175 Victorian Last Names: With Classic Meanings

The sun may never have set on the British Empire, but it shines on this selection of Victorian last names.

Victorian last names are so colorful and descriptive. They reflect the global Britain of the time and its vast empire. Mass migration was also a feature of the Victorian era, with Brits traveling to far-flung colonies to start new lives.

As a result, Victorian surnames evolved as they adopted many of the cultural influences of the new world. So, saying Victorian family names are a hotch-potch of occupational, habitational, and cultural changes is an understatement!

We list 175 Victorian era last names to give you the best selection in discovering these fascinating surnames.

175 Outstanding Victorian Last Names

Drop the stiff upper lip and famous British reserve and go crazy for the best Victorian family names ever.

  1. Abraham – a popular Hebrew name meaning “father of a multitude.”
  2. Acker – this classic Victorian surname starting with A means “meadow of oak trees.”
  3. Ainsley – a Scottish Victorian surname meaning “one’s own meadow.”
  4. Allen – a Gaelic/German surname and first name meaning “handsome and cheerful.”
  5. Allerton – is an old-fashioned English village, meaning “farmstead or village where alder trees grow.”
  6. Altham – a posh Old English habitational name meaning “water meadow where swans are found.”
  7. Ambrose – is derived from the Greek “ambrosia” (the food of the gods), meaning “immortal.”
  8. Anderton – popular English last names often describe ancient towns, like this one meaning “Eandred’s settlement.”
  9. Anstey – derived from the Greek girl name Anastasia, meaning “resurrection.”
  10. Appleton – this Old English word means “apple enclosure or settlement.”
  11. Archibald – a French and German surname meaning “genuine, bold, and brave.”
  12. Ashley – in Old English, Ashley means “ash meadow.”
  13. Astley – originating from Old Greek, Astley means “starry field.”
  14. Atherton – is of Old English origin, meaning “town by the spring.”
  15. Atterton – this tiny English hamlet means “Farm of Athelred.”
  16. Bailey – in medieval England, Bailey was an occupational name for a “bailiff.”
  17. Baker – an occupational name for someone who “bakes” or works in a “bakehouse.”
  18. Barlow – possibly an occupational or habitational Old English name meaning “barley hill.”
  19. Barnes – this Old English occupational name means “of the barn (barley house).”
  20. Barney – this Old English and German surname means “son of comfort.”
  21. Bartholomew – a vintage surname derived from Hebrew and Aramaic, meaning “son of Talmai.”
  22. Barton – an occupational or habitational name meaning “barley settlement” or “Bart’s town.”
  23. Beckwith – possibly a habitational English name meaning “beech.”
  24. Benedict – from the Latin name Benedictus, meaning “blessed and well-spoken.”
  25. Bennett – derived from the Latin name Benedictus, meaning “blessed” or “well-spoken.”
  26. Bentham – a famous 18th-century philosopher, Bentham means “bent grass settlement.”
  27. Bentley – derived from the Old English “beonet” and “leah,” meaning “meadow or clearing with bent grass.”
  28. Berkeley – an elegant Scottish and English name meaning “where birch trees grow.”
  29. Berrycloth – this uncommon Victorian surname means “humanitarian, healer, and intelligence.”
  30. Billingham – this classic habitational name means “homestead of the dwellers at the bell-shaped hill.”
  31. Birdwhistle – is possibly a “fork or junction in a river where birds nest.”
  32. Bishop – from the Greek word “episkopos,” meaning “overseer.”
  33. Blythe – a short and sweet Old English name meaning “joyous and happy.”
  34. Bradley – this habitational name translates as “broad meadow.”
  35. Bradshaw – Victorian last names are typically habitational, like Bradshaw, meaning “broad wood or copse.”
  36. Bread – an occupational name derived from the Gothic “hlaifs,” meaning “loaf.”
  37. Browning – derived from the Anglo-Saxon name Bruning, meaning “brown.”
  38. Butler – derived from the French word “bouteillier,” meaning “wine steward or servant.”
  39. Byron – the famous Lord Byron – means “at the barn or cattle sheds.”
