Browne last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Browne

Descriptive surname for someone with brown hair, complexion, or clothing.

Browne, 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 Browne surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Browne in America

Browne is the 1615th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Browne surname appeared 22,289 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 8 people would have the surname Browne.

We can also compare 2010 data for Browne 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 1615 1563 3.27%
Count 22,289 21,109 5.44%
Proportion per 100k 7.56 7.83 -3.51%

The history of the last name Browne

The surname Browne is of English origin and dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, derived from the Old English word "brun" meaning "brown" or "dark-haired". It was originally a descriptive nickname given to someone with brown hair or a dark complexion.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Brun" and "le Brun". The Domesday Book was a comprehensive survey of landowners in England commissioned by William the Conqueror.

The name Browne is widely distributed throughout England, with early records showing concentrations in counties such as Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Suffolk. It was also commonly found in Scotland, where it was often spelled "Broun".

In the 13th century, the name appeared in various forms, including "le Brun", "Brun", and "le Broun". These variations were a result of the Norman influence on the English language after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

One of the earliest recorded bearers of the name was Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), an English scholar, physician, and author, best known for his works "Religio Medici" and "Pseudodoxia Epidemica". Another notable figure was Robert Browne (c.1550-1633), an English puritan who is considered the founder of the Brownists, a Protestant sect that later influenced the Pilgrims who settled in America.

Other notable individuals with the surname Browne include:

  • William Browne (1591-1643), an English poet and pastoral writer.
  • Sir Thomas Browne (1672-1710), an English mathematician and philosopher.
  • Hablot Knight Browne (1815-1882), an English artist and caricaturist known by his pen name "Phiz", who illustrated works by Charles Dickens and others.
  • Maximilian Ulysses Browne (1705-1757), an Austrian field marshal who served in the Austrian army during the War of the Austrian Succession.

The name Browne has also been associated with various place names, such as Browne's Folly in Bath, England, and Browne's Hospital in Waterford, Ireland, both named after individuals with the surname.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Browne

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

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 Browne was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 66.90% 14,911
Non-Hispanic Black Only 25.70% 5,728
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 1.02% 227
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.39% 87
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.85% 635
Hispanic Origin 3.14% 700

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 66.90% 71.21% -6.24%
Black 25.70% 22.93% 11.39%
Asian and Pacific Islander 1.02% 0.88% 14.74%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.39% 0.53% -30.43%
Two or More Races 2.85% 2.32% 20.50%
Hispanic 3.14% 2.14% 37.88%

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

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

Reference this page

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

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