Eaton last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Eaton

Derived from a place name meaning "riverside settlement" in Old English.

Eaton, 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 Eaton surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Eaton in America

Eaton is the 740th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Eaton surname appeared 47,184 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 16 people would have the surname Eaton.

We can also compare 2010 data for Eaton 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 740 676 9.04%
Count 47,184 46,403 1.67%
Proportion per 100k 16.00 17.20 -7.23%

The history of the last name Eaton

The surname EATON originated in England during the Anglo-Saxon period. It is derived from the Old English words "ea" meaning river and "tun" meaning town or settlement, referring to a town or village situated near a river. The name was originally written as "Eatun" or "Etone".

One of the earliest recorded mentions of the name EATON appears in the Domesday Book of 1086, a survey of landowners commissioned by William the Conqueror. Several individuals with the surname EATON were listed as landowners in various counties, including Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Warwickshire.

During the Middle Ages, the name EATON was often associated with place names, such as Eton in Buckinghamshire and Eaton in Cheshire. The spelling variations included Eton, Etone, Eyton, and Eytone. Some notable individuals with the surname EATON from this period include William Eaton (c. 1350 - 1420), a Member of Parliament for Leicestershire, and John Eaton (c. 1380 - 1456), a clergyman and scholar at Oxford University.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the EATON surname became more widespread across England. Theophilus Eaton (1590 - 1658) was a prominent merchant and one of the founders of the Colony of New Haven in Connecticut. Another notable figure was Samuel Eaton (1596 - 1665), a Puritan minister and co-founder of Harvard College.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, several individuals with the surname EATON achieved distinction in various fields. William Eaton (1764 - 1811) was a United States Army officer and diplomat who led an expedition to Tripoli during the Barbary Wars. Cyrus Eaton (1786 - 1876) was a successful businessman and abolitionist from Massachusetts. Dorman Bridgman Eaton (1823 - 1899) was a prominent civil service reformer and lawyer.

Other notable individuals with the surname EATON include Wyatt Eaton (1849 - 1896), a Canadian photographer and painter, and Walter Prichard Eaton (1878 - 1957), an American author and literary critic. The name EATON has been carried by individuals from various walks of life throughout history, reflecting its widespread distribution across England and its enduring legacy.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Eaton

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

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 Eaton was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 85.11% 40,158
Non-Hispanic Black Only 9.56% 4,511
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.54% 255
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.76% 359
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.72% 812
Hispanic Origin 2.31% 1,090

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 85.11% 86.74% -1.90%
Black 9.56% 9.49% 0.73%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.54% 0.44% 20.41%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.76% 0.61% 21.90%
Two or More Races 1.72% 1.24% 32.43%
Hispanic 2.31% 1.48% 43.80%

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

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

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"Eaton last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 17, 2024.

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