Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > JAMES

Origin and popularity of the name JAMES


James : English and Welsh: from the Middle English personal name James. Introduced to England by the Normans this is an Old French form of Late Latin Iacomus a variant of Latin Iacobus Greek Iakōbos the New Testament rendering of Hebrew Ya‘aqob (see Jacob). The medieval Latin (Vulgate) Bible distinguished between Old Testament Iacob (which was uninflected) and New Testament Iacobus (with inflections). The latter developed into James in medieval French. The distinction was carried over into the King James Bible of 1611 and Jacob and James remain as separate names in English usage. Most European languages however make no such distinction so that forms such as French Jacques stand for both the Old and the New Testament names. This surname is also very common among African Americans. Compare Jack.


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

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 266,183 individuals with the name JAMES on Geneanet.


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