LINCOLN - Surname Meaning and Family History

What Does the Last Name Lincoln Mean?

Getty / Alexander Yates

The Lincoln last name means "from the lake colony," or one who came from Lincoln, England. The name derives from the Welsh element lynn, meaning "lake or pool" and the Latin element colonia, meaning "colony." 

Surname Origin: English

Alternate Surname Spellings: LINCOLNE, LYNCOLN, LINCCOLNE

Fun Facts About the Last Name LINCOLN:

Lincoln is a popular given name in America, primarily given in honor of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), president of the United States during the American Civil War.

Famous People with the Surname LINCOLN:

  • Abraham Lincoln - president of the United States
  • Robert Todd Lincoln - American lawyer and secretary of war; first-born son of President Abraham Lincoln
  • Henry Lincoln - British author and actor
  • Brad Lincoln - American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Elmo Lincoln - American actor, best known for his role in several Tarzan films

Where is the LINCOLN Surname Most Common?

According to surname distribution from Forebears, the Lincoln surname is most prevalent in the United States. It is also somewhat common in England, Australia, Bangladesh, Ghana and Brazil.

Surname maps from WorldNames PublicProfiler indicate the Lincoln surname in America is most common in the New England states of Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, as well as in Montana. The highest concentrations of the Lincoln surname, however, are found in New Zealand, especially the Waitomo district, as well as in Tazmania, Australia. Within England, the Lincoln surname is now most commonly found in Norfolk, not Lincolnshire.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname LINCOLN:

U.S. Presidential Surnames & Their Meanings
Do the surnames of U.S. Presidents really have more prestige than your average Smith and Jones? While the proliferance of babies named Tyler, Madison, and Monroe may seem to point in that direction, Presidential surnames are really just a cross-section of the American melting pot.

Lincoln Surname DNA Project
The goal of the the Lincoln surname project is to identify and trace as many separate Lincoln lineages as possible, including the progenitors of the Lincolns in America.

Lincoln Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Lincoln family crest or coat of arms for the Lincoln surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

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

FamilySearch - LINCOLN Genealogy
Explore over 400,000 results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Lincoln surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. - LINCOLN Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Lincoln.

GeneaNet - Lincoln Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Lincoln surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

The Lincoln Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Lincoln surname from the website of Genealogy Today.

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.

Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

>> Back to Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "LINCOLN - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). LINCOLN - Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "LINCOLN - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 31, 2023).