Newman

Nicholls

Owen

Parker

Parsons

Paterson

Pearson

Phillips

Powell

Price

Pritchard

Pullen

Reid

Richardson

Roberts

Robinson

Rose

Russell

Sanders

Scott

Sharp

Simpson

Smith

Stevenson

Stewart

Taylor

Thompson

Turner

Walsh

Ward

Watson

White

Williams

Wilson

Wood

Wright

Old Last Names from the 1400s (Medieval Last Names)

There are many old last names that date back to the 1400s.

These names were likely used by people who were of high social status or who held important positions in the government or military.

Here are some examples of these old last names:

1. D’Artagnan: This was the name of a character in a popular book series called The Three Musketeers. The name comes from a French town called Artagnan, which is located in southwestern France.

2. De Medici: This is the name of an Italian family that was once one of the most powerful families in Florence, Italy. The family produced two popes and several rulers of Florence.

3. Howard: This is an English last name that was first used by the noble family of the same name. The family held the title of Earl of Arundel and Duke of Norfolk.

4. Montgomery: This is a French last name that was first used by the Counts of Montgomerie, who were a powerful family in northern France.

5. Plantagenet: This is the name of a royal house that ruled England from 1154 to 1485. The name comes from Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, who was the father of Henry II, the first king of the House of Plantagenet.

6. Rousseau: This is a French last name that was popular among people in southern France. It is derived from the Latin word “rus”, which means “red”.

7. Stuart: This is a Scottish last name that was first used by the royal family of Scotland. The name comes from the House of Stewart, which was founded by Robert II, King of Scots.

8. Valois: This is a French last name that was first used by the Counts of Valois, who were a powerful family in central France. The name is derived from the Latin word “vallis”, which means “valley”.

9. Winchester: This is an English last name that was first used by the Bishop of Winchester, who was a powerful man in the 12th and 13th centuries. The name is derived from the city of Winchester in southern England.

10. Wolfe: This is an English last name that was derived from the Old English word “wulf”, which means “wolf”. It was likely first used by someone who had wolf-like qualities, such as strength and courage.

11. York: This is an English last name that was first used by the people of the city of York in northern England. The name is derived from the Latin word “Eboracum”, which was the Roman name for the city.

12. Zwick: This is a German last name that was derived from the word “zwick”, which means “twig” or “branch”. It was likely first used by someone who lived in or near a forest.

Fancy Old Last Names (Surnames)

Fancy Old Last Names (Surnames)

Some old last names have a more fanciful origin, often derived from a word or phrase in the medieval era.

Here are some examples of fancy old surnames:

De Vere – ‘Of the Verrans’ (meaning ‘of the green field’)

Montague – ‘From the pointed hill’

Percy – ‘Pierced valley’

Stanhope – ‘Stone hope’ or ‘stone quarry’

Somerset – ‘Summer settlement’

Wentworth – ‘White field’

Common Old-Fashioned Last Names

There are many old-fashioned last names that are still common today.

Here are some examples of old-fashioned surnames that are still common today:

Anderson

Bell

Campbell

Carter

Clark

Coleman

Cook

Dunn

Ellis

Fisher

Gray

Greene

Harris

Hill

Hughes

Jackson

James

Johnson

King

Lewis

Martin

Miller

Moore

Morgan

Murphy

Parker

Phillips

Roberts

Robinson

Scott

Smith

Taylor

Thompson

Walker

White

Wood

Old English Surnames (British Last Names)

The old English surnames that came to America with the first British settlers are still common today.

Here are some examples of old English surnames:

Bates

Berry

Bradley

Chapman

Cole

Cooper

Davies

Edwards

Evans

Foster

Gray

Green

Griffiths

Gunn

Henderson

Hill

Hodges

Humphreys

Jones

Kelly

Matthews

Owen

Powell

Richards

Russell

Sullivan

Watkins

Willis

Old Lady Last Names

Griffin

Sweeney

Welch

Quigley

Kavanaugh

Gallagher

O’Reilly

Fitzgerald

Rourke

Connolly

Brennan

Callaghan

Murphy

Old Lady Last Names (American)

Crawford

Dixon

Harper

Jordan

Marshall

Martin

Moore

Peterson

Reynolds

Sheridan

Simmons

Warner                                                                         ……………………

Good Old Last Names

Some of the most common last names in the United States are actually of English origin.

