The history of your name

The ROSS surname in the USA

Frequency Comparisons
Total Rank Frequency % Per million people
United States
United States (Current snapshot) 219,961 89 0.082 815
United States (1880 census) 50,182 75 0.100 1,004
Change since 1880 +169779 -14 -0.018 -189
Other Countries
Australia 13,283 79 0.081 813
United Kingdom 40,564 108 0.088 883

'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.

Classification and Origin of ROSS

Region of origin: British Isles

Country of origin: Scotland

Language of origin: Gaelic

Ethnic origin: Celtic

Religious origin: Christian

Name derivation: From given name or forename

Data for religion and/or language relates to the culture in which the ROSS 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 ROSS 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 ROSS in the USA

Classification Total Percent
White (Caucasian) 157,184 71.46
Black/African American 52,065 23.67
White (Hispanic) 4,003 1.82
Mixed Race 3,717 1.69
Asian/Pacific 1,012 0.46
Native American/Alaskan 1,958 0.89

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

Meaning of ROSS in historical publications

ROSS. This surname is susceptible of several explanations. 1. In some cases it is undoubtedly of foreign local origin. In Domesday we 'find, in Kent, a tenant called Anschitil deRos, and, in Buckinghamshire, another named Ansgotus de Ros. These probably came from Ros, a commune in the arrondissement of Caen, in Normandy. 2. It is of British local origin. The great barons Ros, or Roos, of Hamlake, co.York, sprang from one Peter, who, in the reign of Henry I., assumed his surname from his lordship of Ros, in Holderness. Bai'onage. The Rosses of the South of Scotland appear to have sprung from the English family, and to have passed into Renfrewshire, as the Aassals of Richard de Moreville in the XII. century, settling at Halkhead, co. Renfrev, and at Dalton, co. Dumfries. 3 There are several towns and villages in North and South Britain called Ross, and these, as well as ross, a heath or morass, and ross, a promontory, may have a claim. 4. The name seems sometimes to have had reference to the colour or complexion of the first bearer, and to have been a modification of Le Rous, Rufus, or the Red. The ancient family of Ross of Renfrew, descending from Alysandre, who flourished at Renfrew, so early as the reign of King David I., wrote themselves the Ross of Renfrew," apparently down to the XV. century. See Knowles's Genealogy of Coulthart, p. 16. 6. Mr. Ferguson claims the name as Teutonic, deriving it from O. Sax., hros, 0. Norse, hross, &c., a horse. 6. Mr. Skene insinuates a claim on behalf of the Gaelic. " It is AvcU known," says he, "that the surname of Ross has always been rendered in Gaelic, Clan Avrias, or Clan Gillc Avrias." Scottish Highlanders, ii. 224.

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

(origin: Gaelic. Local) A shire of Scotland. Ros, a peninsula, an isthmus, a promontory. Rhos, in Welsh, is a moor, a bog. Ros, in Cor. Br., is a mountain, a meadow, a common. Rose and Rosh signify a valley or dale between hills.

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

Similar names to ROSS

The following names have similar spellings or pronunciations as ROSS.

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 ROSS

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