What is the origin of the last name Carlson?

The last name Carlson is of Swedish origin and is derived from the personal name Carl, which itself comes from the Germanic name Karl meaning "strong" or "man". The suffix -son indicates "son of", making Carlson mean "son of Carl". As a patronymic surname, it signifies the lineage of someone whose father or ancestor was named Carl.

Countries of origin for the last name Carlson

Carlson, a common surname in the United States, is of Swedish origin. It is derived from the personal name Carl, which in turn comes from the Old Norse name Karl. The name Karl was derived from the Germanic word “karl” meaning “man” or “free man”.

The surname Carlson emerged as a patronymic name, indicating that it was originally used to denote “son of Carl”. It follows the common Scandinavian tradition of using patronymic surnames, where the father’s given name is appended to the child’s name. In this case, “son of Carl” would become Carlson.

As with many surnames, Carlson may also have variations or regional spellings, such as Karlson or Karlsen. These variations often depend on the specific region or dialect of Sweden from which the family originates.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a significant number of Swedes immigrated to the United States, seeking economic opportunities and a new life. This migration brought many individuals with Swedish surnames, including Carlson, to America.

In the United States, the surname Carlson is most commonly found in states with a higher concentration of Swedish immigrants, such as Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin. It is estimated that there are over 200,000 individuals with the surname Carlson living in the United States today.

Over time, some individuals with the last name Carlson have achieved prominence in various fields. Notable examples include Curtis Carlson, founder of the Carlson Companies; Richard Carlson, an actor and television personality; and Michael Carlson, a notable chef.

The popularity of the surname Carlson and its variations is not limited to the United States. It can also be found in other countries with significant Swedish populations, such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Despite the extensive research and available information on the surname Carlson, there may still be undiscovered connections and stories waiting to be uncovered. The complexity and depth of genealogy and etymology offer endless possibilities for exploration and discovery.

Interesting facts about the last name Carlson

  • The surname Carlson is of Swedish origin.
  • It is derived from the given name Carl, which means “man” or “free man” in Old Norse.
  • The name Carlson is a patronymic surname, meaning it is derived from the father’s given name. In this case, it would mean “son of Carl.”
  • Carlson is a relatively common surname in Sweden and among Swedish communities around the world.
  • Similar versions of the surname exist in other Scandinavian countries, such as Danish “Carlsen” and Norwegian “Karlsen.”
  • The American singer and songwriter Karen Anne Carpenter, best known as part of the duo The Carpenters, had the maiden name “Carpenter” which is an anglicized version of Carlson.
  • There are several notable individuals with the surname Carlson, including politicians, journalists, and athletes.
  • The surname has variations in spelling, such as Karlson or Karlsson.
  • Carlson is a popular surname in the United States, particularly among people with Scandinavian ancestry.
  • The meaning of the surname Carlson reflects qualities associated with masculinity, strength, and independence.

Name Rank


There are around 120552 people with the last name Carlson in the US

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