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?
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.
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.
- 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
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.
Here are some Native American last names Cherokee.
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.
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.
You can have a look at some traditional Apache surnames that have a nice sound to them.
Native American last names are unique and beautiful, and each one of them possesses deep meaning.
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.