Edited by Azizi Powell
This post is part of a continuing pancocojams series on names and naming practices in the Caribbean.
This post provides extensive excerpts from one online articles about common Black Bajan* surnames (last names) and from one online article about common Black Caribbean last names.
*"Bajan" is a referent for people from Barbados, West Indies.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric and cultural purposes.
I'm quoting this article to help preserve and disseminate this information.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
This post is dedicated with love to my maternal grandparents Samuel Nathaniel Banfield and Daisy (Nurse) Banfield who immigrated to Atlantic City, New Jersey from Barbados in 1905 or 1906.
TYPICAL BAJAN LAST NAMES
From http://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/content/25-most-common-surnames-barbados "The 25 most common surnames in Barbados" November 20, 2015
Pancocojams Editor's Note: This article was also published at http://www.candoo.com/surnames/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=6293 (Post by bimjim Nov 21, 2015) where I read it.
"What's in a name?
Did you know that some people do not have a surname/last name?
In fact, in some parts of the world it is common for people to have a mononym or only one name. The concept of having a surname is a Western concept and a relatively recent historical development that originated during the Middle Ages, or what some call ‘the dark ages”.
Surnames/last names are usually given based on a person’s geographic location or occupation. Surnames usually establish family connections or other relations; hence it is sometimes referred to as a “family name.” Persons interested in conducting genealogical and historical record research usually use their surname as a starting point.
Today, Loop is sharing with you the 25 most common surnames in Barbados, according to information from Forebears, a reference website that specialises in genealogical records.
1. ALLEYNE – There are an estimated 3,893 people in Barbados with this surname. Are you one of them? The name comes rom the name of an ancestor – ‘the son of Alan or Allen’.
2. CLARKE – The name comes from ‘clerk, a clergyman, a scholar, one who can read and write’ and is most prevalent in England, where some 89,337 people are recorded with this surname.
3. BRATHWAITE - This name was derived from a geographic location in the north of England. It is most prevalent in the US (4,046), Barbados (2,985) and Trinidad & Tobago (1,402).
4. GRIFFITH – There are approximately 124,993 people in the world with this surname, which originates from Wales. The vast majority of them is in the US (90,891), followed by England (7,184), Canada (4,192), Australia (3,136), Barbados (2,675), Guyana (2,281) and Wales itself (1,761), among other locations.
5. FORDE– This Anglo-Saxon name is believed to be topographical in origin, referring to a ford – a shallow place in a river where crossing was possible. It is most commonly found in the US, Ireland, England and Barbados.
6. HOLDER – There are an estimated 2,435 people in Barbados with this surname, which is derived from an occupation. According to ancestry.com, this could refer to an “occupational name for a tender of animals, from an agent derivative of Middle English hold(en) ‘to guard or keep’… It is possible that this word was also used in the wider sense of a holder of land within the feudal system.”
7. BOYCE – The name comes from ‘del Bois’ living by or in a wood and there are an estimated 1,977 people in Barbados with this last name.
8. JONES – There are over 1 million Jones in the United States and it's the 207th most common surname in the world. With 1,962 in Barbados, we are far from keeping up with the Joneses; yet, it’s the eighth most common surname on the island. It means the son of John.
9. KING – Meaning head or leader, there are an estimated 1,907 Barbadians with this surname.
10. SEALY – After the United States (4,553), you’ll find the most Sealys in Barbados – some 1,869 of them. The name means simple or innocent.
11. HINDS – This is also a common surname in the US, England, Jamaica, Australia and Canada and is a name derived from the name of an ancestor.
12. MARSHALL – The literal meaning of the name is ‘horse-servant’ and some 1,776 people in Barbados are part of this group. The United States has the most Marshalls.
13. WILLIAMS – A derivative of William, this name is the third most common surname in England and Wales. There are over 54,000 Williams in Jamaica, some 14,000 in Trinidad & Tobago and just 1, 745 in Barbados.
14. GITTENS – A variant of the Welsh name Gittings, 1,737 people in Barbados bear the name; topped only by the United States, where 3,207 have this surname.
15. MAYERS – Derived from the name Mayer, which is found in English/German/Dutch culture. There are approximately 18,268 people with this name in the world – 1,698 of them are in Barbados.
