Last names provide a great connection to our past, and Jamaican last names truly reflect the country’s national motto of ‘out of many one people.’ While there are no last names native to Jamaica itself, the colonization, immigration, and slave trade forced on the Caribbean island has left current Jamaicans with names from all over the world. English last names have a large presence in Jamaica (since it is a commonwealth country and most slave owners were British). Irish and Scottish last names are also common throughout after Oliver Cromwell sent convicts and indentured servants there during the 1600s. Indian and Chinese last names have also established themselves in Jamaica through the years.
We’ve compiled a list of 20 popular Jamaican last names. This list also explains where the name comes from and its meaning. Read on and see if you recognize any. Waa gwaan?
Origin/Meaning: An English surname meaning ‘son of Robin.’
Origin/Meaning: Derived from the Welsh name Llywelyn, meaning ‘leader.’
Origin/Meaning: An English surname referring to a woodworker.
Origin/Meaning: A Scottish surname meaning ‘large fortress.’
Origin/Meaning: An English last name meaning ‘son of John.’
Origin/Meaning: A name of French origins referring to a bailiff.
Origin/Meaning: An English surname meaning ‘son of William.’
Origin/Meaning: An English or Scottish surname referring to a clerk or cleric.
Origin/Meaning: An English surname referring to a mill keeper.
Origin/Meaning: A Scottish last name referring to someone with a crooked smile or mouth.
Origin/Meaning: An Indian last name meaning ‘hero.’
Origin/Meaning: An English surname meaning ‘son of Jack.’
Origin/Meaning: An English or Nordic surname meaning ‘son of Andrew.’
Origin/Meaning: A Scottish last name meaning ‘son of Thomas.’
Origin/Meaning: A Welsh surname meaning ‘son of David.’
Origin/Meaning: An English or Scottish surname referring to a person with dark hair.
Origin/Meaning: An English surname last name ‘son of John.’
Origin/Meaning: An English surname meaning ‘small wood’ or ‘clearing.’
Origin/Meaning: An Irish surname likely referring to a blind person.
Origin/Meaning: A Chinese last name meaning ‘plum’ or ‘plum tree.’
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