Humanities › History & Culture Watt Surname Meaning and Origin Share Flipboard Email Print Matthew Crosby / EyeEm / 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 April 13, 2019 The Watt surname derives from early forms of the personal name Walter. The popular Middle English given names Wat and Watt were pet forms of the name Walter, meaning "powerful ruler" or "ruler of the army," from the elements wald, meaning rule, and heri, meaning army. Watt is the 80th most common surname in Scotland. Surname Origin: Scottish, English Alternate Surname Spellings: WATTS, WATTE, WATTIS, WATS See also WATSON. Where Do People with the Watt Surname Live According to WorldNames PublicProfiler, the last name Watts is most common in Wales, especially Pembrokeshire, as well as Somerset, Gloucester, and Northampton counties in England. The Watt spelling (without the "s") is much more common in Scotland, as well as County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Both names are also popular in Australia and New Zealand. Interestingly, the Watt spelling is more common in the Canada, while Watts is found more frequently in the United States. Surname distribution data from Forebears also puts Watt as most frequently found in Scotland. In 1881 the name was most commonly found in Banffshire where it ranked 5th, as well as East Lothian (#11), Aberdeenshire (#20) and Kincardineshire (#21). In contrast, the Watts surname is more common in Wales (#128), England (#139), Australia (#151), New Zealand (#252) and the United States (#323) than it is in Scotland, where it ranks 692nd most common. Famous People with the Watt Surname James Watt - Inventor of the modern steam engine- NFL football playerAndré Watts - German pianistCharlie Watts - English drummer, best known for being part of the famed rock 'n' roll group The Rolling StonesReggie Watts - German-born musical comedianIsaac Watts - English Christian minister, hymn writer and theologian; author of the Christmas hymn Joy to the World Genealogy Resources for the Surname Watt 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their MeaningsSmith, 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? Watt/Watts/Watson Family Reconstruction ProjectOver 150 group members belong to this Y-DNA surname project, working together to combine DNA testing with traditional genealogy research to sort out Watt, Watts and Watson ancestral lines. Watt Family Crest - It's Not What You ThinkContrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Watt family crest or coat of arms for the Watson 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. WATT Family Genealogy ForumSearch this popular genealogy forum for the Watt surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Watt query. FamilySearch - WATT GenealogyAccess over 8 million free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Watt surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. WATT Surname & Family Mailing ListsRootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Watt surname. You can also browse or search the list archives to explore previous postings for the Watt surname. DistantCousin.com - WATT Genealogy & Family HistoryFree databases and genealogy links for the last name Watt. The Watt Genealogy and Family Tree PageBrowse family trees and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the last name Watt from the website of Genealogy Today.----------------------- References: Surname Meanings & Origins Cottle, Basil. "Penguin Dictionary of Surnames." Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967. Menk, Lars. "A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2005. Beider, Alexander. "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2004. Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. "A Dictionary of Surnames." New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Hanks, Patrick. "Dictionary of American Family Names." New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Hoffman, William F. "Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings." Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1993. Rymut, Kazimierz. "Nazwiska Polakow." Wroclaw: Zaklad Narodowy im. Ossolinskich - Wydawnictwo, 1991. Smith, Elsdon C. "American Surnames." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.