Popular Native American Last Names & Meanings

Are you looking for popular Native American last names and meanings? This post will provide you with the best of the best. Names are more than just a means of identification; they are a powerful means of expressing oneself. 

Long before European settlers came to North America in the 15th century, most of the continent was inhabited by Native Americans. These people had traditions that guided their activities, names, beliefs, and associations, just like many other cultures.

Most native American surname names were based on a person’s birthdate, profession, temperament, clan, and place of residence. The British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese finally had an impact on the names of the native Americans.

There are many different tribes or subgroups that make up Native Americans. The Navajo, Cherokee, Apache, and Sioux are the four most well-known. Native Americans Last names were passed down through generations over time.

This article lists over 100 popular native American last names and their meanings.

Popular Native American Last Names

Name Meaning
Williams Resolute protector
Smith One who strikes metals
Sandoval Groove of wood
Paddock Small enclosure
Maizen Occupational, meaning ‘the one that picks maize’
Locklear A person who was a locksmith
Lewis Victorious
Kipp To swell; fat man
Jones God has favoured
Johnson Son of John
Irving Water
Howell The sun
Holt A small grove of trees
Hensley Stallion
Galord High-spirited, cheerful
Eubank One who lives near the ridge of a yew
Denton From the town in the valley
Deere Precious
Cornfield Occupational, for those who worked in a cornfield.
Chavos Child
Brown One with brown hair, complexion, or clothing
Hilliard One who lives on the hills
Branham From the habitation of the Bramham tribe in West Yorkshire
Bluebird Happiness
Bia Blessed or white
Bernard As strong as a bear
Bahe The gray man
Alexander Defender of the men
Alberty                     Belonged to the Alberti family, who lived in the United States at the beginning of the 1920s.
Welch Foreign
Warcloud From the words war and cloud
Vance From the marsh
Tsosie Slim
Thunderhawk Based on the power of thunder, combined with the word hawk
Swiftwater A family that lives near swift water
Summerhill A family that lives on a hill
Pompey Five
Huaman Hawk
Filemonsen Son of Filemon
Countryman A man who lived in the country
Chubbuck This one is of German origin and means’ chubby one.’
Bravebird Based on a bird’s trait
Blackrock A family from the black rock area
Arrow Given to a hunter
Yansa                Buffalo
Wesa Cat
Waya Wolf
Wahkan Sacred
Utsidihi The mankiller
Tskilekwa Big wizard
Tsiyi Canoe
Rayetayah Hanging maw
Onacona White owl
Moytoy Rainmaker
Kanagagota Standing turkey
Kana′tĭ the lucky hunter
Gawonisgi Speaker
Cheasequah Red bird or cardinal
Chaske First born son
Austenaco Chief
Atsadi Fish
Atohi Woods
Ahyuini Swimmer
Adahy Close to the Cherokee word adahi’i which means poison
Yazzie Little
Tsosie Slender or slim
Tsinajinnie Black streak clan
Tsinaji Black
Todicheene Bitter water people
Toadlena Water that flows up and out
Tlizilani Goat
Tabaaha Shore, beach
Peshlakai Silver
Nez Tall
Lapahie Gray
Hatahle Medicine man
Etsitty Smithy, pounder; to pound
Descheene Clan designation, red-streak people
Daisy Younger one
Claw Left-handed
Bylilly For him; magic power
Bitsillie Younger brother
Benally His grandchild
Begay His son
Adakai Gambler, card player
Acothley Cowboy
Altaha            High or elevated
Cosay Person who lived on the White Mountain
Dosela The commoner
Mescal One from the Mescalero clan
Tessay One who lives in the reserve
Maka                   A Lakota surname that means soil, ground, or earth
Howahkan A strong voice or sacred voice
Galihai A Lakota last name that means gentle or delicate
Chaska This Dakota last name means son
Angpetu It means radiant or daytime
Fineday Derived from a good day
Decorah Serpent
Declay The charming one
Coriz Cheerful and friendly
Claymore Big or great sword

Native American Tribes

The Navajo

The Southwestern United States is home to the Native American group known as the Navajo. They are well-known for their hand-woven rugs and blankets. The Pueblo people taught them how to weave cotton first. When they began raising sheep, they shifted to wool. These blankets were precious and could only be purchased by rich chiefs.

The Navajo speak an Apachean language that belongs to the Athabaskan language family. The Cherokee Nation is the next-largest tribe in the country after this one.

Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee are an indigenous group of the United States that live in the Southeastern Woodlands. It is one of the largest tribes in the United States, with over 430,000 tribal members worldwide. More than 141,000 Cherokee Nation members live on the tribe’s reservation in northeastern Oklahoma. The Cherokee language is part of the Iroquoian language group.

The Apache

The Apache were originally from what is now the Southwest United States. The Apaches are divided into several subtribes. The Jicarilla, Chiricahua, Salinero, Lipan, Mimbreo, Mescalero, and Ndendahe.

Sioux tribe

Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota are the three subtribes that make up the Sioux tribe. Sioux warriors were renowned for their prowess. The Sioux language is part of the Siouan language group.


Native American last names are among the most distinctive names that may be given to a child in today’s society. This is because most native American tribes have now embraced the influences of other cultures, which is most apparent in their modern-day naming traditions.







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