Surnames of England and Wales - the ONS list

How common (or rare) is your surname?

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Are you tracing your family history? Have you ever wondered what are the most common surnames in England and Wales? Do you want to start a one-name study for your own surname? This site will tell you how big a task it could be! Below, you can search for a specific name or you can use the options on this page to get some more general figures. You can also see what other people have been looking for.

Topical names: Did you know...according to the database there are 30208 people called MAY. Et il y a 263 appelée MAI aussi. Mae 263 MAIod hefyd!
There are also 2410 SPRINGs around the place, celebrating the joys of being themselves. The 22491 LAMBs might be less bouncy.

HOW TO SEARCH: Enter a full or partial surname in the box and click on the "Start Search" button. You can search for either a complete name, or use wild cards. An '_' represents any single non-blank character, an '*' represents zero or more wildcards. If the search returns more than 250 results you will be asked to modify the search.

Sort by: Name   Ranking

There are also some additional query options which let you list the most common names and see what enquiries other people have made.

Please enter a surname to search for.

WHAT IS IN THIS DATABASE? This is an extract of an Office of National Statistics database, and contains a list of surnames in use in England, Wales and the Isle of Mann in September 2002. The list contains almost 270,000 surnames, shared by 54.4 million people. The entire database contains over a million surnames, shared by 55.9 million people, but names shared by fewer that five people have been excluded from this list. The database was established in 1998, and births are continually added, but the 1.5 million deaths between 1998 and 2002 have not been weeded from the system. The database is also said to include a level of duplicate entries and misspelt surnames, as well as people currently living abroad and temporary visitors to England and Wales. However, experience suggests that multiplying the result for your surname by 0.93 will give a good idea of the living population for your surname.

CREDITS: This database was developed as a spin-off from the Llangynfelyn Digital History Project. The database and web enquiry page were built using PHP and MySQL by of Technoleg Taliesin Cyf.

Data source: Surnames, England & Wales, National Statistics 2002. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO under Licence C02W0001623.