Bradley last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Bradley

An English locational surname derived from various places meaning "broad clearing" or "wide wood" in Old English.

Bradley, 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 Bradley surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Bradley in America

Bradley is the 208th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Bradley surname appeared 136,720 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 46 people would have the surname Bradley.

We can also compare 2010 data for Bradley 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 208 200 3.92%
Count 136,720 131,289 4.05%
Proportion per 100k 46.35 48.67 -4.88%

The history of the last name Bradley

The surname BRADLEY is of English origin and dates back to the Middle Ages. It is derived from the Old English words "brad" meaning broad and "leah" meaning a meadow or clearing, referring to someone who lived near a broad clearing or meadow.

The name first appeared in records around the 12th century in various parts of England, particularly in the counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, and Staffordshire. It was initially spelled in different ways such as Bradelei, Bradelee, and Bradeley before settling on the modern form of BRADLEY.

One of the earliest known references to the name BRADLEY can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, which recorded landowners and their properties in England at the time of the Norman Conquest. The name is also mentioned in various medieval charters and rolls from the 12th and 13th centuries.

Some notable historical figures with the surname BRADLEY include Sir Francis BRADLEY (1588-1654), an English politician and member of Parliament during the reign of King Charles I, and William BRADLEY (1757-1833), an English navigator and explorer who accompanied Captain James Cook on his third voyage to the Pacific Ocean.

In the United States, one of the earliest recorded instances of the name BRADLEY is that of Daniel BRADLEY (1626-1675), a Puritan settler who arrived in New England in the 17th century and became one of the founders of the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Other prominent individuals with the surname BRADLEY include Omar BRADLEY (1893-1981), a highly decorated American general who served during World War II and later became the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Bill BRADLEY (born 1943), a former professional basketball player and U.S. Senator from New Jersey.

The surname BRADLEY has also been associated with various place names in England, such as Bradeley Green in Staffordshire and Bradeley Hall in Cheshire, reflecting the original meaning of the name as a "broad clearing" or "meadow."

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Bradley

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

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 Bradley was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 69.12% 94,501
Non-Hispanic Black Only 25.09% 34,303
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.44% 602
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.82% 1,121
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.19% 2,994
Hispanic Origin 2.34% 3,199

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 Bradley has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 69.12% 71.21% -2.98%
Black 25.09% 24.39% 2.83%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.44% 0.40% 9.52%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.82% 0.82% 0.00%
Two or More Races 2.19% 1.62% 29.92%
Hispanic 2.34% 1.56% 40.00%

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 Bradley was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

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

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"Bradley last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 12, 2024.

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