Doe last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Doe

A surname derived from the Old English word "da," meaning "deer," likely referring to a deer hunter or deer herder.

Doe, 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 Doe surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Doe in America

Doe is the 4972nd most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Doe surname appeared 7,066 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 people would have the surname Doe.

We can also compare 2010 data for Doe 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 4972 2834 54.78%
Count 7,066 11,603 -48.60%
Proportion per 100k 2.40 4.30 -56.72%

The history of the last name Doe

The surname Doe is an English name with origins dating back to the late 12th century. It is derived from the Middle English word "do", which referred to a female deer or doe. The name likely originated as a nickname for someone considered to have doe-like qualities, such as gentleness or grace.

In the Hundred Rolls of 1273, one of the earliest recorded instances of the name appears as "Ralf le Do". The Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire from 1327 also mention a "Walter le Doo". These early spellings highlight the evolving nature of the name over time.

The surname Doe can be traced to various regions across England, particularly in counties like Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset. It is believed that the name may have originated independently in multiple areas, as nicknames were commonly adopted as surnames during the medieval period.

One of the earliest recorded individuals with the surname Doe was John Doe, a 14th-century landowner in Somerset. His name appears in the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1327, indicating his status as a taxpayer at the time.

In the 16th century, the name gained prominence with the birth of Sir John Doe (c. 1530-1592), a prominent English lawyer and judge. He served as Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Another notable figure was Thomas Doe (1573-1617), an English Puritan clergyman and author. He was known for his religious writings, including "The Doctrine of the Church of England" and "The Policie of the Turkish Empire".

The name Doe has been associated with various locations across England, including Doe Hill in Somerset and Doe Lea in Derbyshire. These place names may have influenced the adoption of the surname or vice versa.

In the 17th century, the name Doe appeared in the records of early American colonists. One such individual was John Doe, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 and later settled in Maryland.

Throughout history, the surname Doe has been carried by individuals from various walks of life, including writers, artists, and politicians. However, the name's origins can be traced back to its humble beginnings as a nickname referring to the gentle qualities of a doe.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Doe

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

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 Doe was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 54.91% 3,880
Non-Hispanic Black Only 29.90% 2,113
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 3.92% 277
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.82% 58
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.95% 138
Hispanic Origin 8.49% 600

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 54.91% 55.34% -0.78%
Black 29.90% 24.29% 20.70%
Asian and Pacific Islander 3.92% 6.94% -55.62%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.82% 0.67% 20.13%
Two or More Races 1.95% 3.25% -50.00%
Hispanic 8.49% 9.51% -11.33%

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

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

Reference this page

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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Doe last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 14, 2024.

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