Gifford last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Gifford

From an English place name meaning "the ford that yields a gift or reward."

Gifford, 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 Gifford surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Gifford in America

Gifford is the 1834th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Gifford surname appeared 19,514 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 7 people would have the surname Gifford.

We can also compare 2010 data for Gifford 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 1834 1716 6.65%
Count 19,514 19,171 1.77%
Proportion per 100k 6.62 7.11 -7.14%

The history of the last name Gifford

The surname Gifford originated in England, derived from the Old English words "gif" meaning "gift" and "ford" meaning "a shallow place where a river or stream can be crossed." It is believed to have originated as a place name, referring to a location where a gift or benefaction was bestowed upon a religious establishment or community.

The earliest recorded instance of the name is found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is spelled "Gifeford." This entry refers to a place in Suffolk, England, which was later known as Gifford's Hall. This suggests that the name was already well-established in the region by the late 11th century.

In the 12th century, a prominent family with the surname Gifford held lands in Normandy and England. One notable member was Walter Gifford, who served as Lord Chancellor of England from 1072 to 1089. Another early bearer of the name was William Gifford (c. 1180-1253), who was Bishop of Winchester and a renowned scholar.

The name spread throughout England and Scotland, with various spellings emerging over time, such as Giffard, Gyfford, and Gyffard. In the 13th century, Sir John Gifford (c. 1235-1285) was a prominent knight and landowner in Gloucestershire, England.

During the 16th century, the Gifford family established itself in Devon, England. One notable member was George Gifford (c. 1520-1600), a Puritan theologian and writer. In the 17th century, William Gifford (1556-1629) was an English clergyman and Archbishop of Rheims.

In Scotland, the Giffords were a prominent family in East Lothian. William Gifford (1756-1826) was a renowned English critic, satirist, and editor of the Quarterly Review. Robert Gifford, 1st Baron Gifford (1779-1869), was a Scottish judge and politician who served as Lord Justice Clerk.

Throughout history, the surname Gifford has been associated with various notable individuals, including poets, authors, politicians, and religious figures, reflecting its long-standing presence and significance in England and Scotland.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Gifford

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

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 Gifford was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 92.37% 18,025
Non-Hispanic Black Only 2.20% 429
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.59% 115
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.69% 135
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.84% 359
Hispanic Origin 2.30% 449

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 92.37% 93.66% -1.39%
Black 2.20% 2.11% 4.18%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.59% 0.48% 20.56%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.69% 0.64% 7.52%
Two or More Races 1.84% 1.43% 25.08%
Hispanic 2.30% 1.68% 31.16%

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

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

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"Gifford last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 22, 2024.

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