But where did these surnames come from? And how did they evolve over time?

Here is a look at some of the most popular English last names and their origins:

Smith: This is by far the most common English surname. It comes from the Old English word “smith,” meaning “one who works with metal.”

Over time, Smith became a generic name for someone who worked with any type of metal, not just iron.

Eventually, it became a last name given to someone in any sort of skilled trade.

Johnson: This last name comes from the first name John, which was derived from the Latin name Johannes.

The name Johannes eventually became corrupted to John, and then to Johnson.

Williams: This last name is derived from the first name William, which comes from the Germanic name Wilhelm.

The name Wilhelm eventually became corrupted to William, and then to Williams.

Brown: This last name is derived from the Old English word “brun,” meaning “brown.”

It was originally given to someone with brown hair or skin.

Miller: This last name comes from the Old English word “miln,” meaning “mill.”

It was originally given to someone who worked in a mill.

Davis: This last name is derived from the first name David, which comes from the Hebrew name David.

The name David eventually became corrupted to Davis.

Thompson: This last name is derived from the first name Thomas, which comes from the Aramaic name Thomas.

The name Thomas eventually became corrupted to Thompson.

These are just a few of the most common English last names and their origins. There are many others, of course.

But these are some of the most interesting ones.

Top 10 Most Popular Last Names in the US

Smith is the most common last name in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Johnson is the second most common last name in the United States.

Williams is the third most common last name in the United States.

Brown is the fourth most common last name in the United States.

Jones is the fifth most common last name in the United States.

Miller is the sixth most common last name in the United States.

Wilson is a common name in the United States, ranking as the seventh most common surname.

Davis is the eighth most common last name in the United States.

Garcia is a Hispanic surname that is ninth most common in the United States.

Rodriguez is the 10th most common surname in the United States and is of Hispanic origin.

American Old Last Names

Wilson

Smith

Johnson

Williams

Brown

Jones

Miller

Davis

Garcia

Rodriguez

French Old Last Names

Some of the most common French last names are derived from family names of French nobility that were used for centuries.

Other surnames were taken from occupations, nicknames, or places of origin.

Here are some of the most popular French last names along with their meaning and origin.

1. Martin – This name is derived from the Latin word martinus, meaning “of Mars” or “warlike.” It was a common name among early Christians in honor of Saint Martin of Tours.

2. Bernard – This name comes from the Germanic bernard, meaning “strong bear.” It was introduced to France by the Normans and became popular among nobles and knights.

3. Dubois – This name is derived from the Old French word dubois, meaning “of the woods.” It was a common name for people who lived in the forest of Bois near Paris.

4. Lambert – This name comes from the Germanic landbert, meaning “land bright.” It was a common name among nobles and knights.

5. Moreau – This name is derived from the Old French word morel, meaning “dark-haired.” It was a common name for people with dark hair or dark complexions.

6. Leroy – This name is derived from the Old French word le roy, meaning “the king.” It was a common name for people who served the king or were of royal blood.

7. Fontaine – This name is derived from the Old French word fontaine, meaning “fountain.” It was a common name for people who lived near a fountain or spring.

8. Rousseau – This name is derived from the Old French word rous, meaning “red.” It was a common name for people with red hair or red complexions.

9. Lavigne – This name is derived from the Old French word lavigne, meaning “lawn.” It was a common name for people who lived on a piece of land that was well-manicured or had a garden.

Italian Old Last Names

Although there are many different last names found in Italy, some of them are more common than others. Here is a list of the most popular Italian last names and what they mean:

– Rossi: meaning “redhead” or “ruddy complexion”

– Diouf: derived from the Latin word for “oak tree”

– Marino: meaning “of the sea” or “marine”

– Moretti: denoting someone from the city of Modena

– Bianchi: referring to someone with white hair or a pale complexion

– Lombardi: coming from the region of Lombardy in Northern Italy

– Girardi: derived from the word for “walnut tree”

Japanese Old Last Names

Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most common old Japanese last names. These surnames are still in use today, and are derived from a variety of sources.

