The surname Watson is of patronymic origin meaning son of, or descendant of Walter, Wat being a diminutive form of the personal name Walter. The surname Watson is first recorded in England in the 11th Century, with a listing in the Domesday Book of 1086. A noted bearer of the surname Watson was Brook Watson the 18th Century British Merchant and soldier who later in life became the Lord Mayor of London. The surname Watson is the 74th most common name in The United States with 240,000 bearers of the name. Get family crest jewelry for men.