What is the origin of the last name Mays?

The last name Mays has its origins in multiple cultures and languages. In English, it is derived from the Old English word "mæg," meaning "kinsman" or "relative," suggesting a possible patronymic origin. In some cases, it could also be a variant of the name May, derived from the Old French word "mai," meaning "May," a reference to the month or a nickname for someone born in May. In Scottish and Irish, Mays could be a variant of the surname MacKay/MacCai, meaning "son of Aodh," while in Germanic languages, it may be connected to the ancient given name Maginhari or Mahinhard, meaning "powerful warrior." The diverse origins of the last name Mays highlight its rich history and connections to various cultures.

Countries of origin for the last name Mays

Mays is a last name with a diverse range of origins and meanings. The origins and etymology of this surname can be traced back to multiple countries, making it a fascinating subject for genealogical research.

One of the most common origins of the Mays surname is from England, where it is believed to be derived from the medieval given name “May” or “Maie.” This given name was often used as a nickname for someone born or baptized in the month of May. It is also possible that Mays originated as a variant spelling of the surname “Mayes,” derived from the same given name.

Another potential origin of the Mays surname is from Ireland, where it is considered to be an anglicized form of the Gaelic surname “Ó Maolmhuaidh.” This surname translates to “descendant of the servant of St. Maolmhuaidh.” It is worth noting that the spelling of Irish surnames often varied due to historical factors, such as English influence during the colonization of Ireland.

In the United States, the Mays surname has been associated with various ethnic backgrounds, including English, Irish, and African American. African Americans with the surname Mays may have inherited it from their enslaved ancestors who were given the surname of their slaveholders.

Interestingly, the Mays surname has also been associated with Jewish genealogy. It has been noted as a variant spelling of the Jewish surname “Meyers,” which is derived from the Hebrew given name “Meir” meaning “light.” This highlights the complexity of tracing the origins and meanings of surnames, as they can evolve and intertwine across different cultures and languages throughout history.

The meaning of the Mays surname can vary depending on its specific origins. For individuals with English roots, it may signify a connection to the month of May or be a patronymic surname derived from the given name “Maie.” In the Irish context, it could indicate descent from the servant of St. Maolmhuaidh. And for those with Jewish ancestry, it could represent a connection to the Hebrew name “Meir” and symbolize the concept of light.

Overall, the Mays surname serves as a window into the rich tapestry of human history, highlighting the interconnectedness of different cultures and generations. It invites further exploration into one’s own genealogy and the possibility of uncovering hidden ancestral stories and connections.

Interesting facts about the last name Mays

  • The surname Mays is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the medieval given name “Matthew,” which means “gift of Yahweh” in Hebrew.
  • The Mays surname is relatively common in the United States and can be found in various spellings, including Mayes and Maze.
  • According to genealogical records, the Mays family has a long history in America, with early immigrants arriving in the 17th century.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Mays include baseball player Willie Mays, who is considered one of the greatest players of all time.
  • The Mays surname can also be found in other countries, such as Ireland and Scotland.
  • There are several variations of the Mays surname in different languages. For example, in French, it can be spelled “Maïs” or “Mais,” while in German, it can be written as “Meis” or “Meiß.”
  • The meaning of the surname Mays can vary depending on the region and language. In some cases, it may refer to the month of May or be associated with the spring season.
  • Surname studies suggest that the Mays surname may have originated from a nickname or occupational name related to a servant or someone who worked on a manor or estate.
  • Researching the Mays family history can provide insights into immigration patterns, social changes, and intercultural influences over time.

Name Rank


There are around 40408 people with the last name Mays in the US

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