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White: Family Name, Meaning, History, and More

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White: Family Name, Meaning, History, and More

An important step in understanding who you are is learning about your family's heritage. You might be wondering what the White family name means. The White surname is recognized by the United States Census Bureau as a surname that has appeared more than 100 times throughout the Decennial Census survey. In this article, we will take a closer look at the origins, meaning, and history of the White family name.

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Origin of the White Family Name

The White surname is of Irish, English, or Scottish origin. It is typically a descriptive phrase for someone with blonde or white hair. It can also be an anglicization of the Gaelic name “MacGillebhain,” which means “son of the fair Gillie” in Scotland, and “Mac Faoitigh” in Ireland. In addition, the oldest records of the white surname have variant spellings and were first mentioned in the year 1070. In England, it was first mentioned as an Ordar se Wite residing in Somerset, England. Thereafter, in the United Kingdom during the 11th century, there were several different spellings, and the name was spelled Whyght, Whytte, and Wytt.

Furthermore, in the rest of Europe, the surname “White” is still spoken in their original tongue. Examples include “Bialas” in Poland, “Weiss” in Germany, and “Blanc” in France.

Additionally, White is the 15th most common surname in England. According to the 1990 United States Census, the surname White was the 14th most usual surname by 2000; it dropped to 20 and 22 by 2014. There are approximately 1,176,396 people with the surname White in the United States.

To further add, ancestry has over 24 million records for the Whites:

  • 11 million member trees
  • 6 million births, deaths, and marriages
  • 493k immigration records: These records show you how your ancestors traveled, which ship they were on, and when they arrived in the United States of America.
  • 5 million census and voter lists: These records can tell you your ancestors' level of education, how they worked, veteran status, and more.
  • 775k military records: The military records reveal the locations and times your ancestors served as soldiers.
01.31.2019. Genealogy and Family History 2 - Old Photographs and Documents from around 1880-1940
Understanding our ancestry can expand our minds and create an understanding of other cultures.

The White Family Name in American History

In American history, the surname White is significant because it relates to the White family that traveled to the New World overseas on the English ship known as the Mayflower in 1620. Peregrine White was one of the most famous White members to be born on the Mayflower, which anchored at Cape Cod, now Provincetown, on November 20, 1620. He is honored as being the first English baby to be born from the Pilgrims in America in New England in the United States.

Furthermore, Peregrine fathered seven children and had 29 grandchildren. The Peregrine relatives still reside in the United States today. You can sign up on Findmypast to find out whether you are related to the famous Peregrine White family. Additionally, in 1940, the life expectancy for the White family was 39 years, and in 2004, it was 74 years old in the United States.

Interesting Facts About The White Family Name

  • The average male height is 177.13 cm.
  • The average female height is 162.39 cm.
  • Whites is the 15th most common surname in the UK.
  • According to Findmypast, they have a census record of 974,000 records dated back to 1100 for the White surname.
  • Marriage records suggest that those with the surnames Johnsons and Smiths were most likely to marry Whites.
  • Birth records show that popular White first names include John, Elizabeth, William, and Mary.

Common Jobs for Female Whites in 1921

  • Dressmaker: 4,475
  • Laundress: 3,194
  • Domestic servant: 2,552
  • General servant domestic: 2,229
  • Servant: 1,883
  • Agricultural laborer: 4,804
  • General laborer: 4,146
  • Coal miner: 3,107
  • Carpenter: 2,941
  • Farm laborer: 2,603

Common Jobs for the White Family Name in the United States, England, and Canada

Let's take a closer look at what your ancestors did for a living.

United States 1940: Male top occupations

  • Laborer: 17%
  • Farmer: 14%
  • Salesman: 4%
  • Truck driver: 3%

United States 1940: Female top occupations

  • Maid: 8%
  • Housewife: 6%
  • Housekeeper: 6%
  • Cook: 5%

Canada 1921: Male top occupations

  • Farmer: 27%
  • Laborer: 17%
  • Clerk: 3%

Canada 1921: Female top occupations

  • Housekeeper: 10%
  • Stenographer: 8%
  • Income: 7%
  • Student: 6%

England 1939: Male top occupations

  • General laborer: 6%
  • Builders laborers: 2%
  • Incapacitated: 2%
  • Bricklayer: 2%

England 1939: Female top occupations

  • Unpaid domestic duties: 62%
  • Unpaid domestic: 3%
  • Housewife: 2%
  • Incapacitated: 2%

The religious beliefs of those with the White surname

  • Ireland 62% Catholic
  • Russia 92% Orthodox
  • Kazakhstan 100% Muslim
  • Kenya 100% Christian
  • Lebanon 40% Evangelical
  • Ukraine 79% Orthodox

Phonetically Similar Names

  • Whitè
  • Whiote
  • Whité
  • Whhite
  • Whitey
  • Whitee
  • Whithe

Similar Surnames

  • Wire
  • Witt
  • Whitby
  • Wise
  • Waite
  • Leite
  • Whyte
  • Whitney
  • Wride
  • Hine

Notable People With the White Surname

  • Aaron White: American basketball player
  • Albert White: American, singer, blues guitarist, and songwriter
  • Allie White: American football player
  • Barry White: American disc and soul singer
  • Betty White: American actress
  • Bruce A White: American politician
  • Coby White: American basketball player
  • Compton I White: US Representative from Idaho
  • Danny White: American football player
  • Devon White: Jamaican American baseball player
  • Diamond White: American actress and singer
  • Hugo White: British Royal Navy admiral
  • Vanessa White: British songwriter and singer
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