The history of your name

The NAPIER surname in the USA

Frequency Comparisons
Total Rank Frequency % Per million people
United States
United States (Current snapshot) 18,726 1755 0.007 69
United States (1880 census) 1,973 3012 0.004 39
Change since 1880 +16753 +1257 +0.003 +30
Other Countries
Australia 1,171 1411 0.007 72
United Kingdom 3,244 1928 0.007 71
Top States for NAPIER by Total
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Kentucky 3,427 135 0.085 848
Ohio 2,187 599 0.019 193
Indiana 1,128 646 0.019 186
Florida 1,068 2030 0.007 67
Virginia 909 1058 0.013 128
Top States for NAPIER by Frequency
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Kentucky 3,427 135 0.085 848
West Virginia 848 310 0.047 469
Ohio 2,187 599 0.019 193
Indiana 1,128 646 0.019 186
Tennessee 881 1052 0.015 155


'A figure of zero indicates that we don't have data for this name (usually because it's quite uncommon and our stats don't go down that far). It doesn't mean that there's no-one with that name at all!

For less common surnames, the figures get progressively less reliable the fewer holders of that name there are. This data is aggregated from several public lists, and some stats are interpolated from known values. The margin of error is well over 100% at the rarest end of the table!

For less common surnames, the frequency and "per million" values may be 0 even though there are people with that name. That's because they represent less than one in a million of the population, which ends up as 0 after rounding.

It's possible for a surname to gain in rank and/or total while being less common per million people (or vice versa) as there are now more surnames in the USA as a result of immigration. In mathematical terms, the tail has got longer, with a far larger number of less common surnames.

Figures for top states show firstly the states where most people called NAPIER live. This obviously tends to be biased towards the most populous states. The second set of figures show where people called NAPIER represent the biggest proportion of the population. So, in this case, there are more people called NAPIER in Kentucky than any other state, but you are more likely to find a NAPIER by picking someone at random in Kentucky than anywhere else.

Classification and Origin of NAPIER

Region of origin: British Isles

Country of origin: England

Language of origin: English

Ethnic origin: English

Religious origin: Christian

Name derivation: Occupational Name

Data for religion and/or language relates to the culture in which the NAPIER surname originated. It does not necessarily have any correlation with the language spoken, or religion practised, by the majority of current American citizens with that name.

Data for ethnic origin relates to the region and country in which the NAPIER surname originated. It does not necessarily have any correlation with the ethnicity of the majority of current American citizens with that name.

Ethnic distribution of NAPIER in the USA

Classification Total Percent
Mixed Race 294 1.57
White (Hispanic) 234 1.25
Native American/Alaskan 92 0.49
Asian/Pacific 64 0.34
White (Caucasian) 16,091 85.93
Black/African American 1,951 10.42

Ethnic distribution data shows the number and percentage of people with the NAPIER surname who reported their ethnic background as being in these broad categories in the most recent national census.

Meaning of NAPIER in historical publications

It is said that Donald, a son of the Earl of Lennox, for his bravery in battle, had his name changed by the king to Napier. After the battle, as the manner is, every one advancing and setting forth his own acts, the king said unto them, "Ye have all done valiantly, but there is one among you who hath 'Na Pier,'" and the king gave him lands in Fife and Goffurd. The name came, however, from taking charge of the king's napery or linen at the coronation of English kings, an office held by William De Hastings, in the time of Henry I.

Arthur, William (1857) An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain.

NAPIER. An officer in the king's bouseliold — the same as Naper, which see, A Scottish legeud, however, assigns a widely different origin. In a great battle between the Scots and some eaemj', whose nation is not specified, the former were on the point of losing the day, when one Donald, sou of the then Earl of Lennox, seized a standard, and rallied the retreating soldiers. This act of prowess changed the positions of the combatants, and resulted in the complete triumph of the Scots. The king on hearing of Donald's bravery, declared that he had Na pier — 710 equal; commanded him to assume those words as a surname ; and gave him lands in Fife, and the lands of Goffurdor Goosford. This 'mighty pretty story,' though evidently invented to explain the name, was certified to the heralds under the hand and seal of Sir Archibald Napier of Merchistoun, in 1 625. It is proper, however, to remark, that the Napiers sprang from the house of Lennox, and that their early members wrote themselves Lenox alias Napier; and it is no derogation of the dignity of this illustrious family to suppose that an earl's son, their ancestor, should have held the ofHce of Napier in the royal household.

Lower, Mark A (1860) Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom. London: J.R. Smith. Public Domain.

Similar names to NAPIER

The following names have similar spellings or pronunciations as NAPIER.

This does not necessarily imply a direct relationship between the names, but may indicate names that could be mistaken for this one when written down or misheard.

Matches are generated automatically by a combination of Soundex, Metaphone and Levenshtein matching.

Potential typos for NAPIER

The following words are slight variants of NAPIER that are likely to be possible typos or misspellings in written material.