Looney last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Looney

Derived from the Irish surname Ó Luanaigh, meaning "descendant of Luanach," a personal name meaning "warrior" or "champion."

Looney, 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 Looney surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Looney in America

Looney is the 2795th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Looney surname appeared 12,910 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 4 people would have the surname Looney.

We can also compare 2010 data for Looney 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 2795 2568 8.47%
Count 12,910 12,955 -0.35%
Proportion per 100k 4.38 4.80 -9.15%

The history of the last name Looney

The surname Looney is of Irish origin, with its roots tracing back to the 12th century. It is derived from the Gaelic word "luan," which means "warrior" or "strong person." The name was initially associated with the northern regions of Ireland, particularly in counties such as Donegal and Tyrone.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the Looney name can be found in the Annals of the Four Masters, a historical chronicle compiled in the 17th century. This document mentions a prominent figure named Uaithne O'Looney, who was a chieftain in the region of Tyrone during the 13th century.

During the Middle Ages, the Looney family held significant influence and landholdings in various parts of Ulster, Ireland's northern province. They were known for their involvement in local politics and their military prowess, which earned them a reputation as formidable warriors.

In the 16th century, a noteworthy individual named Feardorcha Looney gained recognition for his role in the Nine Years' War, a conflict between the Irish chieftains and the English forces. He was a skilled military leader and played a crucial part in defending his clan's territories against the invading English armies.

Over the centuries, the Looney surname has undergone various spellings, including Lunny, Loony, and Lunney. These variations emerged due to regional dialects, scribal errors, and anglicization of the original Gaelic form.

One of the most well-known bearers of the Looney surname was Patrick Looney (1693-1768), a renowned Irish poet and writer. His works, written in both Irish and English, are considered valuable contributions to the literary heritage of Ireland.

Another prominent figure was James Looney (1812-1885), an Irish-American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the state of New York. He was actively involved in the Irish independence movement and advocated for the rights of Irish immigrants in America.

In the 20th century, the Looney surname gained further recognition with the accomplishments of Rose Looney (1900-1985), an American actress and vaudeville performer. She appeared in numerous films and stage productions, contributing to the entertainment industry during the golden age of Hollywood.

The history of the Looney surname is deeply rooted in the rich cultural heritage of Ireland, spanning several centuries and encompassing individuals who left their mark in various fields, from warfare and politics to literature and the arts.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Looney

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

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 Looney was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 84.68% 10,932
Non-Hispanic Black Only 9.78% 1,263
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.51% 66
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.17% 151
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.02% 261
Hispanic Origin 1.84% 238

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 84.68% 85.99% -1.54%
Black 9.78% 9.53% 2.59%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.51% 0.31% 48.78%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.17% 1.24% -5.81%
Two or More Races 2.02% 1.52% 28.25%
Hispanic 1.84% 1.41% 26.46%

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

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

Reference this page

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"Looney last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 13, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/looney-surname-popularity/.

"Looney last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/looney-surname-popularity/. Accessed 13 July, 2024

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

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