110 Top Aristocratic Last Names With Meanings

Georgia Stone
Dec 12, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Dec 02, 2020
A princess smiles and sits with a prince in a castle.
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Read time: 8.8 Min

Most of us don’t know all the details of our family tree, we learn what we can about our family through genealogy or surnames used by our ancestors.

Every noble name tells a story of how our family came into being and what is the of the said family in the culture and society or whether you are connected to someone from the royal or noble bloodline.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain is the land of surnames that belong to a noble or nobleman house, which have become popular worldwide. Most noble houses' names are derived from Welsh, Scottish, Celtic languages.

So, if you are wondering what is the best and most royal last names that originate from the UK English, then you are in for a treat.

Because we have compiled a list of noble houses' last names that have originated from places, people, occupations, or anglicization of first names in other languages. We hope that this list of English last names will be helpful to you.

You can also check out our articles on royal last names and prince names.

Popular Aristocratic Last Names

Noblewomen horse riding side saddle.

If you are looking for some understanding of your family tree and how they came to be, then look at the list of names of families who were a part of many fascinating cultures and history.

1. Adams (English and Scottish origin) means "man or son of Adam". The name originated in the pre-medieval period and is often referred to as ‘the earth’ from where God created man.

2. Allen (Irish and Scottish Gaelic origin) means "little rock" and "harmony".

3. Atkinson (Middle English origin) means "son of Atkin". Famous last name bearer: actor Rowan Atkinson.

4. Bailey (Middle English origin) means "to deliver". It also means a person from Ballis or Balif.

5. Baker (Middle English origin) means "bakery" or "to bake". It is also the name of a famous street in London.

6. Brown (Old English and Norse origin) means"Brun". It also means a person with a dark or brown complexion or clothing.

7. Burton (English origin) means "fort settlement".

8. Carter (English, Irish and Scottish origin) means"someone who transports goods by a cart or wagon".

9. Cole (Medieval English origin) means "coal-black" or "charcoal". It is a very prominent English surname in South West England.

10. Collins (English and Irish origin) means"son of Colin" or "darling". Famous last name bearer: actress Lily Collins.

11. Davidson (English and Scottish "son of David". It also means "beloved" in Hebrew.

12. Davies (Welsh and English origin) means"beloved". Famous last name bearer: novelists L. P. Davies.

13. Dawson (English origin) means"the son of David". Famous last name bearer: actor Abraham Dawson.

14. Dixon (English origin) means"son of Dick". It is one of the most popular Scottish surnames.

15. Edwards (Old English origin) means"prosperity guard". Also a first name.

16. Elliot (English origin) means"mound or bank". In Hebrew, it means "Jehovah is my God".

17. Fletcher (Scottish, English, and Irish origin) means"arrowsmith or seller of arrows".

18. Fisher (Gaelic and Irish origin) means"fishermen or people who lived by a fishing weir or salmon".

19. Gibson (English and Scottish origin) means"son of Gilbert or son of Gib".

20. Grant (English and Scottish origin) means"tall or large".

21. Gray (Scottish origin) means"people having grey hair".

22. Green (Scottish origin) "grene or the color Green". The surname dates back to the 7th century.

23. Hamilton (Middle English origin) means"village of Hamilton". It is also the name of a village in Leicestershire, England, so maybe your family is from there.

24. Hill (Greek, Latin or English origin) means"someone who lives on a hill".

25. James (Latin and English origin) means"supplanter or one who follows". In Hebrew, the name is derived from Jacob, which means "to follow".

26. Kennedy (Gaelic, Irish, and English origin) means"leader of the clan or helmet”. Famous last name bearer: U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

27. Lawrence (Middle English origin) means"someone from Laurentium". It is also the name of a town near Italy.

28. Marshall (Norman, Germanic and English origin) means"horse or who tended to Horses". It is derived from an ancient surname ‘Mareschal’ of Germanic elements.

29. Nelson (Irish, Gaelic, and English origin) means"champion or son of Eleanor".

30. Osborne (Middle English origin) means "divine bear". It is a very popular family name or surname in Ireland.

31. Palmer (English, Norman, German, French and Scottish origin) means"palm bearer".

32. Quill (Irish and English origin) means"forest or shrub".

33. Richards (Germanic and English origin) means"powerful or brave". The surname came to the United Kingdom in 1066 with the Norman families.

34. Smith (Old English origin) means"one who works in metal" or "smith" or "to strike".

35. Thomas (Middle English origin) means"twin". The surname is biblically important as it refers to Saint Thomas.

36. West (English and German origin) means"someone who lived by the west of the settlement’.

37. Yardley (Middle English origin) means"of the Yard".

38. Young (Middle English origin) means"the young one". The name was very common in the pre-7th-century Anglo-Saxon era.

39. Zachary (Middle English origin) means"remembered by God". They came into England after the Norman conquest of 1066. Also a first name.

40. Zouch (Middle English origin) means"a dweller by the tree stump".

French Aristocratic Last Names

Portrait of a newborn baby with a gold crown.

