With a population made up of generations of immigrants from all over the world, America has a vast range of international names. Here are the top 20 most common surnames in America.
With generations of people moving to the United States in search of the ‘American Dream’, the U.S.A. has become a melting pot of people from all different backgrounds.
This makes for an interesting intersection of cultures and family heritages, which in turn makes a colourful canvas of international surnames.
So, check out our list of the top 20 most common surnames in America to see if your family name made the list.
The 20 most common surnames in America
20. Martin – of ancient Norman origin
Martin is a name of ancient Norman origin derived from the Latin name Martinus, a derivative of Mars, the Roman god of fertility and war.
American actor and comedian Steve Martin is one of the most famous people with the surname Martin.
19. Jackson – of English origin
Jackson is a patronymic surname of English origin, which literally means “son of Jack”.
Famous Jacksons are American singer-songwriter Michael Jackson and American actor Samuel L. Jackson.
18. Moore – of Irish origin
Deriving from the Irish Gaelic word mordha, meaning stately and noble, Moore is one of the most popular Irish surnames in America.
Famous Moores include American-British actress Julianne Moore and American actress Demi Moore.
17. Taylor – of French origin
Taylor derives from the French occupational surname to describe someone who works as a tailor, someone who makes or mends clothes.
Famous Taylors include American actress Elizabeth Taylor and American singer-songwriter James Taylor.
16. Thomas – of English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French, German, Dutch, and Danish origin
A name that has origins in many countries all over Europe, it is no wonder that the name Thomas is today one of the most common surnames in America. It derives from the medieval given name meaning “twin”.
English actress Kristin Scott Thomas is one of the most famous people with this surname.
15. Anderson – of Swedish origin
Anderson is a patronymic last name of Swedish origin, meaning “son of Anders”.
Canadian-American actress Pamela Anderson and American-English actress Gillian Anderson are two of the most famous people with this surname.
14. Wilson – of English and Scottish origin
Meaning “son of Will”, this popular name is of English and Scottish origin. It derives from the given name Will, which gained popularity in medieval times.
One of the most famous people with this surname is American actor Owen Wilson.
13. Gonzales – of Spanish origin
Gonzales is a name of Spanish origin deriving from the Visigothic or ancient Germanic term for a castle, guntho-salaz, meaning “war hall”.
One of the most famous people with the name Gonzales is Spanish-Brazilian-German actor Daniel Brühl, whose full name is Daniel César Martin Brühl González Domingo.
12. Lopez – of Spanish origin
Lopez is a popular patronymic name of Spanish origin, meaning “son of Lope”.
One of the most famous people with this surname is American actress Jennifer Lopez.
11. Hernandez – of Spanish origin
Hernandez is a name of Spanish origin that gained popularity around the 15th-century, and it means “son of Hernán”.
One of the most famous people with this surname is Venezuelan-American professional baseball player Félix Hernández.
10. Martinez – of Spanish origin
Martinez is a patronymic name of Spanish origin, meaning “son of Martin”. It is most popular in the Spanish regions of Navarre, La Rioja, Cuenca, and Murcia.
One of the most famous people with the surname Martinez is American actress Natalie Martinez.
9. Rodriguez – of Spanish origin
One of the most common surnames in America is Rodriguez, a patronymic name of Spanish origin meaning “son of Rodrigo”.
One of the most famous people with this surname is American actress Gina Rodriguez.
8. Davis – of Welsh origin
Davis is a patronymic surname of Welsh origin, which means “son of David”.
Some of the most famous people with this surname are American musicians Sammy Davis Jr. and Miles Davis.
7. Miller – of English, Irish, or Scottish origin
Miller is an occupational surname of English, Irish, or Scottish origin that referred to someone who worked a mill.
One of the most famous people with the surname Miller is British-American actress Sienna Miller.
6. Garcia – of Iberian origin
Garcia is a surname of Iberian origin that is common throughout Spain, Portugal, parts of France, the Americas, and the Philippines.
Some of the most famous people with this surname are American singer-songwriter Jerry Garcia and American actor Andy García.
5. Jones – of Welsh origin
Meaning ‘son of Ioan’, the surname Jones is one of the most common surnames in America, and it most likely evolved from the Hebrew name Johan.
One of the most famous people with the surname Jones is Welsh singer Tom Jones.
4. Brown – of English origin
The surname Brown is of English origin and derives from its use as a descriptive for someone with brown hair, complexion, or clothing.
Famous people with this surname include American singer-songwriters James Brown and Zac Brown.
3. Williams – of English, Welsh, French, and Italian origin
A patronym of the given name William, the surname Williams literally means “son of William”.
One of the most famous people with this surname is American actor Robin Williams.
2. Johnson – of English and Scottish origin
Johnson is a patronym of the given name John, and thus, this surname literally means “son of John”.
Famous Johnsons include American actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and former President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson.
1. Smith – of Anglo-Saxon origin
Topping our list of the most common surnames in America is Smith. Deriving from the Old English word smid, which meant “to strike with a hammer”, the name comes from the profession of a blacksmith or metal worker.
One of the most famous people with the surname Smith is American actor Will Smith.