Are you looking for a comprehensive list of last names beginning with “S”?
We’ve used the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census to compile surnames that start with the letter S and have at leasttwoe thousand bearers of the name.
In the table below, you’ll see the total number of bearers for the name in each census.
Wait – I Know A Surname That Isn’t On This List!
If you don’t find a name that you’re interested in, then it likely didn’t have 2,000 people of that name recorded in both U.S. censuses.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We have a separate article on checking whether a last name is rare or common.
We also have an easy-to-use tool that shows you where your surname ranks in the United States. It has a much lower threshold of one hundred bearers.
Some Of These Spellings Don’t Look Right!
Are you side-eying the entry for “Stjames”? Shouldn’t that be St James or St. James?
Well, yes. But the U.S. census records it like “STJAMES”. In other words, they remove the space and capitalize every letter.
I’ve updated the names from being all in caps (which just looks rude). But I haven’t added in extra spaces because there are some variants that I’m simply not sure whether the name is one word or two.
Meanings Of Popular Last Names Starting With S
Here are the top ten most common last names beginning with S in the 2010 U.S. census.
They are in descending order of how common they are.
Famous People With S Surnames
Here is an assorted collection of ten famous people with a family name starting with S.
Last Names Starting With S
Let’s start with names from Saad to Sagastume.
Saenz is the most common name within this section with about thirty-three thousand bearers in the 2010 U.S. census.
This name is a variant of Sanchez, which you’ll see in a later section is far more common.
Here, I’ll explain Sadler which has about twenty-one thousand bearers. But there is also the very similar variant of Saddler which has a few thousand people in the census.
The name refers to tradesmen who made saddles for horses.
From Sage to Salgado
Salazar is the most common name in this section with about 152 thousand bearers in the 2010 census. I’ve covered this name in detail in our list of Hispanic last names starting with S.
Here, I’ll take a look at Sage. The name was brought to England by the Normans.
The meaning derives from the Old French word for a wise man.
From Salguero to Sambrano
Sam is one of the few three-letter names in this list and it appears in this section.
The name has different origins depending on the region.
The Chinese origins come as a variant of Cen or Chen, which I cover in our list of last names starting with C.
The European origins come as a shortened form of Samson. The name was given to a biblical warrior known for his strength. It was conferred as a nickname on strong men.
From Sammons to Sandstrom
Sanchez is by far the most common name in this section with over six hundred thousand bearers in the U.S. census. It is one of the most common names in America.
It’s a variant of Sancho, a Hispanic name that derives from the Latin for a holy man.
Sanders has over 230 thousand bearers. It’s a variant of Sander which has several origins.
One is as a shortened form of Alexander, a name that spread in the Middle Ages due to the legendary tales of Alexander the Great.
Another is as a geographical name bestowed on people who lived near a beach or an area with sandy soil.
From Sandusky to Santo
There are plenty of Hispanic names in this section which I cover in our separate Hispanic list.
Here, I’ll take a look at Sanford. This is a variant of Sandford. The meaning comes from the words for a sandy area (sand) with a river crossing (ford).
The name was taken by people who lived or came from such areas.
From Santora to Satterwhite
Sargent and Sargeant are name variants of English origin.
The name was conferred upon soldiers who were ranked below a knight.
From Sattler to Sayler
Sawyer and Sawyers are name variants within this section.
The name is of English origin. The meaning comes from the Old English word for a saw.
It was conferred on people employed by landowners to saw wood. It may also have been taken by tradesmen who sold wood.
From Sayles to Schalk
This section has several variants of the name Schaefer.
The name has Germanic origins. The meaning comes from the word for a shepherd.
From Schall to Schlueter
Most of the names in this section are of German origin.
Schilling is the most common, with about sixteen thousand bearers in the 2010 U.S. census.
This name has several variants on the list. The meaning derives from a coin (unit of money).
From Schmaltz to Schuetz
Schmidt is the most common name in this section. It also has several variants on the list. All the versions total up to over two hundred thousand bearers in the 2010 U.S. census.
These names are of Germanic origins. The meaning derives from the word for someone who works with metals i.e. a smith.
From Schuh to Seagraves
Scott is the most common name in this section with nearly 440 thousand bearers in the 2010 census.
The English and Scottish origins simply referred to someone who came from Scotland.
From Seal to Seidel
See is one of the few three-letter surnames in the list. The origins depend on the region.
The Chinese origins are as a variant of Xi or Si.
The English name simply referred to people who lived by the shores of a sea or lake.
From Seidl to Setzer
Sellers is the largest variant of a number of similar names in this section.
We’ve actually covered this earlier. One of the origins of this name is as a variant of Saddler i.e. a maker of saddles.
Another set of people took the name from their occupation as merchants who sold goods.
From Sever to Shavers
Sharp is the most common name in this section, and the variant of Sharpe is also well represented.
The English origins are from the word for someone who is smart and quick-witted.
From Shaw to Sherry
Shaw is the most common name in this section with over 160 thousand bearers in the 2010 U.S. census.
The English origins are from the word for a small wood. There are plenty of places through England that have Shaw as part of their name, because of the presence of a wood.
People from such places would take the name.
From Sherwin to Shoulders
Short is the most common name in this section and it also has several variants.
The name is of English origins and was likely a nickname for people of short stature.
From Shoup to Sidwell
Shultz is the most common name in this section. This is a variant of Schulz.
This name is of Germanic origins. The meaning comes from the words for collecting debts.
It was conferred on the head of a village who gathered the dues for a large landowner.
From Sieber to Skaggs
Simmons is the most common name in this section with over 210 thousand bearers in the 2010 U.S. census.
This is a variant of Simon, which is a name found throughout Europe. Interestingly, Simon has about eighty thousand bearers in the same census.
The origins are in the Hebrew name of Shim’on. The name became popular within Christian communities in deference to the apostle Simon (who became Peter).
From Skeen to Soliz
Snyder is the most common name in this section with over 160 thousand bearers in the 2010 census. There are also several variants in the list.
This is a variant of the German name Schneider. The meaning comes from the word for cutting. The name was conferred on tailors (cutting cloth).
From Solomon to Spies
Spencer is a common name in this section.
The name is of English origins. The meaning derives from the verb “to dispense”.
It was conferred upon people who dispensed goods or money.
From Spiker to Stansell
Stafford is the most common name in this section.
There are several places in England with this name, including the market town in Staffordshire.
People from the town, and indeed from the county, would take the name.
From Stanton to Stigall
Stewart is the single most common name in this section. But all the variants of Stephens total up to more bearers in the 2010 census.
The names are all variants of Steven. The Latin and Greek origins are from the word for a crown.
The name spread in Western Europe during the Middle Ages in deference to Saint Stephen.
From Stiles to Strecker
Stone is the most common name in this section with over 153 thousand bearers in the 2010 U.S. census.
The English origins derive from the word for a stone or rock. The early bearers may have lived in rocky regions or farmed on stony soil.
From Street to Suniga
Sullivan is the most common name in this section with over 220 thousand bearers in the 2010 census.
We will cover Irish names in a separate article.
From Super to Szymanski
Sutton is the most common name in this section.
The English origins are in the Old English words for “south” and a farm or fenced area. There are many places with this name across England.
The early bearers came from these places.