Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census? The following list of the most commonly occurring surnames in America includes details on each name's origin and meaning. It's interesting to note, that since 1990, the only other time this surname report has been compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, two Hispanic surnames -- Garcia and Rodriguez -- have risen into the top 10.
1. SMITHPopulation Count: 2,376,206
Smith is an occupational surname for a man who works with metal (smith or blacksmith), one of the earliest jobs for which specialist skills were required. It is a craft that was practiced in all countries, making the surname and its derivations the most common of all surnames around the world.
2. JOHNSONPopulation Count: 1,857,160
An English patronymic surname meaning "son of John (gift of God)."
3. WILLIAMSPopulation Count: 1,534,042
The most common origin of the Williams surname is patronymic, meaning "son of William," but there are also others.
4. BROWNPopulation Count: 1,380,145
A descriptive surname meaning "brown haired" or "brown skinned."
5. JONESPopulation Count: 1,362,755
A patronymic name meaning "son of John (God has favored or gift of God)."
6. MILLERPopulation Count: 1,127,803
The most common derivation of this surname is as an occupation name referring to a person who worked in a grain mill.
7. DAVISPopulation Count: 1,072,335
A patronymic surname meaning "Son of David (beloved)."
8. GARCIAPopulation Count: 858,289
There are several possible origins for this popular Hispanic surname. The most common meaning is "descendant or son of Garcia (the Spanish form of Gerald)."
9. RODRIGUEZPopulation Count: 804,240
A patronymic name meaning "son of Rodrigo." The "ez or es" added to the root signifies "descendant of."
10. WILSONPopulation Count: 783,051
An English or Scottish surname meaning "son of Will," a nickname for William.