What is the origin of the last name Major?

The last name Major has its origin in medieval England, deriving from the Old French term "majeur," meaning "greater" or "superior." It was originally bestowed as a nickname to denote someone of higher social status or importance. Over time, this surname spread across the British Isles and beyond, as individuals bearing the name relocated and settled in different regions. Today, the surname Major continues to be found worldwide, representing a diverse range of families with varying ancestral connections.

Countries of origin for the last name Major

The last name MAJOR has a variety of meanings and historical origins. The following analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the name, including its etymology, variations, and historical significance.

The surname MAJOR can be traced back to multiple origins. One possible origin is from the Old French word “maire,” meaning “mayor.” This suggests that the name may have originally been an occupational surname, indicating that a person with this surname held the position of mayor or a similar administrative role. This interpretation aligns with the historical usage of the name in England, where it is found in records dating back to the 12th century.

In addition to its potential occupational origin, the surname MAJOR also has roots in the Latin term “major,” meaning “greater” or “larger.” This linguistic connection implies that the name may have initially been a nickname or descriptive surname, distinguishing an individual as being physically larger or taller than others.

Over time, the name MAJOR has evolved and developed various spelling variations. These include Majors, Majoris, Mayers, Mayeurs, and Maior. The presence of these alternate spellings reflects the fluidity of language and the different phonetic interpretations throughout history.

The surname MAJOR has been tied to notable individuals and families throughout history. For instance, the name Major can be found among early American settlers, specifically in the colonies of Virginia and Maryland. Prominent figures with the surname Major include Sir Thomas Major, a 17th-century English Member of Parliament, and George Major, a leading Lutheran theologian from the 16th century.

While the specific origins and meanings of the surname MAJOR remain uncertain, it is evident that the name has rich historical and linguistic roots. The various interpretations, from an occupational surname to a descriptive nickname, contribute to the complexity and intrigue surrounding the MAJOR family name. Exploring the diverse facets of this surname opens up avenues for further research and invites individuals to delve into their own personal family histories.

In summary, the surname MAJOR has multiple potential origins, including an occupational association with the position of mayor and a descriptive connection to being larger or greater. The name has evolved over time, resulting in different spelling variations. Despite its ambiguity, the presence of the MAJOR surname among notable individuals and families throughout history highlights its significance. Further investigation into the MAJOR name promises to unveil additional insights and uncover hidden connections.

Interesting facts about the last name Major

  • The surname Major is of English and Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Medieval English word “maiour” or “maire,” which means “mayor” in modern English.
  • The name was originally a occupational surname given to someone who held the position of a mayor or a high-ranking official in a town or city.
  • The surname Major is found in various spellings, including Mayor, Mayors, Mayers, and Maynard.
  • It is a relatively common surname, particularly in English-speaking countries.
  • There are several notable individuals with the surname Major, who have made significant contributions in different fields, such as politics, military, music, and sports.
  • The surname has been traced back to medieval England, and it is believed to have originated in the 12th century.
  • The Major family name can be found in the records of the Domesday Book of 1086, a survey of England and Wales commissioned by William the Conqueror.
  • Over time, the surname Major spread to Scotland and other parts of the British Isles.
  • The name Major can also be found among Jewish communities, often as an anglicized form of Hebrew surnames.

Name Rank


There are around 20977 people with the last name Major in the US

Related Names

    Related Regions