Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > CHARLES

Origin and popularity of the name CHARLES


Charles : 1: French Welsh English West Indian (mainly Haiti) and African (mainly Tanzania): from the French form of the ancient Germanic personal name Karl ‘man husband freeman’ which was Latinized as Carolus. In France the personal name was popular from an early date due to the fame of the Emperor Charlemagne (c. 742–814; Latin name Carolus Magnus i.e. Charles the Great). The Old French form Charles was briefly introduced to England by the Normans but was rare during the main period of surname formation. It was introduced more successfully to Scotland in the 16th century by the Stuarts who had strong ties with France and was brought by them to England in the 17th century. Its frequency as a Welsh surname is attributable to the late date of Welsh surname formation. Old English Ceorl ‘peasant’ is also found as a byname but the resulting Middle English form Charl with a patronymic in -s if it existed at all would have been absorbed by the French form introduced by the Normans. English variants pronounced with initial k- for the most part reflect the cognate Old Norse personal name Karl Karli. Compare Carl.2: English: in some cases possibly a habitational name from Charles (Devon) or a post-medieval variant of Cherrill with excrescent -s perhaps by false association with the personal name Charles. Cherrill is either a habitational name from Cherhill in Wilshire or a status name from Middle English cherl cheril charl chirl ‘churl bonded tenant serf; peasant’.3: Swedish: ornamental form of a Frenchified form of the Old Norse personal name Karl (see 1 above).


Source : DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press
FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England
FANBI : The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain, ©2021, University of the West of England

Subject to the Terms and Conditions of Ancestry

Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 539,238 individuals with the name CHARLES on Geneanet.


Most found places for the name CHARLES:

    This last name in the family trees

    See below the Geneanet members' family trees which contain the last name CHARLES

    (2,068 individuals)
    (1,186 individuals)
    (1,042 individuals)
    (982 individuals)

    Search another name

    Search 8 billion individuals

    Search 8 billion individuals

    Search the name of your ancestors and your family in a database of 9 billion indexed individuals on Geneanet.

    Search CHARLES

    Start your family tree

    Start your family tree

    Create your family tree and take advantage of valuable tips to help you search your ancestors.

    Start your family tree

    Variants of name CHARLES