Thompsons

UK surname frequency, 1851-1996

The top 88 surnames in 1996 compared to the 1851 UK census

In the soc.genealogy.uk+ireland news group a question was asked about the most frequently found surnames in the UK. John Wynn published a comprehensive report of the top 88 surnames based on his analysis of the 1996 electoral rolls, which are open to public scrutiny. These same 88 surnames have been looked at in the 2% sample of the 1851 census. The table below examines the winners and losers in the surname top 88 charts.

Total population (1996) =50,000,000 1851 2% census sample size =
473,452
Surname # in 1996 # / 1000 # in 1851 # / 1000 1996 rank 1851 rank Change
Smith 538369 10.77 7033 14.85 1 1 0
Jones 402489 8.05 5012 10.59 2 2 0
Williams 279150 5.58 3272 6.91 3 3 0
Brown 260652 5.21 2993 6.32 4 4 0
Taylor 251058 5.02 2708 5.72 5 5 0
Davies 209584 4.19 1868 3.95 6 8 2
Wilson 191006 3.82 2064 4.36 7 6 -1
Evans 170391 3.41 1762 3.72 8 9 1
Thomas 152945 3.06 1898 4.01 9 7 -2
Johnson 146535 2.93 1295 2.74 10 23 13
Roberts 143118 2.86 1693 3.58 11 10 -1
Walker 134748 2.69 1539 3.25 12 13 1
Wright 132695 2.65 1601 3.38 13 12 -1
Robinson 132201 2.64 1525 3.22 14 14 0
Thompson 132050 2.64 1659 3.50 15 11 -4
White 127317 2.55 1376 2.91 16 17 1
Hughes 122883 2.46 1085 2.29 17 30 13
Hall 117692 2.35 1271 2.68 18 24 6
Edwards 117268 2.35 1261 2.66 19 25 6
Green 116772 2.34 1456 3.08 20 16 -4
Martin 113140 2.26 1025 2.16 21 34 13
Wood 112457 2.25 1513 3.20 22 15 -7
Harris 111375 2.23 1233 2.60 23 26 3
Lewis 110513 2.21 1305 2.76 24 21 -3
Clarke 110321 2.21 750 1.58 25 57 32
Jackson 109750 2.20 1332 2.81 26 19 -7
Clark 106961 2.14 1369 2.89 27 18 -9
Turner 105841 2.12 1317 2.78 28 20 -8
Hill 102392 2.05 1298 2.74 29 22 -7
Scott 102306 2.05 1165 2.46 30 27 -3
Moore 100632 2.01 1076 2.27 31 31 0
Cooper 99923 2.00 1104 2.33 32 29 -3
Morris 95758 1.92 910 1.92 33 44 11
Ward 95697 1.91 885 1.87 34 45 11
King 92921 1.86 986 2.08 35 36 1
Watson 92467 1.85 1073 2.27 36 32 -4
Baker 89566 1.79 944 1.99 37 43 6
Harrison 89549 1.79 954 2.01 38 42 4
Morgan 88206 1.76 1021 2.16 39 35 -4
Young 87787 1.76 961 2.03 40 41 1
Allen 85745 1.71 811 1.71 41 51 10
Mitchell 83173 1.66 864 1.82 42 49 7
Phillips 81844 1.64 792 1.67 43 54 11
James 81301 1.63 804 1.70 44 53 9
Bell 80474 1.61 1039 2.19 45 33 -12
Campbell 79126 1.58 879 1.86 46 47 1
Lee 77449 1.55 705 1.49 47 60 13
Parker 76779 1.54 977 2.06 48 39 -9
Kelly 76183 1.52 397 0.84 49 85 36
Davis 76122 1.52 1151 2.43 50 28 -22
Bennett 74777 1.50 806 1.70 51 52 1
Miller 73011 1.46 981 2.07 52 37 -15
Cook 72655 1.45 974 2.06 53 40 -13
Price 72611 1.45 728 1.54 54 59 5
Shaw 72122 1.44 829 1.75 55 50 -5
(Mac/Mc)Donald 71890 1.44 881 1.86 56 46 -10
Simpson 70804 1.42 981 2.07 57 38 -19
Griffiths 70591 1.41 537 1.13 58 78 20
Richardson 70015 1.40 698 1.47 59 62 3
Marshall 68828 1.38 704 1.49 60 61 1
Carter 68532 1.37 874 1.85 61 48 -13
Collins 68470 1.37 673 1.42 62 66 4
Stewart 68205 1.36 783 1.65 63 55 -8
Bailey 67637 1.35 607 1.28 64 72 8
Patel 66663 1.33 0 0.00 65 88 23
Gray 65438 1.31 605 1.28 66 73 7
Murray 63973 1.28 536 1.13 67 79 12
Cox 63944 1.28 663 1.40 68 69 1
Murphy 63868 1.28 318 0.67 69 87 18
Adams 62262 1.25 741 1.57 70 58 -12
Richards 60162 1.20 657 1.39 71 71 0
Graham 59430 1.19 682 1.44 72 65 -7
Ellis 58769 1.18 658 1.39 73 70 -3
Wilkinson 57906 1.16 689 1.46 74 64 -10
Foster 57448 1.15 552 1.17 75 76 1
Chapman 55887 1.12 667 1.41 76 68 -8
Russell 55631 1.11 535 1.13 77 80 3
Mason 54869 1.10 696 1.47 78 63 -15
Webb 54290 1.09 670 1.42 79 67 -12
Rogers 53847 1.08 512 1.08 80 81 1
Powell 53794 1.08 539 1.14 81 77 -4
Hunt 52355 1.05 479 1.01 82 82 0
Holmes 51875 1.04 769 1.62 83 56 -27
Gibson 51318 1.03 599 1.27 84 74 -10
Mills 51274 1.03 557 1.18 85 75 -10
Palmer 50861 1.02 471 0.99 86 83 -3
Owen 50691 1.01 399 0.84 87 84 -3
Matthews 50098 1.00 361 0.76 88 86 -2
Total 9051482 18.10 99422 21.00