Rockwell last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Rockwell

Derived from a place name meaning "stream by a rocky spring" in Old English.

Rockwell, 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 Rockwell surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Rockwell in America

Rockwell is the 2902nd most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Rockwell surname appeared 12,360 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 Rockwell.

We can also compare 2010 data for Rockwell 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 2902 2737 5.85%
Count 12,360 12,099 2.13%
Proportion per 100k 4.19 4.49 -6.91%

The history of the last name Rockwell

The surname Rockwell originated in England and dates back to the late 11th century. It is an occupational name derived from the Old English words "rocca" meaning a distaff or rock, and "well" meaning a spring or stream. The name likely referred to someone who lived near a rocky stream or spring.

One of the earliest recordings of the name can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Rocawella. Other early spellings include Rokewelle, Rockwelle, and Rokkewell. The name was particularly prevalent in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex in eastern England.

In the 13th century, a Robert de Rokewelle was recorded as a landowner in the county of Norfolk. The Rockwell family continued to hold lands and estates in this region for several centuries.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the name Rockwell began to spread beyond East Anglia as people migrated to other parts of England and eventually to the American colonies. One notable bearer of the name was Sir Ralph Rockwell (1512-1578), a member of Parliament and influential figure during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

In the 18th century, the American Revolutionary War saw several individuals named Rockwell serving in the Continental Army, including Colonel Samuel Rockwell (1751-1793) who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Battle of Trenton.

Other notable individuals with the surname Rockwell include the American painter Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), famous for his illustrations of American culture, and the entrepreneur and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), founder of the Standard Oil Company and one of the wealthiest Americans in history.

The name Rockwell has also been associated with various place names, such as Rockwell Green in Somerset, England, and the town of Rockwell, Iowa, named after the Rockwell family who were among its earliest settlers.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Rockwell

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

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 Rockwell was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 90.61% 11,199
Non-Hispanic Black Only 3.95% 488
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.69% 85
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.98% 121
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.52% 188
Hispanic Origin 2.26% 279

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 90.61% 91.84% -1.35%
Black 3.95% 3.79% 4.13%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.69% 0.40% 53.21%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.98% 1.07% -8.78%
Two or More Races 1.52% 1.31% 14.84%
Hispanic 2.26% 1.60% 34.20%

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

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

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

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