WHITE Name Meaning and Origin

Getty / LWA

The White last name has several different possible origins:

  1. 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."
  2. The last name White may be also local, derived from the Isle of Wight, on the coast of Hampshire, England.
  3. In addition, some Whites originally were Wights, from the Anglo-Saxon wiht, meaning "valiant."

Surname Origin: English, Scottish, Irish

Alternate Surname Spellings: WHYTE, WHIET, WIGHT, WHYTTE

Fun Facts About the Last Name WHITE:

Albus is the Latin form of the White surname.

Famous People with the Surname WHITE:

  • Governor John White - governor of the failed Roanoke Colony
  • Reggie White - NFL football legend, Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Edward Higgins White II - American astronaut; died 1967 in the Apollo 204 fire at Cape Kennedy, Florida
  • Stanford White - American architect

Genealogy Resources for the Surname WHITE:

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

White Surname DNA Project
The goal of the the White surname project is to distinguish between White ancestral lines worldwide.

Long Island White Family
Researching the White family lineages originating from Eastern Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.

White Family Genealogy Forum
Search 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.

FamilySearch - WHITE Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the White surname and its variations.

WHITE Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the White surname.

DistantCousin.com - WHITE Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name White.

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-- Can't find your last name listed? Suggest a surname to be added to the Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins.

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

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.