What is the origin of the last name Compton?

The last name Compton can be traced back to medieval England, specifically to the county of Warwickshire. Derived from a combination of the Old English words "cumb" meaning valley and "tun" meaning settlement or farm, Compton refers to someone who hailed from the settlement in the valley. This toponymic surname denotes an ancestral connection to one of several villages bearing the name Compton in Warwickshire and other parts of the country. Over time, the name Compton has spread beyond England and can be found throughout English-speaking countries today.

Countries of origin for the last name Compton

The last name Compton is of English origin and is classified as a habitational name, which means it is derived from the name of a place where a person or family lived.

The name Compton is derived from the Old English words “cumb” or “combe,” meaning “valley,” and “tun,” meaning “enclosure” or “settlement.”

As a result, Compton means “the settlement in the valley” or “the enclosed settlement in the valley.”

The name Compton is primarily found in England, particularly in the counties of Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Sussex.

Compton is a relatively common surname in the United States, with a concentration in states such as California, Texas, Illinois, and New York.

One notable individual with the surname Compton is Arthur Holly Compton (1892-1962), an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927.

The Compton family name has been recorded in various forms throughout history, including Comptone, Compyne, and Compson.

The surname Compton has likely undergone spelling variations over time due to inconsistent record-keeping practices and regional dialects.

Research indicates that the surname Compton can be traced back to the 12th century in England.

Early records also suggest that the Comptons were a prominent family, holding estates and positions of influence in medieval England.

Historical records show that several Compton families migrated to the American colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries, contributing to the spread of the surname in the United States.

Due to the prevalence of the surname Compton, it is possible that individuals bearing this name may have shared genealogical connections to different ancestral lines.

While extensive research has been conducted on the surname Compton, there may still be undiscovered historical and etymological details waiting to be explored.

Interesting facts about the last name Compton

  • Compton is a prominent English surname derived from the village of Compton, which is located in various counties including Gloucestershire, Berkshire, and Surrey.
  • The name Compton was originally a locational surname, meaning it was given to individuals based on where they resided.
  • The etymology of the name Compton comes from the Old English words “cumb” meaning “valley” and “tun” meaning “settlement” or “enclosure,” implying that the surname represented someone from a settlement in a valley.
  • The Compton family has been historically associated with aristocracy and nobility in England, with several notable members holding titles such as the Earl of Northampton or the Marquess of Northampton.
  • In the United States, Compton is a relatively common surname, particularly among African Americans. This is due to the significant African American population residing in the city of Compton, California, which has become synonymous with urban culture and hip-hop.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Compton include Arthur Holly Compton, a renowned American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927, and Eric “Eazy-E” Compton, a founding member of the influential hip-hop group N.W.A.
  • The surname has alternative spellings such as Comton, Crompton, or Comberbach, which originated from regional variations or Anglicizations of the name.
  • Compton is also the name of several places around the world, including towns in the United States, England, Australia, and Canada. These place names likely derive from the Old English origins of the surname.
  • The Compton surname has inspired the formation of various organizations and businesses, such as the Compton Cricket Club, which aims to provide opportunities for disadvantaged communities, and the Compton Foundation, a philanthropic organization focusing on social and environmental issues.

Name Rank


There are around 35830 people with the last name Compton in the US

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