Sparrow last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Sparrow

An occupational surname referring to a person who caught sparrows or a nickname for a small, lively person.

Sparrow, 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 Sparrow surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Sparrow in America

Sparrow is the 4657th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Sparrow surname appeared 7,614 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 Sparrow.

We can also compare 2010 data for Sparrow 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 4657 4496 3.52%
Count 7,614 7,263 4.72%
Proportion per 100k 2.58 2.69 -4.17%

The history of the last name Sparrow

The surname Sparrow originated in England during the medieval period, derived from the Middle English word "sparwe" or the Old English "spearwa," which referred to the small bird of the same name. This surname likely arose as a nickname for someone with characteristics associated with the sparrow, such as a small stature or quick movements.

The earliest known record of the surname Sparrow dates back to the 13th century in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire from 1273, where a person named Johannes Sparwe was mentioned. Over time, the spelling evolved to its modern form, Sparrow.

One of the earliest notable individuals with the surname Sparrow was Thomas Sparrow, a 15th-century English cleric and Bishop of Norwich, who lived from around 1420 to 1486. He played a significant role in the establishment of the Eton College and was known for his involvement in the construction of its chapel.

In the 16th century, John Sparrow, an English theologian and scholar, made significant contributions to the study of Greek literature. He was born around 1615 and served as the president of Harvard College from 1655 to 1660.

During the 17th century, Sir Michael Sparrow, an English landowner and politician, held the position of High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1663. He was born in 1612 and died in 1670.

In the 18th century, John Sparrow, an English churchman and author, gained recognition for his writings on ecclesiastical history. He was born in 1704 and passed away in 1788.

One of the more notable individuals with the surname Sparrow was Sir John Sparrow David Thompson, a British colonial administrator and explorer. Born in 1845, he played a crucial role in mapping the Canadian Northwest and served as the Prime Minister of the Canadian province of Newfoundland from 1909 to 1919. He died in 1924.

The surname Sparrow has been associated with various place names in England, such as Sparrow Green in Worcestershire and Sparrow Hill in Buckinghamshire, further solidifying its English origins. While the surname has spread across the globe, its roots can be traced back to the medieval period in England, where it originated as a descriptive nickname.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Sparrow

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

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 Sparrow was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 69.48% 5,290
Non-Hispanic Black Only 25.23% 1,921
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.62% 47
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.51% 39
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.17% 165
Hispanic Origin 2.00% 152

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 69.48% 71.95% -3.49%
Black 25.23% 24.48% 3.02%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.62% 0.36% 53.06%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.51% 0.40% 24.18%
Two or More Races 2.17% 1.50% 36.51%
Hispanic 2.00% 1.31% 41.69%

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

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

Reference this page

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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Sparrow last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 13, 2024.

"Sparrow last name popularity, history, and meaning"., Accessed 13 July, 2024

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