Wakefield last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Wakefield

A locational surname referring to someone from any of the places called Wakefield, meaning "field by the wake or stream."

Wakefield, 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 Wakefield surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Wakefield in America

Wakefield is the 2472nd most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Wakefield surname appeared 14,587 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 people would have the surname Wakefield.

We can also compare 2010 data for Wakefield 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 2472 2360 4.64%
Count 14,587 14,058 3.69%
Proportion per 100k 4.95 5.21 -5.12%

The history of the last name Wakefield

The surname Wakefield originates from England and dates back to the medieval period. It is derived from the Old English words "wacian," meaning to watch or keep awake, and "feld," meaning a field or open area of land. The name likely referred to someone who lived near or was responsible for watching over a field or pasture.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the surname Wakefield appears in the Domesday Book of 1086, a record of landholdings in England commissioned by William the Conqueror. This suggests that the name was in use by the late 11th century.

The surname is often associated with the town of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, which was established as a settlement during the Saxon period. It is possible that some early bearers of the name were from this area or had connections to it.

An early notable bearer of the surname was William Wakefield, who lived in the 13th century and was a renowned theologian and philosopher at the University of Oxford. He is known for his works on logic and metaphysics.

In the 15th century, John Wakefield was a prominent English prelate who served as the Bishop of Norwich from 1415 to 1425. He played a role in the resolution of the Western Schism, a period of conflict within the Catholic Church when multiple popes claimed authority.

During the Tudor period, Sir Richard Wakefield (c. 1494-1572) was a prominent English politician and served as Lord Mayor of London in 1536. He also held positions in the Worshipful Company of Grocers and was involved in trade with the Low Countries.

In the realm of literature, Rodney Wakefield (1890-1979) was a British author and poet known for his novels and works of poetry. He was born in Wiltshire and gained recognition for his depictions of rural life in England.

Another notable figure was Edward Wakefield (1796-1862), a British statesman and influential figure in the colonization of New Zealand. He was a key proponent of the "systematic colonization" approach, which aimed to establish planned settlements in the British Empire.

Throughout its history, the surname Wakefield has been associated with various locations, occupations, and individuals, reflecting its English origins and the diverse paths of those who bore this name over the centuries.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Wakefield

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

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 Wakefield was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 80.87% 11,797
Non-Hispanic Black Only 13.40% 1,955
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.79% 115
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.53% 77
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.17% 317
Hispanic Origin 2.24% 327

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 80.87% 83.00% -2.60%
Black 13.40% 12.50% 6.95%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.79% 0.60% 27.34%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.53% 0.61% -14.04%
Two or More Races 2.17% 1.74% 21.99%
Hispanic 2.24% 1.55% 36.41%

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

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

"Wakefield last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 14, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/wakefield-surname-popularity/.

"Wakefield last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/wakefield-surname-popularity/. Accessed 14 July, 2024

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

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