  40. Camden – this classic Scottish name means “winding valley.”
  41. Carlton – with German and Old English roots, meaning “settlement of free men” or “peasant settlement.”
  42. Carter – is an Irish occupational name for someone who “transports goods by cart or wagon.”
  43. Chamberlain – with origins in Old English, Chamberlain means “chief officer of the noble’s household.”
  44. Chatham – is a military town in England, meaning “warrior’s town.”
  45. Churchill – this prestigious English surname means “church by the hill.”
  46. Clarence – from Latin, possibly meaning “one living near the River Clare” or “clear, bright, and illustrious.”
  47. Claridge – this habitational name derives from Old English, meaning “clover ridge.”
  48. Clayden – derived from Old English “claeg tun,” which means “farmstead on clayey soil.”
  49. Clements – in Old English, it means “son of Clement” and “mild and merciful” in Latin.
  50. Clifford – first used in the 1700s, this habitational name means “ford by a cliff.”
  51. Colby – a habitational and occupational Old English name meaning “coal town.”
  52. Compton – this habitational family name means “farmstead or village in a valley.”
  53. Conrad – comes from High German, meaning “brave counsel.”
  54. Cooper – derived from the Middle English word “couper,” meaning “barrel maker.”
  55. Cotton – despite being a fabric, Cotton (“hut” in Anglo-Saxon) means “cottage.”
  56. Crawford – this common English surname has one of the best meanings: “ford of the crows.”
  57. Crowley – an Irish surname describes the physical deformity of a “hunch back.”
  58. Culpepper – is an Anglo-Saxon occupational name for someone who “gathered pepper.”
  59. Dalton – an Old English habitational name meaning “from the valley town or settlement in the valley.”
  60. Dankworth – derives from Old German and English, meaning “Tancred’s farmstead.”
  61. Darlington – this family name is also a place in England, meaning “Deorling’s farm or manor.”
  62. Davenport – derived from Celtic and Middle Welsh, meaning “market town.”
  63. Davis – a variant of David, meaning “beloved,” Davis refers to a “son of David.”
  64. Deighton – describes a “ditch dike” in Old English, derived from “dīc” and “tun.”
  65. Denholme – despite an old-timey feel, this surname means “home of the Danes.”
  66. Dickens – means “son of Dick,” after the famous 1800s writer Charles Dickens.
  67. Digby – is a Scandinavian surname meaning “town by the ditch.”
  68. Dyden – this unique Victorian surname means “dry valley.”
  69. Eastaughffe – from the Danish “East,” meaning “town,” and “toft,” meaning “homestead.”
  70. Eaton – is of Old English origin, meaning “island settlement.”
  71. Edwards – from the Old English name Eadward, meaning “son of Edward.”
  72. Ellsworth – possibly means “nobleman’s estate” or “Elli’s estate.”
  73. Elphick – this noble and prestigious name derives from the Anglo-Saxon for “elf” and “high.”
  74. Elton – originating from the Old English name Ella and “tun,” meaning “enclosure or settlement.”
  75. Emsworth – derived from Old English, meaning “Æmmele’s (Amil’s) curtilage.”
  76. Enfield – is a classic habitational Old English name meaning “lamb field.”
  77. Everly – this edgy 19th-century last name means “wild boar in a woodland clearing.”
  78. Fanshaw – a habitational family name, possibly meaning “small temple or church in a wood.”
  79. Farley – of Old English origin, meaning “meadow of sheep or bulls.”
  80. Ferguson – Victorian family names are sometimes easy to translate, like Ferguson, meaning “son of Fergus.”
  81. Fernsby – another Old English habitational name meaning “dweller near the ferns.”
  82. Fletcher – this Old English occupational name derives from the French “flechier,” meaning “arrow maker.”
  83. Gastrell – derives from the noble families of the Norman conquests, with an unknown meaning.
  84. Garfield – possibly describing a triangular field, meaning “field of spears” in Old English.
  85. Gilbert – of English, German, and French origin, meaning “bright pledge.”
  86. Glover – from the Middle English word “glovere,” meaning “a maker or seller of gloves.”
  87. Grace – derived from the Latin term “gratia,” meaning “favor and blessing.”