One of the most common source of old Japanese surnames is occupation. For example, “Yamanaka” (山中) means “in the mountains,” while “Sakai” (境) refers to someone who worked as a border guard.

Other surnames were taken from place names. For example, “Kawamura” (川村) comes from the name of a village in Fukushima prefecture, while “Shimizu” (清水) corresponds to a city in Shizuoka prefecture.

Still others were taken from the names of clans or lineages, such as “Minamoto” (源) and “Taira” (平). And finally, some surnames were simply bestowed by a ruler or other authority figure.

In recent years, many Japanese people have been adopting Western-style last names. However, there are still many families who cling to the old ways and keep their traditional surname alive.

Spanish Old Last Names

Some of the most common Spanish last names can be traced back to medieval times, when populations were increasingly governed by central authority.

The naming system that developed in medieval Spain was based on a combination of personal name, patronymic, and place name.

This system is known as “triple naming.”

Today, many Spanish last names have origins in Christian names, such as López (derived from the Latin word for “wolf”), Pérez (from the Latin word for “son of Peter”), and González (from the Latin word for “son of Gundisalvus”).

Other common Spanish surnames have Moorish roots, such as Sánchez ( derived from the Arabic word for “son of Sancho”), López (from the Arabic word for “son of Lope”), and Fernández (from the Arabic word for “son of Fernando”).

Still other Spanish last names have occupational origins, such as García (derived from the word for “oaks,” which was an occupation in medieval Spain), Herrera (derived from the word for “ironworker”), and Díaz (derived from the word for “dyer”).

Finally, some Spanish surnames are derived from toponymic origins, meaning they are based on the location of the person’s origin, such as Castillo (“castle”), Soto (“meadow”), or Plaza (“plaza”).

There are also many different spelling variations of Spanish surnames, which are often the result of regional variations within Spain.

For example, the name García can be spelled as Garcia in Andalusia, while in Castile it would be spelled as Garci’a.

Some common Spanish last names include:

García

González

López

Sánchez

Pérez

Fernández

Rodríguez

Gómez

Martínez

Hernández

Díaz

Lozano

Mendoza

Castillo

Ruiz

Alonso

Gutiérrez

Navarro

Ortiz

Irish Old Last Names

The Irish have a long and rich history, with many unique last names that have been passed down through the generations.

Here are some of the most common Irish last names, along with their meanings:

-Murphy: derived from the Gaelic word for “sea warrior”

-Kelly: derived from the Gaelic word for “bright-headed”

-O’Brien: derived from the Gaelic word for “son of the king”

-Ryan: derived from the Gaelic word for “little king”

-Byrne: derived from the Gaelic word for “raven” or “blackbird”

-Fitzgerald: derived from the Norman French word for “son of the king”

-O’Neill: derived from the Gaelic word for ” descendant of Niall”

– Walsh: derived from the Old Welsh word for ” foreigner” or “stranger”

-Connolly: derived from the Gaelic word for “head of the household”

– Doyle: derived from the Gaelic word for “dark stranger”

Whether you have Irish ancestry yourself or you simply love all things Irish, these last names are sure to add a touch of charm and mystery to your life.

Old German Last Names

Some of the most common old German last names are:

Müller (miller)

Schmidt (smith)

Weber (weaver)

Wagner (wagoner or carpenter)

Becker (baker)

Hartmann (strong man)

Koch (cook)

These are just a few of the most popular surnames from Germany.

Rich Old Last Names

There are many old last names that are still in use today.

Some of these last names are very popular, while others are not so well known.

Here is a list of some of the most popular old last names.

1. Smith – This is one of the most common last names in the world. It is also one of the oldest last names, dating back to the 13th century.

