Gayle last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Gayle

Derived from the Middle English male given name Gail, meaning "jovial" or "merry."

Gayle, 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 Gayle surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Gayle in America

Gayle is the 4481st most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Gayle surname appeared 7,916 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 people would have the surname Gayle.

We can also compare 2010 data for Gayle 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 4481 4808 -7.04%
Count 7,916 6,712 16.46%
Proportion per 100k 2.68 2.49 7.35%

The history of the last name Gayle

The surname Gayle has its origins in the Old French language and is derived from the personal name "Galle" or "Gaulle". It is believed to have originated in Normandy, France, around the 11th century.

This surname is thought to be a variant of the more common French surname "Gaulois", which means "a Gaul" or "a person from Gaul". The Gauls were a group of Celtic people who inhabited what is now modern-day France, Belgium, and parts of Germany during the Iron Age and Roman period.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name Gayle can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is listed as "Galle" and "Galla". This suggests that the name was already well-established in England by the time of the Norman Conquest.

During the Middle Ages, the Gayle family was prominent in various parts of England, particularly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The name is also associated with several place names in these regions, such as Gale in Yorkshire and Gayle in Lincolnshire.

Notable individuals with the surname Gayle throughout history include:

  1. Sir John Gayle (c. 1592-1659), an English politician and member of the House of Commons during the English Civil War.
  2. Edmund Gayle (1808-1881), an English clergyman and writer who served as the Bishop of Mashonaland in southern Africa.
  3. Mary Gayle (1859-1946), an American educator and reformer who founded the Mary Gayle Kindergarten in New York City.
  4. Christy Gayle (1925-2001), an American jazz singer and actress who performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
  5. Chris Gayle (born 1979), a Jamaican cricketer who has played for the West Indies national team and various domestic teams around the world.

While the surname Gayle has its roots in France, it has spread to various parts of the world, including England, the United States, and the Caribbean. It has also evolved into different spellings, such as Gale, Gaile, and Gail, over the centuries.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Gayle

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

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 Gayle was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 30.90% 2,446
Non-Hispanic Black Only 61.07% 4,834
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.63% 50
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.30% 24
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.35% 186
Hispanic Origin 4.75% 376

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 30.90% 36.43% -16.43%
Black 61.07% 55.35% 9.83%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.63% 0.57% 10.00%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.30% 0.27% 10.53%
Two or More Races 2.35% 4.02% -52.43%
Hispanic 4.75% 3.37% 33.99%

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

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Gayle, 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!

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

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