Waite last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Waite

An English occupational surname referring to a watchman, guard, or gatekeeper.

Waite, 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 Waite surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Waite in America

Waite is the 1936th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Waite surname appeared 18,664 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 6 people would have the surname Waite.

We can also compare 2010 data for Waite 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 1936 1892 2.30%
Count 18,664 17,415 6.92%
Proportion per 100k 6.33 6.46 -2.03%

The history of the last name Waite

The surname Waite is of English origin, derived from the Old English word "waiten," meaning "to watch" or "to guard." This occupation-based surname first emerged in the Middle Ages, referring to those who performed guard duties or served as watchmen.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name Waite can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Waitehomme," referring to a "man who watches." This historical reference highlights the name's association with the occupation of a watchman or sentry.

In the 13th century, the surname Waite was commonly found in Warwickshire and Worcestershire, England. During this period, variations in spelling were common, with names like Wayte, Waitt, and Wayth appearing in various records.

Notable individuals with the surname Waite include Sir Nicholas Waite (c. 1500-1557), an English courtier and diplomat during the reign of Henry VIII. Another prominent figure was William Waite (1610-1666), an English clergyman and one of the founding members of the Royal Society.

In the 18th century, Thomas Waite (1708-1774) was a renowned English architect and surveyor, known for his work on several notable buildings, including the Old Strafford Shire Hall in Nottingham.

Moving into the 19th century, Edgar Waite (1834-1900) was an English theologian and scholar who served as a canon at Winchester Cathedral. Additionally, Ralph Waite (1928-2014) was an American actor best known for his roles in the television series "The Waltons" and "NCIS."

Throughout history, the surname Waite has been associated with various regions in England, including Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Nottinghamshire. The name's origins as an occupation-based surname reflect the important role of watchmen and guards in medieval society.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Waite

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

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 Waite was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 86.17% 16,083
Non-Hispanic Black Only 8.43% 1,573
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.72% 134
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.55% 103
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.75% 327
Hispanic Origin 2.38% 444

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 86.17% 87.79% -1.86%
Black 8.43% 8.09% 4.12%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.72% 0.53% 30.40%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.55% 0.55% 0.00%
Two or More Races 1.75% 1.65% 5.88%
Hispanic 2.38% 1.40% 51.85%

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

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

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"Waite last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 22, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/waite-surname-popularity/.

"Waite last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/waite-surname-popularity/. Accessed 22 July, 2024

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

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