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Discover Your Last {{ lastNameToQuery | capitalize }} Name Origin & Meaning

Research your family history to discover who you are and where you come from.

Your last name holds clues into your family history. Whether you have a common or unique last name, learning the meaning behind your name can unlock new details of your genealogy.

It's more than just about what your name means. It's about your family history and your ancestor's journey which helped shape who you are today. Start with two simple questions, "What's my last name origin?" and "What does my last name mean?" to watch your family history come to life.

Enter Your Last Name.

Discover who you are and where you come from.

Last Name Origin: How much do you know about your last name?

  • A last name meaning search can reveal:
    • Where your family lived in the United States
    • Your family's national origin - Ireland, German, Italy, and more!
    • When your ancestors immigrated to the United States
    • An ancestor’s occupation or nickname

Surname Origins & Your Family History

Most European surnames can be traced back to the Medieval Times in the 13th and 14th centuries. During this period, last names were recorded as societies started collecting taxes and became more bureaucratic.

Early last names were often linked to occupations, geographical features such as where your home was in the village, a nickname, physical feature, or even a combination of the mother's and father's name. Eventually, most people adopted patronymic names inherited from their fathers.

Asking, "What nationality is my last name?" may confirm (or disprove) some long-accepted beliefs about your family's roots including their ethnic origin. Perhaps there are other countries (and relatives) attached to your family tree that you had never considered before.

The genealogy behind your last name is more than just finding the meaning from a surnames list. Tracing your last name origin can help you gleam new insights into your family history and even about yourself. After all, your name is piece of your identity.

Use our free last name meaning search populated with data from U.S. Census records, the Social Security Death Index, newspaper archives and more!

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