Infoplease is part of the Sandbox Learning family of educational and reference sites for parents, teachers and students. I am a retired Registered Investment Advisor with 12 years experience as head of an investment management firm. Join the community of family history enthusiasts and FamilySearch employees to ask questions and discuss potential product enhancements. #354 PARKS Living in or near a green area, or occupational surname for a groundskeeper. Although hyphenated last names are much more widely accepted than double-barrel surnames in the U.S., even they have faced roadblocks. #484 INGRAM People from England. #671 HARRELL Nickname for someone with a good head of thick hair. #189 NICHOLS Family of Nicholas. #452 ROMAN Person from Rome, Italy. Murray 19. . #50 ROBERTS Family of Robert. #753 KEMP Champion. #468 MACK Son of #583 MORA Blackberry. #389 ERICKSON Son of Eric. I think you can say with a very high degree of confidence that unmarried parents are less likely to pass down the fathers last name, Emily Shafer, a sociologist at Portland State University, told me. #800 SLOAN From the old Gaelic given name Sluaghadhan, meaning a leader of a military expedition. #575 NICHOLSON Son of Nicholas. When two people with double-barrel last names have children, they each pass down the first of their two last names. #876 EVERETT Herd of wild boars. #698 KOCH German occupational surname for a cook or kitchen manager. #897 RIVERS Lives by the river. #156 CRAWFORD By the river/ford crossing #21 LEE Family who lived in or near an open meadow or clearing. #109 HENDERSON Son of Hendrick/Hendry. #904 COSTA Someone from the coast or a bank of a river. #947 RASMUSSEN Danish/Norwegian surname, meaning son of Rasmus. #537 MARSH Family who lived near the marshland. Read: For same-sex couples, changing names takes on extra significance. Catholic, like all of the names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. It signified their desire for greater freedom religiously and . #151 FREEMAN A person who was not owned or ruled by another. Some of the most influential ethnicities that have changed the fabric of American family names include Spanish, Portuguese, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and English settlers who arrived on North American shores and brought their familial nomenclature with them. #411 LIU Chinese surnmae meaning to kill, destroy. #23 THOMPSON Son of Thomas. Grain, wood, etc. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California. Our supporters have distributed tens of millions of life-changing Catholic gifts since 1991, making us America's largest producer of high-quality, super-affordable tools for evangelization. Rodriguez is the least white-sounding of all Hispanic last names. #840 RANDOLPH Shield Wolf. #106 BELL Occupational surname for a bell-ringer/news announcer. #732 BEASLEY From the bent grass clearing. #757 MURILLO Lives near a boundary or wall. Surnames could also come from places a hint that a name comes from a place might be the endings -field, -ford, -brook, or -wood, for example. #384 McCARTHY Form of the Gaelic Mac Carthaigh meaning son of Carthach (loving). #608 DAVENPORT Habitational surname of families from Davenport in Cheshire, UK. #796 STEIN Family of Stephen. #646 ALLISON Unknown meaning, but possibly son of Alan. 2. Literally means oak. #318 VILA From the city of Avila, Spain. Literally means the beacon/lighthouse. #807 HULL Either a habitational surname for someone who lived on or near a hill, or from the given name Hulle, which was a nickname for Hugh. #556 SANTANA Follower of St. Anna. #352 McDANIEL Son of Daniel. #616 HOOD Scottish occupational surname for a maker of hoods or nickname for someone who wore one. #718 KEITH Nickname for an offspring or young person. Your last name can give you clues into who you are and where you came from. And the rate at which parents are choosing not to marry has risen dramatically over the past 50 years. #548 CHARLES Free man. #490 MAXWELL From Macks stream, pool, or well. #187 DANIELS Family of Daniel. #198 KELLEY Irish surname meaning bright headed or red-headed. #559 ALI Exalted, revered. #252 CARLSON Son of Carl. #604 POOLE Lives near a small lake or stream. #65 COOK Occupational surname for a cook/chef. #885 CASE Occupational surname for someone who makes boxes, cases, or chests. With a 14-day free trial, it's very easy to get started and discover your past! #600 ZUNIGA From the town of Estuniga, Spain. #521 McGUIRE From the Irish surname Mag Uidhir meaning son of Odhar which literally means pale-complected. #138 CASTRO Portuguese/Spanish surname meaning Castle. #533 SPARKS Originally a Norse nickname given to someone with dynamic character, full of life. #541 PRATT From the Old English word praett meaning a trick (like pratfall). Today, women arent legally mandated to give their husbands last name to their children but U.S. bureaucracy has continued to enforce patrilineal naming conventions. #684 CLINE From the German klein meaning little, small. Three decades later, it was about 20 percent. #884 LANDRY Land ruler. #79 WARD Guardian Literally means forest of pines. A lot of these same principles apply in other languages, particularly when discussing the system of patronymic naming. #56 PARKER Occupational surname for someone worked as a park keeper or game keeper. O'Connell 26. #93 CASTILLO Lives in or near the Castle. #859 HAHN German surname from the word hane meaning rooster, applied as a nickname for a conceited or sexually active man. #819 McINTOSH Son of the chief, leader. Passing on a double last name the way my culture does, it was just going to be an administrative headache for my kids, she said. #403 CUMMINGS Possibly from the French town Comines. #979 HINTON From the high enclosure/settlement. Common Surnames in the United States 1990 - Behind the Name Common Surnames in the United States Home Common Surnames Information from the U.S. Census Bureau. #961 OCONNELL Descendant of