Show ContentsLast History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Last surname comes from the Middle English word "last," which was the name of a wooden mould in the shape of a foot used by a cobbler in the making or repairing of shoes. In Old English, the name was "laeste" which literally meant "footprint." The name was most likely an occupational name for a person who made cobbler's lasts. Also there is some evidence that the name could have been Norman in origin as records show Philip Augustus granted lands in Normandy to Robert de Los. It is thought that this same family landed in England where there are records of Walter and William Luz in 1198.

Early Origins of the Last family

The surname Last was first found in Suffolk. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in 1275 with Thomas le Lastur who was listed in the Assize Rolls. Over a century later, in 1385, Richard Last was listed in the Fleet of Fines as holding estates in the same county.

Early History of the Last family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Last research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1395, 1455, and 1487 are included under the topic Early Last History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Last Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Last has been recorded under many different variations, including Laster, Lastur, Lastor, Last and others.

Early Notables of the Last family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Last Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Last migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Last or a variant listed above:

Last Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johann Georg Last, who landed in New York in 1709 [1]
Last Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Last, who was on record in Wisconsin in 1838
  • Caroline Last, who arrived in New York, NY in 1843
  • Johann Erdmann Last, aged 52, who arrived in America in 1843 [1]

Canada Last migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Last Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Moses Last, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834

Australia Last migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Last Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Last, English convict who was convicted in Suffolk, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Mr. Thomas Last, Jr., British Convict who was convicted in Ipswich, Suffolk, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 12th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [3]
  • Mary Last, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [4]
  • Joseph Last, aged 20, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1851 [5]
  • Mark Last, aged 27, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1851 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Last (post 1700) +

  • Jay Taylor Last (1929-2021), American physicist, silicon pioneer, member of the so-called "traitorous eight" who founded Silicon Valley
  • Thomas J. Last, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 2000 [6]
  • Mrs. Stewart D. Last, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1960 [6]
  • Jean Last, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 7th District, 1988 [6]
  • Clifford Frank Last (1918-1991), English sculptor, son of Nella Last
  • Nella Last (1889-1968), English housewife and author who wrote a diary for the Mass Observation Archive from 1939 until 1965 which was eventually published as "Nella Last's War: A Mother's Diary, 1939-45"
  • William Isaac Last (1857-1911), English engineer and Director of the Science Museum, London
  • Prof. Richard John Last O.B.E., British Vice-Chancellor for Norwich University of the Arts, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Higher Education [7]
  • John Murray Last (b. 1926), Australian-born, Canadian Emeritus Professor at the University of Ottawa
  • James Last (1929-2015), born Hans Last, German big band leader with a large fan base in Europe, although he has never had a comparable following in the United States
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th December 2021). Retrieved from
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LYSANDER 1851. Retrieved
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from
  7. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook