WAGNER Surname Meaning and Family History

What Does the Last Name Wagner Mean?

Wagner is an occupational surname often used to describe someone who drove a wagon or carriage filled with goods.
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From the Germanic Waganari, meaning "wagon-maker or wagon driver," the common occupational surname Wagner was often given to one who transported produce or other goods via high-sided wagons or carts. Among some German populations, especially the Pennsylvania Germans, Wagner also denoted a wagon-maker, wainwright, or cartwright.

Wagner is the 7th most common German surname and 4th most common surname in Austria.

Surname Origin: German, English


Famous People with the WAGNER Surname

  • Richard Wagner - 19th-century German conductor and composer
  • Jack Wagner - American actor and musician
  • Robert Wagner - American actor
  • Adolph Wagner - German economist
  • Arthur Wagner - Church of England clergyman in Brighton, East Sussex
  • George D. Wagner - Indiana politician and Civil War Union general
  • Johann Andreas Wagner - German palaeontologist and zoologist

Where is the WAGNER Surname Most Common?

According to surname distribution from Forebears, WAGNER is the 4th most common surname in both Germany and Austria. It is also fairly common in Luxembourg (5th), Switzerland (55th), the United States (142nd), Denmark (178th) and Slovakia (363rd). WorldNames PublicProfiler indicates that the Wagner surname is especially common in Saarland, Germany, as well as in both Hungary and Gussing, Austria. It is also prevalent in the German states of Rheinland-Pfalz, Thüringen, Hessen and Bayern.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname WAGNER

Meanings of Common German Surnames
Uncover the meaning of your German last name with this free guide to the meanings and origins of common German surnames.

Wagner Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Wagner family crest or coat of arms for the Wagner 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.

Wagner Y-Chromosome DNA Surname Project
Individuals with the Wagner surname are invited to participate in this group DNA project in an attempt to learn more about Wagner family origins. The website includes information on the project, the research done to date, and instructions on how to participate.

History and Genealogy of the Wagner-Waggoner-Wagoner Family
Online digital version (free) of a 1941 book on the descendants of John Waggoner, born in 1758 in Wasselonne, Alsace, France, who later immigrated to Maryland.

WAGNER Family Genealogy Forum
This free message board is focused on descendants of Wagner ancestors around the world.

FamilySearch - WAGNER Genealogy
Explore over 3.7 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Wagner surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

WAGNER Surname Mailing List
Free mailing list for researchers of the Wagner surname and its variations includes subscription details and a searchable archives of past messages.

DistantCousin.com - WAGNER Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Wagner.

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

The Wagner Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Wagner 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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Powell, Kimberly. "WAGNER Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/wagner-surname-meaning-and-origin-4083809. Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). WAGNER Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/wagner-surname-meaning-and-origin-4083809 Powell, Kimberly. "WAGNER Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/wagner-surname-meaning-and-origin-4083809 (accessed March 22, 2023).