Short Last Names Beginning With H

This article is about short last names beginning with H that are under five letters.

We look at the most common four-letter, three-letter, and two-letter H family names in the United States in recent years.

We also investigate whether anybody in the United States is named simply “H”.

Using The 2010 U.S. Census

We used the 2010 U.S. Census to look at the numbers for these names.

That allowed us to grab the top ten in each category of four, three, and two-letter names.

The 2010 census also gives a breakdown of how people reported their ethnicity. Some of these names have at least tiny percentages of all the possible ethnic categories.

We’ve included the top two ethnicities in the tables below when they are above 20%. The first listed ethnicity has the higher percentage.

Most Common Four Letter Last Names Starting With H

Hill is the most common four-letter surname starting with H in America.

Hall is also common with over 400 thousand bearers in 2010.

Last NameNumberMostly
Hail86,240White, Black
Hall407,076White, Black
Hill434,827White, Black
Hood55,174White, Black

About 64% of respondents named Hill declared that they were white, while 29% declared as black.

The name Hill has different origins depending on the region. Early bearers in England likely lived near a hill.

The name can also have Germanic origins as a shortened variant of the name Hildebrande. The meaning comes from the Norse words for a battle (hild) and a sword (brand).

73% of respondents named Hall declared that they were white, while 22% declared as black.

The name Hall has similar origins across Europe. The old English, Norse, and German languages have similarly sounding words that refer to a large walled space.

Early bearers of the name likely worked within a hall or lived near one.

Most Common Three Letter Last Names Starting With H

You can see in the table below that three-letter last names starting with H are generally less common than in the previous section.

Last NameNumberMostly
Han29,847Asian & PI
Her15,089Asian & PI
Hom4,863Asian & PI
Hsu16,907Asian & PI
Hua6,939Asian & PI
Hui5,769Asian & PI

Han is the most common three-letter surname starting with H in the United States.

About 93% percent of respondents named Han declared as Asian or Pacific Islander. The name is of Chinese origin.

Another five names on the list were also predominantly Asian.

In contrast, people named Hix reported as 91% white. This is a variant of Hicks.

Hay has Norman origins and spread into England and Ireland.

Two Letter Last Names Starting With H

I can’t give you the top ten two-letter names starting with H because there are only a total of six in the 2010 U.S. census.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more people with other two-letter names that I don’t include here. It’s just that other names didn’t have at least one hundred bearers in 2010.

The U.S. National Archives only publishes details of surnames with one hundred or more bearers. Here is a summary of the six names from the census:

Last NameNumberMostly
Ha18,156Asian & PI
He15,363Asian & PI
Hi331Asian & PI, White, Hispanic
Ho49,817Asian & PI
Hu19,999Asian & PI
Hy835Asian & PI

Ho is the most common two-letter name starting with H. It has nearly fifty thousand bearers.

93% of respondents named Ho ticked the category for “Asian and Pacific Islander”. They are most likely of Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese origins.

Hi is spread across four ethnicities. No single ethnicity is over fifty percent of the total in the census. This is the breakdown:

  • Asian & PI: 40%
  • White: 24%
  • Hispanic: 24%
  • Black: 8%

H As A One-Letter Last Name

Statistics for the name “H” aren’t in the published U.S. census of 2010. That means that even if it exists in the country, there weren’t one hundred people with the name.

Could there be a few families with “H” as their name in the United States?

The late mathematician A. Ross Eckler conducted a study of one-letter names in the 1970s using telephone directories.

You may be too young to remember telephone directories stacked on the hall table. Here’s a picture:

The entries were formatted as lists under the name.

Eckler pointed out that many examples in the books were errors that came from reversing initials and last names.

There was only one name (in Dallas) listed under the last name of “H”:

  • Esther
  • C Knipfer

Could this be a typographic error for someone with an initial H? Could the correct name be “H Esther” instead of “Esther H”?

I think that’s likely.

Other Surnames That Start With H

If you want to check out more names, check out these articles:

Index Of Other Short Last Names


Margaret created a family tree on a genealogy website in 2012. She purchased her first DNA kit in 2017. She created this website to share insights and how-to guides on DNA, genealogy, and family research.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.