16. CUMBERBATCH – Meaning from the town of Comberbach in England, the number of people with this surname in the United States (1,937); Barbados (1,683) and England (1,027) is very similar.
17. BROWNE – A name derived from a person’s complexion, hair colour or clothing. There are 1,613 people with the name in Barbados.
18. HAYNES – A name of English origin, there are 1,582 people with this surname in Barbados.
19. BLACKMAN - A baptismal name originally derived from the personal quality of a dark complexion.
20. BEST – There 1,481 people with the surname Best in Barbados, while they exist in the tens of thousands in Ethiopia, England, Nigeria and the United States.
21. SMALL – A descriptive name for a person of slender build or diminutive stature, there are 1,466 people in Barbados with this last name. Around the world, the majority of them reside in countries of the Commonwealth.
22. SMITH – The name is derived from an occupation – in this case, someone who works with metal. It is the 117th most common surname in the world, borne by over 4 million people. In Barbados, there are 1,442.
23. SPRINGER – According to ancestry.com, the name is of English, German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic) origin and refers to a lively person or for a traveling entertainer. One in every 200 people in Barbados is a Springer.
24. HUNTE – Derived from the occupation of huntsman, only about 7,350 bears this name in the world and 1,419 of them are associated with Barbados.
25. JORDAN – According to ancestry.com, “At the time of the Crusades it was common practice for crusaders and pilgrims to bring back flasks of water from the river in which John the Baptist had baptized people, including Christ himself, and to use it in the christening of their own children. As a result Jordan became quite a common personal name.” There are 1,403 Jordans in Barbados."
[Pancocojams Editor's Note: I've assigned numbers to these comments.
Additional comments from this discussion that refer to other Caribbean nations will be quoted in a subsequent pancocojams post whose link will be included in this post.]
From http://www.islandmix.com/backchat/f6/what-most-popular-last-names-your-island-101921/ "Thread: What are the most popular last names on your island?"
1. 09-14-2005, elq
"popular Barbados surnames:
2. 09-14-2005, Sugar Apple
Quote Originally Posted by elq
popular Barbados surnames:
"TrueTrue but you forget Franklyn....almost everybody from ST. Philip is a Franklyn"
3. 09-14-2005, sabriya
Quote Originally Posted by elq
popular Barbados surnames:
"You are def. right..but in addition to yours is Holder"
"Ley me HELP out the BAJANS dem...how about WEEKES????"
5. 09-14-2005, Licorishbajan
"Well yes WEEKES is real popular. My family is made up of a lot of WEEKES's but also LASHLEY."
6. 09-14-2005, elq
"look in de phone book
Ah fuhget Callender and Greenidge
7. 09-14-2005, Bake n Shark
"I noticed a trend with the bajan names...kinda confirmed something I observed from way back and always pegged as being bajan....adding an 'e' to the end of the name.
...as for TnT, I dunno...never really study it like dat, but it sure have nuff iterations of Singh, Maharaj/Maraj, John, Joseph, Lee...
"TnT" = Trinidad & Tobago
Note that some commenters had previously written that they weren't including the Indian or Chinese names from Trinidad & Tobago in this particular discussion thread.
8. 09-14-2005, malikceeph
"Lawddd EVERY bajan I know has Holder as the last name, and they don't know each other at all......."
9. 09-14-2005, elq
[Quoted comment # 7]
"let me explain this a bit more
Allen/Allan is americanised form of Alleyn/Alleyne which was derived from spelling of the Old English ALLYN.
the Old English use of the vowels were not as common as you see in modern english."
10. 09-15-2005, GWADA-BAJE
"Common Surnames in Barbados
Don't know how wunna could fuhget CLARKE but anyway...
The surnames of most Barbadians are either of British or Irish origin. However, many ethnic groups such as the Syrians, Indians and the Chinese also tend to keep their own surnames.
