There are many different types of last names in America. Some are very common, like Smith or Johnson. Others are less well-known, like Vinson or Spotted Horse. Today we’re going to take a look at native American surnames and how they can represent the family’s heritage.
Native American last names
Native Americans have some pretty cool last names that often reflect their culture and ancestry. There is nothing more unique than having a name with a meaning behind it!
Here are our hand-picked examples:
Countryman – a man who lived in the country.
Chubbuck – fur. This one is of German origin.
Eagle – this last name signifies a person who has great vision and therefore eagle eyes for hunting, watching out for danger, or reading. It is said to be of Native American origin. It can also mean a person who is strong and intelligent, and they tend to be leaders in their community.
Pelton – strong as a rock.
Cochise – Apache warrior chief from the 1860′s-1890’s known as one of the greatest warriors of his time. This is a great last name for anyone who loves Native American history!
Bearpaw – this one signifies power and strength.
Womack – of Native American origin. Some families used to spell it Wampum, but that is incorrect. It also denotes a connection to the earth and/or water.
Wolf – this signifies an honest and trustworthy person who can be trusted like a wolf in human form. This one is of German origin.
Greenleaf – This last name is of Native American origin and signifies a connection to nature as well as family loyalty.
Rising Fire – this name comes from an Algonquin word that means, “Rising Fire.” This is a name of Native American origin.
Cherokee – this signifies a person who is of the Cherokee tribe. The Cherokee Indian nation was the largest group in the southeastern United States before they were forced out on what became known as the Trail of Tears.
Swift – was used as a last name in Germany before it came to America. It signifies a person who is fast and agile, like a bird or a plane.
River – this name is of Native American origin and means loving and peaceful, but also determined and loyal.
Rose – rose can be traced back to the word rosa which means beautiful flower, which is great for anyone with a name that symbolizes something beautiful!
Bear – this signifies someone who has strong instincts, can be trusted, and always knows what to do. It’s of German origin.
Spotted Horse – the spotted horse signifies a person who is always going above and beyond what is necessary to complete something. This one comes from England.
Winters – This name means trustworthy and loyal friend, which makes for a great last name! It’s of Native American origin. The Winters family was part of a group that moved from England to Virginia.
Coast – This one signifies a coastal or beach-based home or birthplace.
White – comes from the color of the animal’s fur and signifies a person who is honest, pure, and gentle. It can also signify a person with light-colored hair or skin. This one is of German origin.
Vinson – Vinson means viking, which was a viking age warrior. This name is of Scandinavian origin.
Moon – this last name signifies a person who is beautiful, kind, and has high morals like the moon. It can also mean someone who watches over others like the moon does with its light. This is an English name that was altered from Moreland to make it easier for Americans to pronounce.
Edwards – this signifies a person who is motivated and driven, especially in their academics or work. Edwards comes from England and means “Brave as an eagle.”
Dakota – Dakota is of Native American origin and was used by Sioux Indians. This name means allies and friends to many different tribes in the east. It can also signify a connection to the earth and/or water.
Walks – this signifies a person who has great understanding and carries the knowledge of the ancestors.
Chee – this name is of Native American origin and means wise one who has great vision and insight. This is good for an intellectual, but also someone who has foresight like a deer. Chee can be used as both a first and last name. The Chee family was part of a group that moved from England to Virginia.
Paha – this signifies a person who is strong and indomitable, even in the face of terrible circumstances. It can also mean someone with great vision and insight. This name comes from the Sioux Indians.
Star – this signifies being able to see clearly through all obstacles and being a guiding light. It can also mean someone who has a bright future and positive energy. This one is of Native American origin.
Bear Den – signifies a person who is strong, powerful, and competent to take care of themselves or their family.
Thunder – this last name means having the strength and power of Mother Nature herself! It can also signify someone who has a strong voice or is exuberant.
LeBeau – this means being able to see beauty in all things, even when life looks bleak. This last name comes from France and signifies a person that is kind and thoughtful. The LeBeau family moved from France to the United States before the American Revolution.
Red Fox – this signifies a person who is sly and crafty, and always keeping their eye on the prize. It can mean someone who likes trying new things or going on unique adventures. This name comes from England and can be used for either a first or last name.
Whirlwind – this name means being able to see the beauty in all the chaos in life. It can also mean someone who has a knack for getting out of sticky situations… For example, if they are about to be attacked by another tribe, they might have the ability to get away safely! This is an English name that was altered from Walshaw to make it easier for Americans to pronounce.
Long – this means having a long nose and denotes someone who is observant and has a way with animals. They also tend to be intelligent! This name comes from England and can be used for either a first or last name.
Turtle – this signifies being safe and strong like a turtle, and it can mean someone who is wise and kind like a turtle as well. The turtle is slow-moving but steady and not easily distracted. This name means someone who is grounded and determined, even when life is hard. There is no particular origin that this name comes from, but it can be used as both a first and last name!
White Eagle – means “eagle with white feathers” which were considered sacred to the Sioux Indians. This signifies someone who is very strong and intelligent, and they tend to be leaders in their community.
Snake – this signifies being fast and sneaky like a snake! It can mean someone who is wise with lots of knowledge to share as well. This name comes from England and can be used for either a first or last name.
As you can see there are a lot of Native American surnames that have interesting meanings. But this is not only valid for these names. Check out our other articles to learn more about the names of other cultures and countries.
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