50+ Native American last names/surnames and their meanings

50+ Native American last names/surnames and their meanings

Last names hold a lot of history behind them, which traces back to ancient times. Native American last names are not only pleasant-sounding but have a fascinating traditional backstory to them. What are the most exciting Native American surnames from various tribes?

Native American last names
Girl on a horse. Photo: kudybadorota
Source: UGC

The naming traditions of Native Americans usually vary, depending on the tribe. Most of the time, however, they are nature-based – they are represented with animals' help and their distinctive traits.

Native Americans believe that the moniker they give to their child has a large influence on their mood and personality.

Until the 1900s, tribal dwellers did not have any surnames. However, they adapted to it later as they started their service in a civil war, and having both first and last names was a requirement there. Therefore, they chose their own one or had one chosen for them by the army.

Over time, they got passed down the generations to their descendants, and today, there are a lot of picks that have a rich history and a deep meaning.

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Native American last names

Here, you can check out some of the unique variants, from the most common ones to the ones that are exclusive to every tribe.

Most common Native American surnames

These options are normally used by Native American people regardless of their particular tribe. They are quite common but no less interesting. Some of them have originated from other nations and cultures that settled in America.

Cherokee surnames
Indigenous man. Photo: Lauraham666
Source: UGC
  • Alberty - famous in everything. Belonged to the Alberti family, who lived in the United States at the beginning of the 1920s.
  • Alexander - defender of the men.
  • Bernard - as strong as a bear.
  • Branham - from the habitation of the Bramham tribe in West Yorkshire.
  • Brown - based on skin color.
  • Chavos - child.
  • Cornfield - occupational, for those who worked in a cornfield.
  • Deere - precious.
  • Denton - from the town in the valley.
  • Eubank - one who lives near the ridge of a yew.
  • Gaylord - high-spirited, cheerful.
  • Hensley - stallion.
  • Howell - the sun.
  • Holt - a small grove of trees.
  • Irving - water.
  • Kipp - to swell; fat man.
  • Lewis - victorious.
  • Maize - occupational, meaning "the one that picks maize."
  • Paddock - small enclosure.
  • Sandoval - groove of wood.

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Ancient Native American last names

Some examples are rather old-timey, and today, it may not be easy to find a person who bears it. However, they have an exciting history.

  • Arrow - given to a hunter.
  • Blackrock - a family from the black rock area.
  • Bravebird - based on a bird's trait.
  • Chubbuck - fur. This one is of German origin.
  • Countryman - a man who lived in the country.
  • Filemonsen - son of Filemon.
  • Huaman - hawk.
  • Pompey - five.
  • Summerhill - a family that lives on a hill.
  • Swiftwater - a family that lives near swift water.
  • Thunderhawk - based on the power of thunder, combined with the word hawk.
  • Tsosie - slim.
  • Vance - from the marsh.
  • Warcloud - from the words war and cloud.
  • Welch - foreign.

Cherokee last names list

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The Cherokee are an indigenous group of the United States that live in the Southeastern Woodlands. When it came to Cherokee surnames, they used their imagination in the best way.

Native American surnames
Native American girl. Photo: DtheDelinquent
Source: UGC

Here are some Native American last names Cherokee.

  • Ahoka
  • Awiakta
  • Catawnee
  • Chewey
  • Colagnee
  • Culstee
  • Ghigau
  • Kanoska
  • Lisenbe
  • Nelowie
  • Onelasa
  • Oowatie
  • Sequoyah
  • Suake
  • Sullicooie
  • Tarlosa
  • Tesarkee
  • Tunooie
  • Watike
  • Yargee

Navajo last names

The Navajo are a Native American nation that resides in the Southwestern United States. It is the largest tribe in the United States, followed by the Cherokee Nation.

Some of their unique surname options include:

  • Acothley - cowboy.
  • Adakai - gambler, card player.
  • Begay - his son. It was adopted when the Native Americans were required by the BIA to take surnames for the official records.
  • Benally - his grandchild.
  • Bitsillie - younger brother.
  • Bylilly - for him; magic power.
  • Claw - left-handed.
  • Daisy - younger sister.
  • Descheene - clan designation, red-streak people.
  • Etsitty - smithy, pounder; to pound.
  • Hatahle - medicine man.
  • Lapahie - gray.
  • Nez - tall.
  • Peshlakai - silver.
  • Tabaaha - shore, beach.
  • Tlizilani - goats.
  • Toadlena - water; it flows up and out.
  • Todicheene - bitter water people.
  • Tsinajinnie - clan designation, black-streak clan.
  • Yazzie - little one.

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Apache last names

The Apache are a group of culturally related Native American tribes, which reside in the Southwestern part of the United States. This group includes numerous tribes, and the Navajo are considered its distant cousins.

Cherokee last names list
Dreamcatcher talisman. Photo: Free-Photos
Source: UGC

You can have a look at some traditional Apache surnames that have a nice sound to them.

  • Altaha
  • Chatto
  • Chino
  • Cosay
  • Dosela
  • Ethelbah
  • Goseyun
  • Kindelay
  • Klinekole
  • Mescal
  • Nosie
  • Shanta
  • Tessay

Native American last names are unique and beautiful, and each one of them possesses deep meaning.

READ ALSO: 30+ fascinating Spanish last names/surnames and their meanings

Legit.ng recently published an article about Spanish last names. There are a few types of them, and each differs from the other.

You can check out the most common Spanish surnames, as well as the ones that are more unique. They are about to amaze and fascinate you.

Source: Legit

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