Last name: JOSEPH

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All you have to know about the last name JOSEPH

Last name frequency

JOSEPH : This last name is indexed 715,307 times on Geneanet!

Origin of last name

JOSEPH : English French German Jewish West Indian (mainly Haiti) and African (mainly Tanzania and Nigeria): from the personal name Joseph Hebrew Yosef ‘may He (God) add (another son)’. In medieval Europe this name was borne frequently but not exclusively by Jews; the usual medieval English vernacular form is represented by Jessup. In the Book of Genesis Joseph is the favorite son of Jacob who is sold into slavery by his brothers but rises to become a leading minister of the Pharoah in Egypt (Genesis 37–50). In the New Testament Joseph is the husband of the Virgin Mary which accounts for the popularity of the personal name among Christians. In North America the English form of the surname has absorbed cognates from other languages e.g. Polish Józef Slovenian Jožef Assyrian/Chaldean Yosep Yousep Yosip and Yousip forms that are predominantly Arabic such as Yusuf Yousef and Yousif or Ethiopian such as Yosef and also patronymics such as Polish Jozefowicz and Armenian Hovsepian. Joseph is one of the most frequent surnames in Haiti (along with Jean and Pierre) and elsewhere in the West Indies (e.g. in Trinidad and Tobago Saint Lucia Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica). The name Joseph is also found among Christians in southern India and Indonesia but since South Indians and Indonesians traditionally do not have hereditary surnames the southern Indian and Indonesian name was in most cases registered as such only after immigration of its bearers to the US. Compare Josef.

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