  88. Graham – related to Scottish and English, meaning “Gray’s house.”
  89. Green – some British last names have no significant meaning, like Green, after the color.
  90. Griffiths – derived from the Welsh name Gruffudd, meaning “strong grip” and “chief.”
  91. Hall – an English occupational name meaning “worker at the hall.”
  92. Harding – is of Germanic origin, meaning “son of a courageous one.”
  93. Harrington – of Irish/Gaelic origin, meaning “descendent of Arrachtan.”
  94. Harrison – this Germanic surname means “son of Harry.”
  95. Hartman – another Germanic surname meaning “hard and strong.”
  96. Haskell – is a Hebrew name that means “intellect.”
  97. Hastings – derived from the Viking name  Hastein, meaning “violent.”
  98. Henderson – this Old English patronymic name means “son of Henry.”
  99. Hill – derived from the Old English word “hyll,” possibly meaning “someone living by a hill.”
  100. Hobson – this Old English patronymic surname means “son of Robert.”
  101. Hornsby – with Scandinavian roots, Hornsby likely means “serpent” and “homestead or farm.”
  102. Hughes – this Welsh and Irish name mean “fire” and “descendent of Aodh.”
  103. Ingram – a mixture of Old Norse and English, meaning “raven of peace or raven of Anglia.”
  104. Jackson – as English last names go, this one is easy to interpret, meaning “son of Jack.”
  105. James – an English version of the Hebrew name Jacob, meaning “supplanter.”
  106. Jarvis – with roots in Celtic and German, meaning “servant spear.”
  107. Jasper – from the Latin “gaspar,” meaning “bringer of treasure.”
  108. Jefferson – is a masculine Old English surname meaning “son of Jefferey.”
  109. Jenkins – possibly Flemish or Hebrew, meaning “little John or God is gracious.”
  110. Jerome – this Old English and French name is of Greek origin and means “sacred name.”
  111. Johnson – another of the Victorian surnames with an easy meaning: “son of John.”
  112. Jones – a derivative of Johnson with the same meaning.
  113. King – meaning “monarch,” as royal surnames go, this takes the crown.
  114. Langley – an Old English habitational name meaning “long meadow.”
  115. Lawrence – a classic Latin surname depicting someone “from Laurentium.”
  116. Lawson – a derivative of Lawrence, meaning “son of Lawrence.”
  117. Lee – derived from the Old English word “leah,” meaning “clearing or meadow in the woods.”
  118. Leighton – this English place name possibly means “meadow town” or “leek town.”
  119. Lewis – an Anglisized version of the Irish name Lugaid, meaning “famous warrior.”
  120. Livingston – this classic Scottish clan name means “from Leving’s town.”
  121. Lloyd – a Welsh first and last name for someone “gray-haired.”
  122. Loughty – possibly derived from the Scottish “lochty,” meaning “of or by a small inlet or lake.”
  123. Macca – this English nickname derives from the Gaelic prefix Mac, meaning “son or friend.”
  124. Marston – originally spelled “mars tun,” meaning “town near the marsh” in Old English.
  125. Martin – is of Latin origin, meaning “dedicated to Mars.”
  126. Masters – originating from the Norman conquests, from the Latin “magister,” meaning “someone important or in charge.”
  127. McCartney – a classic Gaelic surname meaning “son of Artan.”
  128. Merriweather – meaning “merry or pleasant weather,” this vintage name would suit old people.
  129. Middleton – this English surname possibly means “settlement in the middle” or “from the central town.”
  130. Moore – an ethnic nickname for “dark-skinned” people or a habitational name for someone “near a marsh/fenn.”
  131. Morgan – of Scottish, Welsh, and Irish origin, meaning “of the sea.”
  132. Morris – derived from Latin, meaning “dark-skinned and Moorish” after the West African people.
  133. Northcott – an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “dweller at the cottage in the north.”
  134. Northolt – means “North wood” and derives from the Old English “holt,” meaning “hill or wooded hill.”
  135. Oakley – translates in Old English as “meadow of oak trees.”
  136. Okehurst – this Old English habitational name possibly means “oak on a wooded hill.”
  137. Osbourne/Osborne – derived from the Old Nose name Asbjorn, meaning “divine bear.”
