What is the origin of the last name Dillard?

The last name Dillard is of English origin and its etymology can be traced back to medieval times. Derived from the Old French personal name "Dieulard" or "Dillard," which itself originated from the Germanic elements "theud," meaning "people," and "hard," meaning "hardy" or "brave." Over time, the surname Dillard underwent various phonetic changes and spellings, eventually settling on its current form. This rich historical lineage highlights the influence of medieval French and Germanic cultures on English surnames.

Countries of origin for the last name Dillard

The last name Dillard is of English origin and is a variant spelling of the surname Dillworth. It is a locational name derived from the place called Dillard in Gloucestershire. The name Dillard can be traced back to the Old English word “dil,” which means “slope” or “hill,” and the suffix “-ard,” which signifies “hill” or “ridge.” Therefore, the meaning of the last name Dillard can be interpreted as “someone who lived by or worked on a slope or hill.”

It is believed that the surname Dillard has been in use since at least the 14th century. Early records show variations in spelling, such as Dyllard and Dylard. Over time, the spelling Dillard became the most common form of the surname.

The Dillard surname has been associated with notable individuals throughout history. One such individual is Annie Dillard, an American author best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Another notable figure is James Hardy Dillard, an American educator who played a significant role in improving education for African Americans in the early 20th century.

The Dillard surname is relatively uncommon in the United States. According to the 2010 census, there were approximately 16,280 individuals in the country with the last name Dillard. The highest concentration of Dillards can be found in the southern states, particularly in North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, and Alabama.

There are several known variations and alternative spellings of the Dillard surname, including Dilard, Dillarde, and Dylard. These variations may have originated due to different regional accents, dialects, or transcription errors over time.

Genealogical research reveals that individuals with the last name Dillard have diverse ancestral backgrounds. Some Dillards can trace their roots to England, while others have Irish or Scottish ancestry. This demonstrates the wide-reaching influence of the surname and the migration patterns of families throughout history.

While the exact meaning and origin of the Dillard surname have been established, there are always possibilities for further exploration. Genealogical research continues to uncover new information, connect distant relatives, and shed light on the historical context of surnames. The study of names and their significance provides a window into the rich tapestry of human history and the complexities of our collective heritage.

Interesting facts about the last name Dillard

  • The surname Dillard is of French origin.
  • It is believed to be a variation of the French surname “Dillard,” which means “of the hardy one” or “of the strong one.”
  • The earliest recorded instances of the Dillard surname date back to the 16th century in France.
  • Many Dillard families migrated to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly to the southern states.
  • The Dillard surname can be found across the United States, but it is most commonly associated with the southeastern states such as Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
  • There are several notable individuals with the surname Dillard, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Annie Dillard, known for her works such as “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.”
  • The spelling of the surname may vary, with variations such as Dillarde, Dilard, and Dillart found in historical records.
  • The Dillard surname is relatively uncommon, ranking 5,507th in the United States according to data from the 2000 Census.
  • The name Dillard is often used as a given name as well, particularly in the southern states.
  • Dillard is derived from the Old French word “dure” or “duret,” which means “hard” or “strong.” This suggests that the original Dillard family may have been associated with strength or resilience.

Name Rank


There are around 31021 people with the last name Dillard in the US

Related Names

    Related Regions