Haitian Last Names: 25 Popular Haitian Surnames And Meanings

25 Haitian Last Names That Reflect The Country’s Unique Culture And Indomitable Spirit

July 1, 2021 Updated July 2, 2021

Haitian last names
Bailey Torres/Unsplash

The country of Haiti has a rich and unique culture steeped in West African, Spanish, French, and Latin American influences. But one of the primary things you need to know about Haiti is that the nation has displayed an unwavering resiliency in the face of disaster time and time again. Even after being devastated by Hurricane Matthew in 2010, the residents rebuilt and continued to welcome people to their island. Haiti is a one-of-a-kind place, and its fascinating history is reflected in the popular Haitian last names that remain common among the island’s population to this day.

Last names originate from various places, but they’re tied to professions, places, or patriarchal influences in many cultures. And while Haitian last names certainly reflect a few of those variations, on the whole, the country’s most popular surnames also double as first names. The reason for this practice can be traced back to the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), which led Haiti to become the first Black Republic and the first Latin American country to declare its independence.

When the French government was finally forced to end slavery, the freed slaves had to have last names for registration purposes. However, the French didn’t want the newly freed Haitians to carry French names, so many people used an adapted version of their first names instead. As a result, last names like Paul, Joseph, Pierre, and Charles are common among Haitian people to this day.

But despite the people of France’s desire to keep the newly freed Haitians from having French surnames, the European country’s influence is still a part of Haitian culture. In fact, French is still commonly spoken on the island, although the official language of Haiti is Haitian Creole. Over the years, the people of Haiti have created their own culture — complete with a language that is unique to their country — but those early European influences remain.

To better understand the people of Haiti, read on for a list of some of the most popular Haitian last names, their meanings, and their origins. From first names that double as surnames to last names with clear roots in the French language, these names are all a reflection of the country’s evolution from a slave-trading hub to a proud and free country.

25 Popular Haitian Last Names

1. Augustin
Meaning: a descendant of Augustine
Origin: English

2. Baptiste
Meaning: derived from the name Bautista; the Spanish form of Baptist
Origin: Spanish

3. Bernard
Meaning: brave warrior
Origin: French

4. Chery
Meaning: derived from the Latin Cariacus, which means “land belonging to Cariu”; darling
Origin: French

5. Delva
Meaning: of the valley
Origin: French

6. Etienne
Meaning: crown or wealth
Origin: French

7. Francois
Meaning: Frenchman
Origin: French

8. Georges
Meaning: descendant of George; farmer
Origin: French

9. Hypolite
Meaning: derived from the personal name Hippolyte, which is itself a derivative of the Greek name Hippolytos
Origin: French

10. Jean
Meaning: the son of John
Origin: French

11. Jean-Baptiste
Meaning: derived from Jean, meaning son of John, and the Spanish word for Baptist
Origin: Latin

12. Jacques
Meaning: from the old French personal name Jacques
Origin: French and English

13. Louis
Meaning: from the name Lewis, it means “renowned” or “famous in battle”
Origin: French

14. Louissaint
Meaning: composed of the elements meaning ‘St. Louis’
Origin: French

15. Laguerre
Meaning: a valiant soldier, or war
Origin: French

16. Michel
Meaning: from the personal name Michel
Origin: French

17. Noel
Meaning: the son of Noel
Origin: French

18. Paul
Meaning: the son of Paul
Origin: Latin

19. Pierre
Meaning: the French form of Peter; rock
Origin: French

20. Saint
Meaning: nickname used to describe a pious person
Origin: English and French

21. Sanon
Meaning: derived from the French name Sinon
Origin: French

22. Solomon
Meaning: peaceful
Origin: English

23. Toussaint
Meaning: name given to someone born on All Saint’s Day
Origin: French

24. Victor
Meaning: conqueror
Origin: Anglo-Latin

25. Vincent
Meaning: to conquer
Origin: French and Latin