To last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of To

A Vietnamese surname derived from the Chinese surname Tao, meaning "peach" or "pottery kiln."

To, 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 To surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of To in America

To is the 3979th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The To surname appeared 8,934 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 To.

We can also compare 2010 data for To 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 3979 4649 -15.53%
Count 8,934 6,979 24.57%
Proportion per 100k 3.03 2.59 15.66%

The history of the last name To

The surname "To" has its origins in China, where it first emerged during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The name is derived from the Chinese word "tao," which means "way" or "path." It is thought that the surname was initially given to families living near major roads or trade routes.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the surname "To" can be found in the imperial records of the Tang Dynasty, where a scholar named To Yuanming is mentioned as serving in the court of Emperor Xuanzong in the 8th century AD. Another notable figure was To Qian, a famous general who led the imperial forces to victory against rebel armies in the late 9th century.

During the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), the surname "To" became more widespread, particularly in the southern regions of China. In the early 12th century, a prominent scholar named To Tuan wrote a highly influential work on Confucian philosophy, which was widely studied by scholars and officials of the time.

The surname "To" can also be traced back to several place names in China, such as Tozhou and Toshan, which were important commercial and administrative centers during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). One of the most famous individuals with this surname was To Hiyen, a celebrated artist and calligrapher who lived in the 16th century and whose works are still highly regarded today.

In the 17th century, a wealthy merchant named To Xingzhi established a trading empire that spanned across Southeast Asia and parts of the Middle East. His successful business ventures contributed to the spread of the surname "To" beyond the borders of China.

Another notable figure with the surname "To" was To Liangqing, a renowned poet and playwright who lived during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD). His works, which explored themes of love, nature, and the human condition, continue to be studied and performed to this day.

These are just a few examples of the rich history and notable individuals associated with the surname "To," which has its roots in ancient China and has since spread to various parts of the world.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name To

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

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 To was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 1.96% 175
Non-Hispanic Black Only (S)% (S)
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 95.06% 8,493
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native (S)% (S)
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.37% 122
Hispanic Origin 1.28% 114

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 1.96% 2.13% -8.31%
Black (S)% (S)% (S)%
Asian and Pacific Islander 95.06% 94.47% 0.62%
American Indian and Alaskan Native (S)% (S)% (S)%
Two or More Races 1.37% 2.01% -37.87%
Hispanic 1.28% 0.95% 29.60%

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

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

"To last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 17, 2024.

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