Whittle last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Whittle

An English occupational surname referring to a woodcarver or carpenter skilled in the art of whittling.

Whittle, 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 Whittle surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Whittle in America

Whittle is the 4828th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Whittle surname appeared 7,307 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 people would have the surname Whittle.

We can also compare 2010 data for Whittle 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 4828 4592 5.01%
Count 7,307 7,071 3.28%
Proportion per 100k 2.48 2.62 -5.49%

The history of the last name Whittle

The surname Whittle originates from England and dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era. It is derived from the Old English word "whitel," which means "white" or "pure." The name likely referred to someone with fair hair or complexion, or it may have been a descriptive name for someone who worked with white materials like lime or chalk.

The earliest recorded instance of the Whittle surname can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Witel" and "Witelithe." This suggests that the name was already well-established in various regions of England by the time of the Norman Conquest.

In the 13th century, the surname appeared in various records as "Whittele," "Whittel," and "Whyttel." These spellings reflect the development of the name over time and the regional variations in pronunciation and spelling.

One notable figure bearing the Whittle surname was John Whittle (1629-1692), an English clergyman and author who served as the rector of St. Edmund's Church in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He wrote several works on theology and religious subjects.

Another individual of note was Sir Frank Whittle (1907-1996), a British Royal Air Force officer and inventor who pioneered the development of the jet engine. His groundbreaking work paved the way for modern aviation technology.

In the 18th century, the Whittle surname was associated with several place names in England, such as Whittlebury in Northamptonshire and Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire. These place names likely derived from the Old English "hwit" meaning "white" and "leah" meaning "clearing" or "meadow."

In the United States, one of the earliest recorded Whittles was William Whittle (1661-1742), who settled in Virginia in the late 17th century. His descendants played significant roles in the American Revolutionary War and the early years of the United States.

Another notable American Whittle was John C. Whittle (1835-1922), a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War and later a prominent businessman and politician in Missouri. He served as the United States Assistant Secretary of the Interior from 1897 to 1903.

Throughout its history, the Whittle surname has been borne by individuals from various walks of life, including clergymen, inventors, soldiers, and politicians. Its origins can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon era in England, where it likely described someone with a fair complexion or occupation related to white materials.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Whittle

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

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 Whittle was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 80.22% 5,862
Non-Hispanic Black Only 13.14% 960
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.71% 52
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.59% 43
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.50% 183
Hispanic Origin 2.83% 207

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

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 80.22% 83.95% -4.54%
Black 13.14% 11.19% 16.03%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.71% 0.49% 36.67%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.59% 0.47% 22.64%
Two or More Races 2.50% 2.08% 18.34%
Hispanic 2.83% 1.82% 43.44%

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

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

Reference this page

We spend a lot of resources downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

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!

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

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

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

Search for a name

Search for a first or last name to learn more about its origin, meaning, and more.

Simple as that.