Gorham last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Gorham

From a place name meaning "muddy or dirty homestead" in Old English.

Gorham, 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 Gorham surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Gorham in America

Gorham is the 4190th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Gorham surname appeared 8,458 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 Gorham.

We can also compare 2010 data for Gorham 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 4190 4016 4.24%
Count 8,458 8,113 4.16%
Proportion per 100k 2.87 3.01 -4.76%

The history of the last name Gorham

The surname Gorham is believed to have originated in England, with its roots dating back to the medieval period. It is derived from the Old English words "gor," meaning "mud" or "dirt," and "ham," meaning "homestead" or "village." This suggests that the name may have initially referred to someone who lived in a muddy or marshy area.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the Gorham surname can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Goraham." This entry indicates that the name was already in use during the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century.

Over the centuries, the Gorham surname has seen various spellings, including Goreham, Gorram, and Gorum, reflecting the phonetic variations common in the Middle Ages. These alternative spellings can be found in various historical records and documents from different regions of England.

Several notable individuals have borne the Gorham surname throughout history. One of the earliest was Thomas Gorham (c. 1414-1468), an English priest and academic who served as the Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Another prominent figure was Sir Ferdinando Gorges (1568-1647), an English colonial entrepreneur and military leader who was instrumental in the early settlement of New England.

In the 18th century, John Gorham (1691-1756) was a prominent American merchant and politician from Massachusetts. He served as a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council and played a significant role in the establishment of Gorham, Maine, which was named after his family.

Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796) was an American politician and merchant from Massachusetts who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. He is remembered for his contributions to the drafting of the United States Constitution.

Another notable figure was George Cornelius Gorham (1787-1857), an English theologian and Church of England clergyman known for his role in the Gorham Controversy, a significant theological dispute within the Church of England in the 19th century.

While the Gorham surname has its roots in England, it has since spread to other parts of the world through emigration and diaspora. Today, individuals bearing this surname can be found in various countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Gorham

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

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 Gorham was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 70.83% 5,991
Non-Hispanic Black Only 23.15% 1,958
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.47% 40
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.34% 29
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.73% 146
Hispanic Origin 3.48% 294

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 70.83% 72.65% -2.54%
Black 23.15% 22.95% 0.87%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.47% 0.27% 54.05%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.34% 0.36% -5.71%
Two or More Races 1.73% 1.33% 26.14%
Hispanic 3.48% 2.44% 35.14%

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

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

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"Gorham last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 22, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/gorham-surname-popularity/.

"Gorham last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/gorham-surname-popularity/. Accessed 22 July, 2024

Gorham last name popularity, history, and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/last-names/gorham-surname-popularity/.

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