Conaill. #466 CANNON Occupational surname for someone who worked at a house of clergy. #509 TYLER Occupational surname for a tailor. #447 BLAKE White complected or white haired. (Neither the New Hampshire, New York, nor Texas DMVs responded to a request for comment.). #863 FELIX Originally a term of endearment, meant happy one. #150 CHEN Chinese surname meaning morning. #414 GRIFFITH Leader with a strong Grip. #340 CARRILLO Spanish surname, literally means cheek. From cart/wagon, so it may be occupational. Probably a habitational surname for a family who lived near tree stumps. #903 TRUONG Vietnamese surname meaning drawing a bow or archer. #998 TRAVIS Occupational surname for someone who collected a tax or toll at a crossing. #880 MAYER Occupational surname for a mayor of a village or town. Anthony has researched court cases in which couples battle over who has the right to pass down the surname to their kids. #242 NUEZ Son of Nuo #349 DURAN Literally means durable, hard. #370 PHAM Vietnamese surame meaning extensive. For women, taking their husbands last name became a symbol of accepting his authority. #479 GALLAGHER Irish surname meaning descendant of Gallchobhair. Most probably used for someone who was brave and formidable in battle. Hernndez Grande, who had moved to the U.S. from Spain at the age of 8, panicked. Mallinson thinks that is partly because of inertia. #727 WALTER Family of Walter. #450 BRADY Possibly from the Gaelic surname Mac Bradaigh son of the thief, or from the early English brad-eage meaning broad eye or someone with excellent eyesight. #77 KIM Korean surname meaning gold. #483 TOWNSEND From the end of the town (towns end). #561 LAMB Occupational surname for a herder of sheep. #715 RUSSO Descriptive surname for someone who was a red-head or had a ruddy complexion. #478 ROWE Locational surname of someone who lived by a row of something, or from Rowland, meaning Renowned Wolf. #602 WILCOX Son of William. Even your best guess will do. #117 PATTERSON Son of Patrick. She suspects that many heterosexual couples arent seriously discussing what they want their childs last name to be. The decision came down to family cohesion: The couple wanted their childrenthey eventually had twoto share a last name with the only cousin near their kids in age, who was Mallinsons niece. #848 CONRAD Brave counsel. #470 HUBBARD Variation of the name Hubert, meaning bright heart. #199 SPENCER Occupational surname for a butler or steward of a manor. Names today no longer denote a profession, hometown, or mark of ownership; instead, they reflect what a family values. That started to change by about the 18th century, when coverture lawswhich counted wives as legal property of their husbandsgrew more entrenched in Britain, and evolved to effectively forbid women from owning land at all. The personal name meant something along the lines of "hound of desire" in Gaelic. #387 CERVANTES From old Spanish meaning servant or the word ciervo, meaning stag or a womans man. #928 MULLEN Lives at or near a mill. Scottish clan name. #845 REILLY Gaelic name from OReilly, meaning son or descendent of Raghailligh. #723 MONTES Habitational surname for someone who lived on or near a hill/mountain. #211 CUNNINGHAM Scottish surname from the Gaelic Cuinneagin meaning descendant of the leader. Wassa was a feminine Anglo-Saxon given name. Sylmarie Dvila-Montero #517 BAUER Occupational surname for a worker. #931 CANO Spanish/Portugal surname referring to a cave, or a French/Italian occupational surname occupational for someone who supplied cane/reeds for thatching. In fact, data from a Census Bureau study reveals that the number of Hispanic surnames in the top 25 doubled between 1990 and 2000. #449 ADKINS Family or son of Adam. #941 BOOKER Occupational surname for someone who bound, wrote, or sold books. #681 HANCOCK Son of John. What Kinds of Clothes Do They Wear in Ireland? #667 ZAVALA From Zawada or Zawady, literally meaning fortress. #415 PAUL Small. History is another factor in determining surnames. #8 DAVIS Son of David. It didnt match my green card, she told me. #761 KLINE German nickname surname given to someone who was small. #485 WISE Wise or educated person. #448 TRUJILLO Family from the city of Trujillo, Spain. #192 WEAVER Occupational surname for a weaver of cloth. #806 GENTRY Born of high status. For example, during the period before the American Civil War when slave-owning was legal, many indentured people were forced to take on the names of those who purchased them, such as Roberts, Jacobs, or even last names that denoted skin color (like White, Black, or Brown). #159 PORTER Occupational surname for someone who transported items. #648 GATES Lives in or behind a gated area. #964 SPENCE Occupational surname for someone in charge of a pantry/goods in an estate. #277 LE Vietnamese surname meaning lives near a pear tree. #49 CARTER Occupational surname for a cart driver. #562 TREVINO Lives in a house on a boundary, or where boundaries meet. #832 CORONA Literally means crown, but could mean several occupations: someone who made helmets or hats, someone who was going bald, or a follower of Christianity referring to the crown of thorns. Hear ye! #209 KNIGHT Occupational surname for a knight or someone who worked in a knights household. #822 FROST Nickname surname for a person who had white hair or who had a frosty disposition. Given to a person who was a champion of a competition such as jousting. #997 DAUGHERTY From the Gaelic surname ODochartaigh, meaning descendent of the hurtful one. Most probably had nothing to do with the actual moon. #624 COMBS LIves near a small valley (cumb). Despite a history of troubled relations between the two countries going back centuries, persons do intermarry and so, in those areas of the Irish Republic closest to Northern Ireland, it's harder to tell from the last name whether the family is Catholic or Protestant. #28 RAMIREZ Son of Ramiro. #686 GRIMES Viking surname meaning masked person, fierce.