Adams, Alexander, Applewaite, Applewhite, Allamby, Alleyne, Allman, Als,Archer,Armstrong, Arthur, Atherley, Atherton, Altkins, Atkins, Atkinson,Altman, Austin
Babb, Bailey, Baird, Baker, Banfield, Bannister, Barker, Barnes, Barnett, Barrow, Bartlett, Bascombe, Bayne, Beckles, Belgrave, Bellamy, Belle, Benn, Benjamin, Bennett, Benskin, Bentham, Best, Bishop, Blackett, Blackman, Blades, Blenman, Bourne, Bovell, Bowen, Boyce, Bradshaw, Branch, Brancker, Brathwaite, Brewster, Broome, Broomes, Browne, Bryan, Bullen, Burgess, Burke, Burnett, Burrowes, Burton, Butcher, Bynoe
Cadogan, Callender, Campbell, Carmichael, Carrington, Carter, Chandler, Chapman, Chase, Clark, Clarke, Cobham, Codrington, Collymore, Connell, Coombs, Coombes, Coppin, Corbin, Cox, Cozier, Crawford, Crichlow, Cumberbatch, Cummins
Dalrymple, Dash, Daniel, DaSilva, Davis, Dawson, Dear, Defreitas, Degia, Denny, Depeiza, DeSilva, Devonish, Dottin, Douglin, Dowell, Downes, Drakes, Durant
Eastmond, Edey, Edghill, Edwards, Elcock, Ellis, Estwick, Eversley
Farley, Farmer, Farnum, Farrell, Fenty, Ferguson, Fields, Ford, Forde, Foster, Forte, Francis, Franklin, Franklyn
Gaskin, Gay, Gibbons, Gibbs, Gibson, Gilkes, Gill, Gittens, Glasgow, Goddard, Gooding, Goodridge, Graham, Grannum, Grant, Greaves, Green, Greene, Greenidge, Griffith
Hackett, Hall, Harding, Harewood, Harper, Harris, Harvey, Haynes, Headley, Herbert, Hinds, Hinkson, Holder, Hollingsworth, Hope, Howell, Hoyte, Hoyos, Humphrey, Hunte, Husbands, Hutchinson.
Jackman, Jackson, James, Jarvis, Jemmott, Johnson, Jones, Jordan, Joseph
Kellman, Kinch, King, Kirton, King, Knight
Lashley, Lavine, Lawrence, Layne, Leacock, Leslie, Lewis, Lorde, Lovell, Lowe, Lucas, Lynch
Maloney, Mapp, Marshall, Martindale, Mascoll, Mason, Massiah, Mason, Massiah, Matthews, Maughn, Maycocks, Mayers, Manard, McCarthy, McClean, McDonald, McIntosh, Medford, Miller, Mitchell, Moore, Morris, Moseley, Murray
Neblett, Nelson, Newton, Nicholls, Nichols, Niles, Norville, Nurse, Nowell
Odle, Olivierre, O'Neale, Osbourne, Oxley
Padmore, Parris, Payne, Perkins, Persaud, Pilgrim, Pinder, Pollard, Powell, Prescod, Prescott, Proverbsm
Ramsay, Redman, Reid, Richards, Riley, Roach, Robinson, Rock, Rollins, Rouse, Rowe, Rudder, Russell
Sandiford, Sargeant, Scantlebury, Seale, Sealy, Shepherd, Shorey, Simmons, Simpson, Sinckler, Skeete, Skinner, Small, Smith, Sobers, Spooner, Springer, Squires, St.Hill Straker, Straughn, Stuart, Stanford
Taitt, Taylor, Thomas, Thomspon, Thorne, Thornhill, Thorpe, Toppin, Trotman, Tudor, Tull, Turton
Vanderpool, Vaughan, Vaughn,
Wade, Waithe, Walcott, Waldron, Walkes, Walker, Walton, Ward, Warner, Warren, Waterman, Watson, Watts, Webster, Weekes, Welch, Went, Wharton, White, Whittaker, Wickham, Wiggins, Wilkinson, Williams, Willoughby, Wilson, Wood, Worrell
Yarde, Yearwood, Young
11. 09-15-2005, brotha bel
[Quoted comment #10]
"I think you got them all exept for my maternal grandfather's name: Garner"
12. 09-15-2005, The Captain
"In Barbados my last name, Stoute is in high numbers."
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.
Visitor comments are welcome.