A Scottish and English surname, Watson means the son of Watt or Walter. The given names of Wat or Watt were the shorter forms of Walter. The meaning of Walter was that of ruler of the army. The term â€˜waldâ€˜ means to rule and â€˜heriâ€˜ means army.
Additional spellings for Watson include Wode, Wattis, Woode, Watts and Wattson.
Scotland has a high number of individuals with the Watson surname in the county of Lanarkshire and lesser numbers along the eastern Scottish coast. In England the Watson surname is all in the northern region, from Lancashire and Yorkshire northward. There are many in London also. In Australia and Canada there are many with the Watson surname.
Within the United States Watson families are in California, Texas, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia in the highest numbers.
Famous: Johnny Watson (musician), James D. Watson (biologist, co-discoverer of DNA), Walter â€˜Motherâ€™ Watson (19th century baseball player), Ryan Watson (Scottish cricketer), Thomas J. Watson (founder of IBM company), William Watson (English poet), Tom Watson (professional golfer) and James Craig Watson (19th century astronomer).