Sample last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Sample

A surname derived from the place name Semple, likely referring to someone from Semple in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Sample, 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 Sample surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Sample in America

Sample is the 3150th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Sample surname appeared 11,471 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 Sample.

We can also compare 2010 data for Sample 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 3150 2885 8.78%
Count 11,471 11,414 0.50%
Proportion per 100k 3.89 4.23 -8.37%

The history of the last name Sample

The surname SAMPLE is believed to have originated in England during the medieval period, derived from the Old English word "sampl" or "sampel," meaning a small portion or example. It likely referred to an occupation or a descriptive nickname for someone who worked as a sampler or taster of goods.

The earliest recorded instances of the surname SAMPLE can be traced back to the 13th century in various county records and tax rolls. One notable example is John Sampler, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1275. The name also appeared in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1279, with a reference to William le Sampeler.

During the 14th century, the surname SAMPLE began to appear in various forms, including Sampler, Sampeler, and Samplour. These variants reflect the evolving spelling and pronunciation of the name over time. One of the earliest known bearers was Walter Sampelere, recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327.

In the 15th century, the surname SAMPLE gained prominence with the birth of Sir John Sample (1415-1484), a prominent landowner and member of the gentry in Warwickshire. His descendants continued to hold significant estates and positions of influence in the region for several generations.

Another notable figure bearing the surname SAMPLE was Thomas Sample (1542-1618), an English clergyman and translator of religious texts. He served as the rector of St. Botolph's Church in Bishopsgate, London, and was known for his scholarly works on biblical interpretation.

During the 17th century, the SAMPLE surname spread across England, with various branches establishing themselves in different counties. One notable individual was Captain William Sample (1628-1692), a renowned sailor and explorer who captained several voyages to the West Indies and the Americas.

In the 18th century, the SAMPLE family continued to flourish, with several members achieving distinction in various fields. Notable among them was Sir Robert Sample (1725-1802), a prominent lawyer and judge who served as the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas.

Throughout history, the surname SAMPLE has been associated with various occupations, from merchants and tradesmen to scholars, clergymen, and landowners. While its origins lie in the humble occupation of a sampler or taster, the name has gained respect and recognition over the centuries.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Sample

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

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 Sample was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 68.43% 7,850
Non-Hispanic Black Only 25.25% 2,896
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.66% 76
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.46% 53
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.44% 280
Hispanic Origin 2.75% 315

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 68.43% 70.98% -3.66%
Black 25.25% 24.56% 2.77%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.66% 0.45% 37.84%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.46% 0.39% 16.47%
Two or More Races 2.44% 1.65% 38.63%
Hispanic 2.75% 1.98% 32.56%

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

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

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"Sample last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 23, 2024.

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