Humanities › History & Culture Name Meaning and Origin of the Surname White Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated April 20, 2019 The White last name has several different possible origins: White is usually a descriptive name or nickname given to a person with very light hair or complexion, from the Middle English whit, meaning "white."The last name White may be also local, derived from the Isle of Wight, on the coast of Hampshire, England.In addition, some Whites originally were Wights, from the Anglo-Saxon wiht, meaning "valiant." White is the 16th most common surname in England, the 20th most common last name in America, and the 10th most popular name in Australia. Surname Origin: English, Scottish, Irish Alternate Surname Spellings: WHYTE, WHIET, WIGHT, WHYTTE Fun Facts About the Last Name Albus is the Latin form of the White surname. Famous People With the Surname Governor John White - governor of the failed Roanoke ColonyReggie White - NFL football legend, Pro Football Hall of FameEdward Higgins White II - American astronaut; died 1967 in the Apollo 204 fire at Cape Kennedy, FloridaStanford White - American architect Genealogy Resources for the Surname White Surname DNA ProjectThe goal of the the White surname project is to distinguish between White ancestral lines worldwide. White Family Genealogy ForumSearch this popular genealogy forum for the White surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own White query. There is also a separate forum for the WHYTE variation of the White surname. Source: Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967. Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005. Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004. Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989. Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003. Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.