Whitfield last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Whitfield

A locational surname referring to someone who lived near a white field or meadow.

Whitfield, 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 Whitfield surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Whitfield in America

Whitfield is the 1171st most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Whitfield surname appeared 29,962 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 10 people would have the surname Whitfield.

We can also compare 2010 data for Whitfield 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 1171 1125 4.01%
Count 29,962 28,475 5.09%
Proportion per 100k 10.16 10.56 -3.86%

The history of the last name Whitfield

The surname Whitfield has its origins in England, with records dating back to the 13th century. It is a locational name derived from various places called Whitfield, which were scattered across England. The prefix "Whit" likely comes from the Old English word "hwit," meaning white, while the suffix "field" refers to an open area of land.

One of the earliest known references to the name Whitfield can be found in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1273, which mentions a person named Henry de Whitefeld. In the late 13th century, the Whitfield surname also appeared in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire.

The Domesday Book, a comprehensive survey of landowners and properties in England compiled in 1086, does not contain the exact spelling of Whitfield, but it does include similar place names like "Hwitfeld" and "Witfeld," which likely contributed to the eventual formation of the surname.

In the 14th century, the Whitfield name became more widespread, with records showing various spellings such as Whitefeld, Whytfeld, and Whitfelde. One notable individual from this period was John de Whitefeld, who was mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1384.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Whitfield surname continued to gain prominence. Sir Walter Whitfield (c. 1530-1594) was an English politician and Member of Parliament for Guildford. Another notable figure was Ralph Whitfield (c. 1610-1675), an English Puritan clergyman and author.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Whitfield name spread further across England and beyond. George Whitfield (1714-1770) was an influential Anglican cleric and evangelist who played a pivotal role in the Methodist movement. Sir Henry Whitfield (1785-1866) was a British naval officer and explorer who charted parts of the Australian coastline.

Other notable individuals with the Whitfield surname include Robert Whitfield (1828-1909), an English-born Australian politician and merchant, and James Whitfield (1770-1819), an American lawyer and politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Kentucky.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Whitfield

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

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 Whitfield was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 44.52% 13,339
Non-Hispanic Black Only 49.68% 14,885
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.38% 114
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.46% 138
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 3.02% 905
Hispanic Origin 1.94% 581

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 44.52% 47.14% -5.72%
Black 49.68% 48.65% 2.09%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.38% 0.33% 14.08%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.46% 0.48% -4.26%
Two or More Races 3.02% 2.21% 30.98%
Hispanic 1.94% 1.19% 47.92%

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

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

"Whitfield last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 12, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/whitfield-surname-popularity/.

"Whitfield last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/whitfield-surname-popularity/. Accessed 12 July, 2024

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

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