2. Johnson – This last name is also very common and is derived from the given name John.

3. Williams – This last name was originally derived from the given name William.

4. Brown – This last name is derived from the color brown or someone with brown hair or skin.

5. Rockefeller – This last name is derived from the Dutch word “rockefeller” meaning “rock.”

6. Dupont – This last name is of French origin and refers to someone who lives at the bottom or end of a town.

7. Miller – This last name is derived from the occupation of miller, someone who grinds grain into flour.

8. Stewart – This last name is derived from the Scottish word “stewart” meaning “guardian.”

9. Saunders – This last name is derived from the given name Alexander.

10. Robinson – This last name is derived from the given name Robin, which itself comes from the Old English word “robina” meaning “bright fame.”

11. Carnegie – This last name is derived from the Scottish Gaelic word “carneag,” meaning “rock.”

12. Vanderbilt – This last name is derived from the Dutch word “vander” meaning “of the” and “bilt” meaning “built.”

13. Churchill – This last name is derived from the Old English words “cyric” meaning “church” and “hill” meaning “hill.”

14. Kennedy – This last name is of Irish origin and comes from the given name Cennetig, which means “ugly head.”

15. Madison – This last name is derived from the given name Maddoc, which itself comes from the Welsh word for “son of Madoc.”

Last Name Ideas

Whether you’re looking for a last name for a character in a story or trying to come up with a good last name for yourself, these last name generators and random name pickers will do the trick.

There are many different ways to go about choosing a last name, but here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Brainstorm a list of potential last names

Think about the types of surnames that might be appropriate for your character or yourself.

If you’re looking for a last name for a fictional character, try to choose one that is relatively common.

2. Narrow down your list of potential last names

Once you have a list of potential surnames, try to narrow it down to those that are most likely to be used by the people in your story or by yourself.

If you’re looking for a last name for a fictional character, consider the time period and location in which your story is set.

Surnames that were common in one part of the world may not be as common in another.

3. Use a last name generator

If you’re having trouble coming up with a suitable last name, try using a last name generator.

This can be a helpful tool if you want to find a last name that is both appropriate and unique.

4. Choose a last name that is meaningful to you

Ultimately, the best way to choose a last name is to go with one that has some personal significance to you.

Whether it’s the surname of an ancestor or a name that you simply like, choose a last name that you will be happy with.

FAQs – Vintage Last Names

What are some vintage last names?

Some vintage last names include Anderson, Bell, Campbell, Carter, Clark, Coleman, Cook, Dunn, Ellis, Fisher, Gray, Greene Harris, Hill Hughes Jackson James Johnson King Lewis Martin Miller Moore Morgan Murphy Parker Phillips Roberts Robinson Scott Smith Taylor Thompson Walker White Wood.

What are some old-fashioned last names that are still common today?

Some old-fashioned surnames that are still common today include Anderson, Bell, Campbell, Carter, Clark, Coleman, Cook, Dunn, Ellis Fisher Gray Greene Harris Hill Hughes Jackson James Johnson King Lewis Martin Miller Moore Morgan Murphy Parker Phillips Roberts Robinson Scott Smith Taylor Thompson Walker White Wood.

What are some old English surnames?

Some old English surnames include Bates Berry Bradley Chapman Cooper Dyer Freeman Hardy Heath Higgins Hill Jackson Kendall Knight Mason Mercer Miles Parker Russell Saunders Sawyer Spencer Stanley Stewart Taylor Thorpe Turner Tyler Warner Webb Wright.

What are some old Scottish surnames?

Some old Scottish surnames include Baird Blair Bowie Cameron Clark Davidson Douglas Duncan Elliott Fraser Graham Grant Gunn Henderson Keith Kennedy Lindsay MacDonald Malcolm Morrison Murray Neil Robertson Ross Wallace Watson.

What are some old Irish surnames?

Some old Irish surnames include Barrett Byrne Cahill Conlon Doyle Flynn Gallagher Hogan Kelly Lynch McCarthy Murphy O’Brien O’Connell O’Donnell O’Neill Reilly Ryan Walsh.

Conclusion – Vintage Surames

In this article, we covered the topic of vintage surnames. We discussed their history and how they became popular.

We also provided a list of some of the most common vintage surnames.

If you are interested in learning more about surnames, consider doing a bit of research on your own family name.

You may be surprised at what you find!

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