old money last names

22 Old Money Last Names That Portray Timeless Elegance

“I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it.” – John Reese

Your name is your legacy and identity. People will remember your name because of what you did. Many wealthy families with generational wealth stand out because they ensure their family name lives on.

You may be surprised at how familiar you are with these last names because the people who owned them have business empires and products that still bear their names. They often make headlines and are regularly featured in the media.

What Are Old-Money Last Names?

Last Names

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Old-money last names are surnames that have been around for a long time. They represent wealthy and successful families. These names, along with power and affluence, have been passed down for generations.

People with old-money last names have maintained their wealth over the years, with the newer generations adding more assets and financial value to their names.

Old money last names are a type of branding. When you hear them, you automatically associate them with affluent lifestyles, generational wealth, connections to the past, and successful careers.

22 Old Money Last Names

Names

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Aside from old-money last names that are related to luxury brands like Chanel, Armani, Balenciaga, Bulgari, Burberry, Dior, Ferrero, and Givenchy, there are other old-money names that continue to amass millions of dollars because of their businesses and/or political influence.

You may or may not be familiar with the family names on this list. But one thing is for sure: these last names are synonymous with money — and lots of it. Most of these surnames are well known in the US where their present generations are predominantly based.

#1. Astor

Of French descent, Astor means hawk. This old money last name represents some of the most powerful and richest residents of the US and UK. John Jacob Astor IV was one of the wealthiest people in history thanks to his innovations in the fur trade industry.

Later, he ventured into real estate and succeeded. He was one of the most influential business magnates of his time. When the infamous Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, Astor was one of its casualties.

#2. Agnelli

This Italian surname, which means lamb or timid person, was started by Giovanni Agnelli, an influential Italian businessman who created a dynasty not just in Italy but globally. Giovanni co-founded Fiat, which is the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy.

#3. Baldwin

In German, Baldwin means brave. The Baldwin brothers — Alec, Daniel, William, and Stephen — made their mark in Hollywood as actors. Stephen’s daughter, Hailey, is a model, influencer, and Justin Bieber’s wife.

#4. Bloomberg

Another powerful and common surname in the US is Bloomberg. The name is easily associated with the media company that Michael Bloomberg founded. Aside from venturing into business, he also entered politics and became the mayor of New York City.

#5. Branson

Branson has become associated with wealth, adventure, luxury, and innovation, mostly because of Richard Branson. Branson is a self-made man who became the chairman and founder of the Virgin Group which has continuously expanded.

Virgin Group has over 400 corporations in different fields like music, banking, travel, leisure, health, and telecommunications.

#6. Cox

This name is of Welsh descent and means “from the hills.” The lucrative Cox family enterprise began in the early 19th century thanks to James M. Cox.

Cox’s family fortune and business started in Dayton, Ohio. To this day, the Coxes remain one of the 25 wealthiest families globally. This is due to their diverse business ventures that include travel, media, and hospitality.

#7. Dell

Even if you’re not a fan of the rich and famous, you’ll recognize this English name instantly. Michael Dell founded Dell Computers in the early 80s. He was a significant figure in the computer revolution.

At one point, every household had a Dell computer. Today, Dell has become one of the largest and most reliable technology corporations in the world.

#8. Donnelley

One of the more popular old money last names in the Chicago region, the Donnelleys are highly regarded families because of their printing and printing-related services. This Gaelic last name means brown bravery.

#9. Forbes

One of the more famous success stories in the US, the Forbes family’s roots are in Boston. They have several family members who are business tycoons.

When you think about the rich, it’s easy to recall the famous publication that was named after them — Forbes Magazine. Aside from businesses, several members of the Forbes household hold positions in government.

#10. Ford

Who hasn’t heard of Ford Motors? Representing classic American cars, this Old English name is equivalent to money and success because of the man who started it all, Henry Ford.

His impressive engineering skills led to the birth of the Ford Motor Company, which changed the automotive history. Until now, Ford is one of the world’s biggest and most established automotive manufacturers.

#11. Goldman

Goldman Sachs, founded in 1869 by Marcus Goldman, is one of the world’s largest financial services companies. Today, the firm has an astounding market capitalization of over $122 billion!

#12. Hadid

The Hadid family makes a strong and lasting impression courtesy of Zaha Hadid and her state-of-the-art designs. If you’re after luxury architecture, look for a Hadid firm.

You may also be thinking about supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid. However, the fact that they share the same last name is entirely coincidental. Zaha Hadid and the runway models are not related to each other.

#13. Hilton

The Hilton name is already popular thanks to its collection of 5-star hotels worldwide. It is a leader in the hospitality industry. The very controversial heiress and socialite Paris Hilton has added to its popularity. This name is synonymous with money, influence, and power.

#14. Jackson

In Hebrew, this name means God’s grace. Although the surname is pretty standard, if you think of Jackson, you’ll automatically think of Michael Jackson and his siblings, Janet and the Jackson 5 — all successful and wealthy musicians.

Michael was the most notable figure in the Jackson family. He wrote some of the world’s most unforgettable songs while being an incomparable singer and dancer.

#15. Johnson

The Johnson family has to be part of this list, given that their fortune is estimated to be worth more than $10 billion. Their money and success come from being majority shareholders in S.C. Johnson & Son, their flagship enterprise that manufactures household cleaning supplies.

They have more than 10,000 employees working for them worldwide, and their products are household staples.

#16. Lauder

One of the richest families in New York, the Lauder family owns the affluent Estée Lauder Companies, a well-established brand focused on make-up, hair care products, skincare, and fragrance. The head of their family, Leonard Lauder, is also among the 50 wealthiest people in the world.

#17. Morgan

In Old English, this name means “sea protector.” In modern times, however, it protects money instead of the sea. When you hear the name Morgan, you’ll automatically think of J.P. Morgan, a mighty name in banking and finance.

Founded by Pierpont Morgan, he consolidated the scattered and disorganized financial industry into a powerful firm. Pierpont is now considered the “greatest banker” in American history.

#18. Rockefeller

In the US, the Rockefeller family has an almost royal status. This is because John D. Rockefeller founded and established Standard Oil, which opened the gates to industrial progress in the country. Many businesses will do anything to collaborate with any Rockefeller business or family member.

#19. Trump

Donald Trump was President of the United States, but before that, his ancestors were all successful in their political and business activities. The Trump dynasty started their rich and famous lifestyle when Fred Trump ventured into real estate.

#20. Simmons

The Simmons’ success and money all started with Harold Clark Simmons, an American investor, business tycoon, and philanthropist. He had a significant influence on many companies, including Kronos Worldwide, Titanium Metals Corporations, NL Industries, CompX International, and Valhi, Inc.

#21. Winthrop

John Winthrop was the most well-renowned member of this family. Because of his involvement with the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1629, he ended up leading the first colonists to New England (northeastern United States).

He helped found several communities and occupied government positions. He became the colony’s governor 12 times.

Winthrop’s grandfather owned land and made his fortune in textiles. Their family’s lineage can be traced all the way back to Europe.

#22. Livingston

Of Irish and Dutch descent, the Livingston family moved to New York during the 17th century.

A few of its family members played important roles in US history. Philip Livingston signed the United States Declaration of Independence while William Livingston helped ratify the United States Constitution. Their descendants include George Bush, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Bob Livingston.

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