18 Rare And Extinct Last Names With Meaning | Kidadl


18 Rare And Extinct Last Names With Meaning

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

If you are looking for a way to trace your roots, your last name is a good place to start.

However, certain last names have gone extinct which makes it harder to trace exact genealogical roots. These extinct names have gone completely out of circulation, showing it is possible for surnames to die out, while others are incredibly rare with less than 100 bearers.

The common root cause of surnames going extinct can be seen in the age old tradition of women taking their husband’s last name in marriage. When women take their husband’s last name it is inevitable that some names will go extinct, especially in families that don’t have sons. Some people have countered this by having compound last names with their own family name followed by their husband’s last name. In order to preserve some names, a child might be given the mother's last name as a first name if it is rare. This helps to keep the name in circulation but it does not preserve it in its true form.

We have curated a list with some rare English surnames and extinct last names that are no longer in circulation, for more surnames take a look at these nature last names and these gothic last names.

Extinct British Surnames


A lot of these extinct surnames are old English family names that stopped being in use years ago. These last names are now extinct and no longer serve as a family name.

1. Bread (Germanic origin) means “morsel” or “broken piece”.

2. Bythesea (Anglo-Saxon origin) a name that came about when a family lived by a drain or watercourse.

3. Bytheseashore (Anglo-Saxon origin) a name that was borne by families who lived by the seashore.

4. MacCaa (Scottish origin) a variant of the name McCaw and can also be McCaa. A famous bearer was George McCaa an American footballer and coach.

5. Puscat (Dutch origin) could mean “poes”.

6. Pusset (Celtic origin) means “mouth, lip”.

7. Pussmaid (English origin) this was a name most likely given as a name of affection which became a last name but has since gone extinct.

8. Spinster (English origin) the feminine version of the name Spinner, and was a last name given to females in medieval times who has no family of their own and who spent most of their time on a spinning wheel.

Rare British Surnames

A British family walking in a garden

Endangered last names are names that are about to go extinct. These rare surnames have less than 200 bearers and are found in about one in every 50,000 households. The list comprises of some of the most uncommon last names and some of the oldest English surnames. We hope you find a unique last name that you like among these endangered last names.

9. Ajax (Greek origin) means “of the earth”.

10. Berrycloth (English origin) this cool location surname is from Barrowclough in West Yorkshire.

11. Birdwhistle (English origin) the name is said to denote a junction on a river where birds nest.

12. Edevane (Welsh origin) could possibly mean “the younger happy one” or “the younger prosperous one”.

13. Fernsby (English origin) meaning “a dwelling near the ferns,” and was gotten from two words ‘fern’ and a Danish suffix ‘-by’.

14. Loughty (Scottish origin) this is the Anglicised form of the name Lauchra, derived from the name Lauchair which means “sedges” or “rushes”.

15. MacQuoid (Scottish origin) it is derived from the name Aodh, a cognate form of Huge.

16. Relish (English origin) the name refers to taste or flavor, and is gotten from the French word 'relaisse' which means “something remaining”.

17. Slora (Scottish origin) the meaning of this cool last name is uncertain, but it may be a derivative of the name Sluagdach meaning “leader”.

18. Tumbler (English origin) this was an occupational surname given to an acrobat or an acrobatic dancer.

Kidadl has lots of great name articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for extinct last names then check out these cool last names, or for something different these Viking last names.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?