French names speak of power, aura, and royalty. If you have one of these names you may be able to track your family tree back to France. Check out the list of strong aristocratic French last names.

41. Abreo (French origin) means"wise counselor".

42. Alarie (French origin) means"all power".

43. Aragon (French origin) means "valley".

44. Archambeau (French origin) means"bold and daring".

45. Auch (French origin) means"someone who minds cattle at night".

46. Auclair (French origin) means "clear".

47. Bain (French origin) means"bath".

48. Barbeau (French origin) means"a type of fish". It can also be used as a surname for a fisherman.

49. Bardin (French and German origin) means"battle-axe".

50. Bullion (French origin) means"round spring" or "a hollow in a rock containing rainwater".

51. Cadieux (French origin) means "little fighter".

52. Cellier (French origin) means "storeroom".

53. Cerf (French origin) means "hart or deer".

54. Charbonnier (French origin) means "who sells or makes charcoal".

55. Chevrolet (French origin) means "goat".

56. Chopin (French origin) means"an old medieval measure of liquid".

57. Delisle (French origin) means"of the island".

58. Deloney (French origin) means"from Aunay". It is also the name of several places in France.

59. Escoffier (French origin) means"to dress".

60. Farrow (French origin) means"an ironworker".

61. Faucher (French origin) means"scythe or a mower".

62. Fénelon (French origin) means"a family resided near a place where fennel grew".

63. Gagne (French origin) means"to cultivate or work".

64. Harcourt (French origin) means"hut or cottage".

65. Heroux (French origin) means"army of the wolf".

66. Jourdain (French origin) means"one who descends".

67. Kaplan (French origin) means"charity priest".

68. Lafitte (French origin) means"fixed stone".

69. Lambertye (French origin) means"bright".

70. Marchal (French origin) means"horse servant".

71. Ozanne (French origin) means"save now or save pray".

72. Page (French origin) means"little boy", originated in England.

73. Rayne (French origin) means "advice or counsel".

74. Sartre (French origin) means"tailor".

75. Tardy (French origin) means"slow".

76. Vaillant (French origin) means"sturdy or brave".

77. Webster (Norman French origin) means"someone who weaves".

English Aristocratic Surnames

These English surnames have a rich aristocracy history. From Earls to Kings, each name on the list is either used by them or bestowed by them upon others.  

78. Astley (English origin) means “east woodland clearing”. The title dates back to 1295.

79. Byron (English origin) means“dweller at the cattle byres”. It was created in England in 1643.

80. Capell (English origin) means“hat or hood”.

81. Clifford (English origin) means "ford by a cliff".

82. Dormer (English origin) means"sleepyhead".

82. Frankland (English origin) means “free land”.

84. Hastings (English origin) means“swiftness”. This title dates back to 1065 and in English folklore, it is also linked with Robin Hood.

85. Herbert (English origin) means“famous”.

86. Howard (Old English origin) means“guardian”. This title was created for the Earl of Norfolk.

87. Kenworthy (English origin) means“enclosure”.

88. Lumley (English origin) means“woodland clearing”. The title was created for Richard Lumley in 1690.

89. Maxwell (English origin) means"Mack's spring".

90. Robertson (English origin) means“son of Robert”. This last name is associated with Baron Wharton.

91. Russell (English origin) means “from de Rosel”. It is a perfect surname to tie you to English aristocracy.

92. Stanley (Middle English origin) means“stone clearing”. The last name is also associated with the Earl of Derby.

Rare Aristocratic Surnames

There are a lot of names that were earlier used by people all over the U.K. and are no longer used. There are many reasons why these names were discontinued, one being they are very unusual. Check out our list of unusual noble last names.

93. Ajax (Welsh origin) means "of the Earth".

94. Berrycloth (English origin) means "grove or ravine".

95. Birdwhistle (English origin) means "young bird or nestling".

96. Bread (English origin) means "wide expanse of land".

97. Bythesea (Anglo-Saxon origin) means "family lived by a watercourse or drain".

98. Culpepper (English origin) means "herbalist or spicer".

99. Dankworth (English origin) means "the farmstead belonging to Tancred".

100. Edevane (Welsh origin) means "prosperity and/or happiness".

101. Fernsby (English origin) means "a dwelling near the ferns".

102. Gastrell (English origin) means "uncertain".

103. Loughty (Scottish origin) means "of, or by a small lake".

104. MacQuoid (Scottish origin) means "obscure".

105. MacCaa (Scottish origin) means "son of Aoh or champion".

106. Miracle (Welsh origin) means "dark".

107. Relish (English origin) means “something remaining, that which is left behind”.

108. Sallow (Old English origin) means "willow tree", and would have been applied to one whose dwelling was near to such a tree or a copse of them.

109. Tumbler (English and Scottish origin) means "acrobatic dancer".

110. Villin or Villan (English origin) means "servant in a noble household".

Kidadl has lots of great name articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for aristocratic last names then why not take a look at royal last names, or for something different take a look at butler names.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia Stone picture

Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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