Humanities › History & Culture ABBOTT Surname Meaning and Family History What Does the Last Name Abbott Mean? Share Flipboard Email Print ianknowles / Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated June 04, 2017 The Abbott surname means "abbot" or "priest," from the Old English abbod or Old French abet, which in turn derive from the Late Latin or Greek abbas, from the Aramaic abba, meaning "father." Abbott generally originated as an occupational name for the chief ruler or priest of an abbey, or for someone employed in the household or on the grounds of an abbot (since celibate clergy usually didn't have descendants to carry on the family name). According to a "Dictionary of American Family Names," it may also have been a nickname bestowed on a "sanctimonious person thought to resemble an abbot." The Abbott surname is also common in Scotland, where it may be of English origin, or possibly a translation of MacNab, from the Gaelic Mac an Abbadh, meaning "son of the abbott." Surname Origin: English, Scottish Alternate Surname Spellings: ABBOT, ABBE, ABBIE, ABBOTTS, ABBETT, ABBET, ABIT, ABBIT, ABOTT Where in the World Is the Abbott Surname Found? The Abbott surname is now most commonly found in Canada, especially in the province of Ontario, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler. Within the United Kingdom, the name is most common in East Anglia. The name is also fairly common in the U.S. state of Maine. Forebears surname distribution data places the Abbott surname with the greatest frequency in the former British Caribbean colonies, such as Antigua and Barbuda, where it is the 51st most common last name. It is then most commonly found in England, followed by Australia, Wales, New Zealand, and Canada. Famous People With the Last Name ABBOTT Berenice Abbott: American photographer and sculptorGrace Abbott: American social worker best known for her work improving rights of immigrants and advancing child welfareEdith Abbott: American social work pioneer; sister of Grace AbbottSir John Abbott: former prime minister of CanadaJeremy Abbott: U.S. national figure skating championGeorge Abbott: American director, producer, and playwrightBud Abbott: comedian best known for playing the "straight man" of Abbott and Costello Genealogy Resources for the Surname Abbott Abbott DNA Project Individuals with the Abbott surname or any of its variations are invited to join this Y-DNA surname project of Abbott researchers working to combine traditional family history research with DNA testing to determine common ancestors. The Abbott Family Genealogy This site compiled and written by Ernest James Abbott collects information on primarily Americans with the Abbott surname and includes sections on authors, occupations, famous descendants, courses, and Abbotts in the military and ministry. Abbott Family Genealogy Forum Search this popular genealogy forum for the Abbott surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Abbott query. FamilySearch - ABBOTT Genealogy Explore over 1.7 million historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Abbott surname and its variations on the free FamilySearch website, hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Abbott Genealogy and Family Tree Page Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the common Abbott last name from the website of Genealogy Today. Sources Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.