Temple last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Temple

An occupational surname referring to someone who worked at or lived near a temple or church.

Temple, 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 Temple surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Temple in America

Temple is the 1590th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Temple surname appeared 22,549 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 8 people would have the surname Temple.

We can also compare 2010 data for Temple 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 1590 1507 5.36%
Count 22,549 21,771 3.51%
Proportion per 100k 7.64 8.07 -5.47%

The history of the last name Temple

The surname Temple has its origins in England and can be traced back to the 12th century. It is derived from the Old French word "temple," which itself comes from the Latin "templum," meaning a consecrated space or building. The name likely referred to someone who lived near or was associated with a temple or church.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the surname Temple can be found in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire from 1190, which mention a Richard de Templo. The Pipe Rolls were a record of financial accounts kept by the English Exchequer during the reign of King Richard I.

The surname Temple is also found in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, which were a survey of landowners in England commissioned by King Edward I. The Hundred Rolls mention a John del Temple and a Robert de Temple, both living in Oxfordshire at the time.

Over the centuries, the surname Temple has been recorded with various spellings, including Tempill, Tempyll, and Tempell. These variations were common before standardized spelling became more widespread.

One notable figure bearing the surname Temple was Sir William Temple (1628-1699), a renowned English diplomat and essayist. He played a significant role in the negotiation of the Triple Alliance between England, Sweden, and the Dutch Republic in 1668.

Another prominent individual was Sir Richard Temple (1638-1697), an English landowner and politician who served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1679 to 1681. He was also a member of the Privy Council under King Charles II.

In the United States, one of the earliest recorded bearers of the surname was Robert Temple (1611-1663), who was among the first settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1630s. He served as a representative in the General Court of Massachusetts and was involved in the establishment of the town of Concord.

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865), was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century. He played a significant role in shaping British foreign policy during his tenure.

It is also worth noting that the surname Temple has been associated with various place names, such as Temple Guiting in Gloucestershire and Temple Balsall in Warwickshire, both of which likely derived their names from the presence of a church or religious establishment in the area.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Temple

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

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 Temple was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 79.75% 17,983
Non-Hispanic Black Only 14.58% 3,288
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.85% 192
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.43% 97
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.12% 478
Hispanic Origin 2.28% 514

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 79.75% 81.89% -2.65%
Black 14.58% 14.00% 4.06%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.85% 0.63% 29.73%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.43% 0.46% -6.74%
Two or More Races 2.12% 1.52% 32.97%
Hispanic 2.28% 1.49% 41.91%

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

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Temple, 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!

"Temple last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 17, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/temple-surname-popularity/.

"Temple last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/temple-surname-popularity/. Accessed 17 July, 2024

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

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