10 Most Popular Surnames Starting With J and Their Meanings

Irish surnames carry a unique meaning related to ancestry, a place, a story, or a legacy. We all keep our surnames to stay connected with our history. Keeping the same in mind, we created this list of popular surnames starting with J

These last names are popular in the United States and the complete list is based on the United States of America. To make it easier to track, we will also share the state with the most and the least people with this surname. 

Top 10 Popular Surnames Starting With J

If you want to check the complete list of 1000 popular names, you can visit CocoFinder and get all the information you want.

  • Jones

The most popular last name with J is Jones that has English and Irish origin. The name is taken from ancient Welsh and has its roots in Christianity. However, the name is taken from a personal name John which means ‘Yahweh is gracious’ in Latin. 

The name was introduced in the 14th century and the descendants of this ancestry are now all around the world. In the US alone, more than 1,61,724 people have Jones as their last name.

  • Johnson

Johnson is one of the most common names in different communities. It has a mixed origin from Denmark, England, Scotland, and Ireland. The surname has an ancient Norman origin. However, they arrived in England after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. 

The meaning of Johnson is ‘Son of John’. The name is quite popular in the United States with around 1,57,771 registered citizens with this surname. Texas and California are the most common places to find people with this surname.

  • Jackson

Jackson stands for ‘Son of Jack’. The surname originated from England and Scotland with a relation with the name Jack as the pet form of John. Due to the different spelling variations, the name is the third-most-popular last name in the list. If we combine all the spelling variants, it may become the most popular last name with J.

According to the latest Census, there are around 90,448 people who recognize themselves as the descendants of this surname. 

  • James

James has an English origin that became popular after the famous migration of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The name is derived from a personal name ‘Jacob’ which was way more popular at that time. In some ancient documents, the name ‘Jacob’ was referred to as ‘Jacobus’ as well. 

There are around 60,232 people who recognize themselves as the descendants of Jacob and James. Most of them are found in Texas.

  • Jenkins

Jenkins shares an English and Irish origin and is associated with Wales from the beginning. The surname is based on the name Jane that is an extensive version of ‘John’. Therefore, the ancestry of this name is similar to James and John. 

The literal meaning of James is ‘Replacer’ and is used in holy books as a reference.

  • Jordan

Jordan has an Irish origin that has its roots in England and France as well. The name comes from ‘Mac Siurtain’. The name is associated with a family that came to Ireland after the Norman Conquest. The name is derived from the river Jordan also known as Yarden in Hebrew. 

The name has a rich history in the US as well. There are still 33,072 citizens with this surname across different states of the United States. The name is most common in Texas and California. 

  • Jacobs

Jacobs has a mixed origin that comes from Spanish, Irish, English, and German community. It is because of the Anglo-Saxon nature of this name that comes from the baptismal name Jacob. The literal meaning of Jacobs is ‘Son of Jacob’. 

The popularity of this name in the US is visible which makes it the 6th most popular name in the US census. California is home to the maximum number of people with Jacobs as their surname. 

  • Justice

The surname Justice is a trendy and popular last name in the United States. However, its origin is English and Scottish and the name goes back to the year 1172 when it was used for judges and the members of the court. It was known as the La Justice and was more like a name for someone who used to work in the court.

Today, the last name is reserved for the judges only. In the United States, more than 8,203 people have Justice in their name. These are the descendants of the people who were known as Justice at that time.

  • Jack 

Like other names in the list, Jack is also a Scottish-originated name that was brought by the people after the Norman Conquest. The meaning of this name is similar to John (French- Jacques). The name has a rich history in different places as the families migrated to different cities.

Meanwhile, the US is home to around 5,514 people with this surname. However, they are only found in states like Texas and California.

  • Joy

The name Joy comes from the personal name Josse. The meaning of this name is ‘Cheerful person’. In ancient times, people with cheerful nature were called Joy. However, it has a history of a saint who refused Brittany’s sovereignty. 

It is not confirmed whether the descendants follow the Saint ancestry or if it was just a surname assigned to the cheerful person. Around 4,351 people in the United States share this surname.


It is important to know that a name can have different meanings in different languages. Therefore, we advise you to track your ancestry based on the related information of your surname. The best way is to consider multiple factors while doing it.  

It will eliminate the chance of error and will help you find the right details. You can use this list of popular surnames starting with J to start your research. For more information, you can visit CocoFinder’s website and search for all the public information you want.

Article by Born Realist