Humanities › History & Culture Patterson Name Meaning and Origin Share Flipboard Email Print Carly Patterson. Jed Jacobsohn / 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 March 05, 2019 The common surname Patterson most often originated as a patronymic name meaning "son of Patrick." The given name Patrick derives from the Roman name Patricius, which meant "nobleman" in Latin, denoting a member of the patrician class or Roman hereditary aristocracy. In County Galway, Ireland, Patterson was a surname often taken by bearers of the Gaelic name Ó Caisín, meaning descendant of Caisín from the Gaelic casán, or "little curly-headed one." Surname Origin: English, Scottish, Irish Alternate Surname Spellings: Patrickson, Paterson, Patersen, Pattersen, Batterson Famous People James Patterson - American best-selling authorCarly Patterson - 2004 Olympic All-Around Gymnastics ChampionJohn Patterson - American manufacturer who helped popularize the modern cash register Genealogy Resources If you're interested in connecting with others who share the Patterson surname or in learning more, the following resources can help: Most Common U.S. Surnames and Their Meanings: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 250 common last names from the 2000 census?Patterson DNA Project: An annual publication "issued under the authority of the Barnes Family Association." Several volumes are available for free viewing from Internet Archive.Patterson Family Genealogy Forum: Search this popular genealogy forum for the Patterson surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or ask your own question about your Patterson ancestors.FamilySearch: Discover historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Patterson surname and its variations.Patterson Surname and Family Mailing Lists: RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Patterson surname. 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.