Alston last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Alston is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Alston.

Meaning of Alston

A locational surname derived from a place name meaning "old town" or "Æthelstan's town" in Old English.

Alston, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Alston surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Alston in America

Alston is the 1148th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Alston surname appeared 30,693 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 10 people would have the surname Alston.

We can also compare 2010 data for Alston to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 1148 1140 0.70%
Count 30,693 28,089 8.86%
Proportion per 100k 10.41 10.41 0.00%

The history of the last name Alston

The surname Alston has its origins in England and can be traced back to the 13th century. It is believed to have derived from the Old English words "ald" meaning old and "tun" meaning an enclosure or settlement, referring to an old settlement or town.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name Alston can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Alreston" or "Alreston super Montem," referring to the town of Alston in Cumbria, located in the North Pennines area of England.

The name Alston is closely associated with this town, which was known for its rich lead mining industry during the medieval period. Several historical documents mention individuals with the surname Alston who were involved in the mining and smelting of lead in the area.

One notable early bearer of the name was Sir John Alston (c. 1285-1349), a prominent landowner and knight who served as the Sheriff of Northumberland during the reign of King Edward III. He was also involved in the military campaigns against Scotland during the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Another early reference to the name can be found in the "Calendars of Inquisitions Post Mortem" from the 14th century, which recorded the transfer of lands and properties after the death of individuals. Several entries mention individuals with the surname Alston holding lands in various parts of England.

In the 15th century, the name appears in the records of the University of Cambridge, with John Alston (c. 1420-1490) being a notable scholar and theologian who served as the Master of Christ's College.

The surname Alston also has a connection to the church, with several individuals bearing the name serving as clergymen. One notable example is Edward Alston (1598-1669), an English clergyman and theologian who was a prominent figure in the Church of England during the 17th century.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the name Alston continued to be well-represented in various professions and fields, including law, politics, and literature. Notable individuals from this period include Sir Thomas Alston (1670-1743), a prominent lawyer and politician who served as a Member of Parliament, and William Alston (1737-1805), a Scottish philosopher and writer.

Throughout its history, the surname Alston has been associated with various notable individuals across different fields, reflecting its enduring presence and significance in England and beyond.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Alston

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Alston.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Alston was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 13.76% 4,223
Non-Hispanic Black Only 79.83% 24,502
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.22% 68
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.40% 123
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 3.28% 1,007
Hispanic Origin 2.51% 770

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Alston has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 13.76% 14.54% -5.51%
Black 79.83% 81.41% -1.96%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.22% 0.24% -8.70%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.40% 0.37% 7.79%
Two or More Races 3.28% 1.99% 48.96%
Hispanic 2.51% 1.45% 53.54%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Alston was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Alston, please contact us.

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"Alston last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 13, 2024.

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