Thomson last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Thomson

A patronymic surname derived from the given name Thomas, meaning "son of Thomas."

Thomson, 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 Thomson surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Thomson in America

Thomson is the 1440th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Thomson surname appeared 24,750 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 Thomson.

We can also compare 2010 data for Thomson 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 1440 1341 7.12%
Count 24,750 24,174 2.35%
Proportion per 100k 8.39 8.96 -6.57%

The history of the last name Thomson

The surname THOMSON is of Scottish origin, derived from the personal name Thomas. The name Thomas itself is derived from the Aramaic name "Toma" meaning "twin." The earliest recorded instances of the surname date back to the 12th century in Scotland.

The THOMSON surname is believed to have originated in the regions of Aberdeenshire, Angus, and Perthshire in Scotland. It was initially spelled as "Thomasson" or "Thomeson" before the modern spelling of "THOMSON" became more widely adopted.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the THOMSON surname can be found in the Ragman Rolls of 1296, which documented individuals who swore allegiance to King Edward I of England. The name "William Thomessone" appears in these rolls, indicating the presence of the surname in Scotland during that time period.

The THOMSON surname is also mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, which was a comprehensive survey of landowners and tenants in England commissioned by William the Conqueror. This suggests that the name may have had English origins as well, although the Scottish roots are more commonly accepted.

Notable figures throughout history with the surname THOMSON include:

  1. James Thomson (1700-1748), a Scottish poet and playwright best known for his work "The Seasons."
  2. William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824-1907), a renowned British physicist and mathematician who made significant contributions to thermodynamics and the understanding of heat transfer.
  3. Virgil Thomson (1896-1989), an American composer and music critic who influenced the development of modern classical music in the United States.
  4. J.J. Thomson (1856-1940), an English physicist who discovered the electron and made groundbreaking contributions to the field of atomic physics.
  5. Burt Thomson (1924-2014), a Canadian politician who served as the 28th Premier of British Columbia from 1972 to 1975.

The THOMSON surname has also been associated with various place names, such as Thomaston in Maine, USA, and Thomaskirk in Scotland, which may have influenced the development and spread of the name over time.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Thomson

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

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 Thomson was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 89.95% 22,263
Non-Hispanic Black Only 3.98% 985
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 1.27% 314
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.47% 116
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.76% 436
Hispanic Origin 2.58% 639

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 89.95% 91.05% -1.22%
Black 3.98% 4.67% -15.95%
Asian and Pacific Islander 1.27% 0.87% 37.38%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.47% 0.43% 8.89%
Two or More Races 1.76% 1.25% 33.89%
Hispanic 2.58% 1.73% 39.44%

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

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

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"Thomson last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 14, 2024.

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