Lewis Surname Meaning and Origin

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The Lewis surname is generally derived from the Germanic given name Lewis (Lowis, Lodovicus), meaning "renowned, famous battle," from the Germanic elements hlod ‘fame’ + wig ‘war.’

In Wales, the Lewis surname may have derived from an Anglicized form of the personal name Llywelyn.

As an Irish or Scottish surname, Lewis can be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Lughaidh, meaning "son of Lughaidh," derived from Lugh 'brightness.'

Lewis is also a common Americanization of several similar-sounding Jewish surnames, such as Levy and Lewin.

Lewis is the 26th most popular surname in the United States and the 21st most common surname in England.

Surname Origin


Alternate Surname Spellings


Famous People With the Surname LEWIS

  • Edna Lewis - Gourmet chef and cookbook author
  • Edmonia Lewis - African American and Native American female sculptor
  • Carl Lewis - Olympic track and field athlete
  • Meriwether Lewis - one half of the legendary Lewis & Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean, along with William Clark.
  • C.S. Lewis - author of the popular Narnia series of children's books

Genealogy Resources for the Surname LEWIS

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Lewis Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Lewis surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Lewis query.

FamilySearch - LEWIS Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Lewis surname and its variations.

LEWIS Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Lewis surname.

Cousin Connect - LEWIS Genealogy Queries
Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Lewis, and sign up for free notification when new Lewis queries are added.

DistantCousin.com - LEWIS Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Lewis.


  • 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.
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Powell, Kimberly. "Lewis Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, thoughtco.com/lewis-name-meaning-and-origin-1422547. Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 25). Lewis Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/lewis-name-meaning-and-origin-1422547 Powell, Kimberly. "Lewis Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/lewis-name-meaning-and-origin-1422547 (accessed June 1, 2023).