What is the origin of the last name Booth?

The last name Booth has its origin in Old English, specifically from the word "booth," which referred to a temporary shelter or structure. As a surname, Booth was likely derived as an occupational name for someone who either worked in or owned a booth, such as a market stall or a small shop. The name has ancient roots and dates back to at least the 9th century in England, making it a relatively old and established surname. Over time, variations of the name and its spelling have arisen, including Boothe and de Booth, indicating regional and cultural influences. The Booth surname became prominent in medieval England, and notable bearers of the name include the infamous actor John Wilkes Booth, known for assassinating President Abraham Lincoln.

Countries of origin for the last name Booth

The last name Booth is of English origin and is classified as a topographic surname, indicating that it was originally given to individuals based on their place of residence or geographical features. The name Booth derives from the Old English word “both,” meaning “a small house or shelter.”

One of the earliest recorded instances of the surname Booth can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086, an extensive survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror. The book documents a manor named “Boctone” in Cheshire, indicating the presence of the Booth family in the region during that time.

Notably, the surname Booth has multiple possible origins and variations, which further adds to its historical significance. In some cases, it may have originated as a locational name, denoting someone who lived near a cattle enclosure or a deer park. Additionally, it can be an occupational name derived from the Old Norse word “boð,” meaning “to proclaim” or “a herald.” This suggests a potential connection to medieval messengers or criers who were known as “booths.”

Throughout history, the Booth surname has been associated with several prominent individuals who have made significant contributions in various fields. One such example is John Wilkes Booth, an American actor who infamously assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Although John Wilkes Booth’s actions stain the Booth name, it is crucial to recognize that surnames cannot be judged solely based on the actions of a few individuals.

Interestingly, the Booth surname has also made an appearance in popular culture. Many may be familiar with the character “Booth” from the television series “Bones,” portrayed by actor David Boreanaz. This character, a skilled FBI agent, demonstrates the diversity and versatility of individuals who bear the surname Booth.

It is important to note that the meaning and significance of a surname can vary among different branches of a family. As individuals spread geographically and culturally, their interpretation and understanding of their surname may diverge. Thus, while we can provide a comprehensive analysis of the last name Booth based on available historical records and linguistic research, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential for individual variation and unique family histories that may add further depth to the significance of the name.

Interesting facts about the last name Booth

  • The surname Booth is of English origin.
  • It is a locational surname derived from the Old English word “both,” meaning “hut” or “shelter.”
  • The name likely originated as a topographic surname for someone living near a small hut or a temporary shelter.
  • One of the earliest recorded instances of the surname Booth is found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where a man named Bruning le Bothe is mentioned.
  • In England, the surname Booth is most commonly associated with the county of Lancashire.
  • A notable historical figure with the surname Booth is John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
  • Another famous individual with the surname Booth is Edwin Booth, a prominent 19th-century American actor and the brother of John Wilkes Booth.
  • The surname Booth is not limited to English-speaking countries, as it can also be found in other parts of the world, including Ireland, where it is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Mac Bothaigh.
  • Various spellings and variations of the surname Booth exist, including Bothe, Bouth, Boote, and Boot.
  • The surname Booth is relatively common in the United States, with a concentration of Booth families found in Ohio, Texas, and Illinois.

Name Rank


There are around 49402 people with the last name Booth in the US

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