  138. Parker – some Victorian family names have simple meanings, like “park keeper.”
  139. Peters – from the ancient Greek word “petros,” meaning “stone.”
  140. Phelps – an Old English patronymic name meaning “son of Philip.”
  141. Phillips – derived from the Greek name Philippos, meaning “friend of horses.”
  142. Porter – in English, Porter means “gatekeeper,” while in French, it means “someone carrying goods.”
  143. Price – possibly French, meaning “prize” or “son of Rhys” in Welsh.
  144. Pusset – this Norwegian/Old English surname means “a cougar.”
  145. Raleigh – is a historical name meaning “deers meadow.”
  146. Roberts – from the German name Hrodebert, meaning “bright fame.”
  147. Robinson – you guessed it, this Polish-derived name means “son of Robin.”
  148. Sampson – this Hebrew name means “sun, bright, and sun child.”
  149. Shaw – means “wolf” in Gaelic and is a habitational name meaning “from the wood” in English.
  150. Smith – Victorian era last names include common ones like Smith, meaning “worker in metal.”
  151. Solomon – is of Aramaic and Hebrew origin, meaning “man of peace.”
  152. Spinster – an occupational name given to an unmarried old lady, meaning “woman who spins.”
  153. Taylor – another occupational name for a “tailor,” from the Latin “tallare,” meaning “to cut.”
  154. Tillman – an agricultural Old English name meaning “one who plows the earth.”
  155. Thomas – a Greek version of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’, meaning “twin.”
  156. Thornton – this Old English surname means “dweller at the thorny settlement or estate.”
  157. Tumbler – meaning “one who tumbles,” circuses were popular in the Regency period.
  158. Turner – from the French verb “tourneour,” meaning “lathe worker.”
  159. Villiers – is of French origin, meaning “town-dweller.”
  160. Walker – derived from the Old English word “wealcere,” meaning “fuller of cloth.”
  161. Ward – a classic Old English surname denoting a “guard or watchman.”
  162. Warner – in Old German, Warner means “army guard, and “park keeper” in Norman French.
  163. Watson – after the famous Sherlock Holmes character, meaning “son of Walter.”
  164. Webster – an occupational Old English name meaning “weaver.”
  165. Wellington – a noble English surname, meaning “from the wealthy estate.”
  166. Wheeler – a classic English occupational name for a “wheelwright.”
  167. White – referring to someone with “pale hair or skin,” from the Middle English “whit.”
  168. Wilkes – of Old English origin, meaning “son of the wilful one” or “Willam’s son.”
  169. Williams – of English, French, and Welsh origin, meaning “son of William.”
  170. Wilson – an English derivative of William, meaning “son of Will.”
  171. Wood – this short English name describes someone “from the wood.”
  172. Wright – derived from the Old English word “wyrhta,” meaning “worker or carpenter.”
  173. Yardley – this English habitational name means “fenced meadow,” possibly making it occupational.
  174. Yates – a French Norman surname describing someone working as a “gatekeeper.”
  175. Yeoman – possibly meaning “retainer” or a household servant in noble estates.

Victorian Last Names FAQs

What Are the Most Popular Victorian Last Names?

The most popular Victorian last names include Wood, Jones, Smith, Wilson, Peters, and Turner. The more exotic ones, like Bartholemew, Solomon, Horsby, Villiers, and Merriweather, make excellent fictional character names for historical novels.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark has always been fascinated by the stories behind names, their meanings, and the rich histories they carry. It's a curiosity that has grown into a full-fledged passion project, engaging him in the study of how names shape our identities and reflect our cultures. Since stepping away from his previous career, Mark has delved deeper into this fascinating realm. He spends his days unraveling these narratives and sharing his findings on Honey Name. He does all this amidst the tranquility of England's rivers and canals from his charming widebeam barge. His constant companions on this journey are his wife, Julie, and their adorable King Charles Cavalier, Eric.