Last Names By Origin

Surnames or Last Names by Country of Origin

Understanding the origin of surnames or last names is not only interesting but also can provide valuable insights into our family history and cultural heritage. Surnames have evolved over time, and how they have been formed can vary depending on the country of origin. In this article, we will explore the origins of surnames from different parts of the world.

  1. Surnames from Europe

Europe is home to a vast array of different cultures, each with its own naming conventions. In general, surnames in Europe are either patronymic or occupational. Patronymic surnames are derived from the father’s first name, such as Johnson or Anderson. Occupational surnames, on the other hand, are derived from a person’s job or trade, such as Smith or Baker.

  1. Surnames from Asia

In Asia, surnames are typically derived from the father’s first name, similar to patronymic surnames in Europe. However, some countries, such as China, have a much larger pool of surnames to choose from. This is because surnames in China are based on a combination of a person’s birthplace, family name, and personal name.

  1. Surnames from Africa

African surnames tend to be descriptive and often reflect a person’s physical or personal characteristics. For example, surnames like Abiodun (meaning “born during a festival”) or Adebowale (meaning “the crown meets with honour”) are common in Nigeria. In other African countries, surnames may be derived from a person’s tribe or clan.

  1. Surnames from the Americas

Surnames in the Americas often reflect a mix of different cultures. In North America, many surnames are derived from English or French roots, while in South America, surnames may be derived from Spanish or Portuguese roots. Native American surnames, such as Running Bear or Red Cloud, are also common in the United States.

  1. Surnames from Oceania

Surnames in Oceania are often derived from a person’s place of birth or geographic location. For example, surnames like Auckland, Sydney, or Melbourne are common in Australia and New Zealand. In other parts of Oceania, surnames may be derived from a person’s family or personal name.

Surnames or Last Names by Country of Origin

Here we have listed thousands of surnames from around the world. You’re bound to find the origin of your last name here!


In conclusion, the origin of surnames can provide a fascinating insight into our family history and cultural heritage. Understanding the different naming conventions from around the world can help us to appreciate the diversity of human culture and history. Whether your surname is derived from your father’s first name, your occupation, or your place of birth, there is a rich history waiting to be discovered.