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Last Name Mitchell Origin


Choosing a name for your child is a big decision, and one that requires careful consideration. For many parents, the last name is just as important as the first, as it represents their family history and heritage. If you're considering the last name Mitchell for your child, you may be wondering about its origin and meaning. In this article, we'll explore the fascinating history of the Mitchell surname, from its medieval roots to its prevalence in modern-day America.

Medieval Origins

The Mitchell surname has its roots in medieval England, where it was derived from the given name Michael. Michael was a popular name in medieval times, and was often given to boys in honor of the archangel Michael. Over time, the name Michael became Mitchell, and was used as a surname to distinguish families with that name.

Scottish Connection

While the Mitchell surname is most commonly associated with England, it also has strong ties to Scotland. In Scotland, Mitchell is often used as a shortened form of the Gaelic name Maolcholuim, which means 'devotee of Saint Columba'. Saint Columba was a 6th-century Irish monk who is credited with spreading Christianity throughout Scotland. The name Maolcholuim was often given to boys in honor of Saint Columba, and over time, it evolved into Mitchell.

Meaning and Significance

The Mitchell surname has several possible meanings, depending on its origin. In England, Mitchell is derived from the name Michael, which means 'who is like God'. This name was often given to boys in honor of the archangel Michael, who was considered a powerful protector and defender. In Scotland, Mitchell is derived from the Gaelic name Maolcholuim, which means 'devotee of Saint Columba'. This name was often given to boys in honor of Saint Columba, who was revered as a holy man and spiritual leader.

Famous Mitchells

Over the years, many notable individuals have borne the Mitchell surname. Some of the most famous Mitchells include: - Margaret Mitchell, author of the classic novel 'Gone with the Wind' - Joni Mitchell, singer-songwriter and cultural icon - David Mitchell, comedian and actor - Billy Mitchell, United States Army general - Mitchell Johnson, Australian cricketer These individuals have all made significant contributions to their respective fields, and have helped to cement the Mitchell surname as a recognizable and respected name.

Mitchell Genealogy

If you're interested in tracing your own Mitchell genealogy, there are several resources available to help you. One of the best places to start is with online genealogy databases, such as or These databases allow you to search through millions of historical records, including census data, birth and death certificates, and immigration records. You can also connect with other individuals who are researching their own Mitchell genealogy, and share information and resources.

Mitchell Family Crest

Like many surnames, the Mitchell name is associated with a family crest. The Mitchell family crest features a shield with three silver scallops on a blue background. Above the shield is a helmet with a silver crest, which features a griffin's head. The griffin was a mythical creature that was often associated with strength and courage. The Mitchell family motto, 'Sine Metu', means 'without fear', and reflects the family's proud and fearless spirit.

Mitchell in America

Today, the Mitchell surname is one of the most common surnames in America. According to the United States Census Bureau, Mitchell is the 41st most common surname in the country, with over 700,000 individuals bearing the name. The Mitchell name has been present in America since colonial times, and has been associated with many notable individuals and families throughout American history.


Choosing a last name for your child is an important decision, and one that should be made with care and consideration. If you're considering the Mitchell surname, you can take pride in its rich history and significance. From its medieval origins in England to its prevalence in modern-day America, the Mitchell name has played an important role in shaping the world we live in today.