What is the origin of the last name Snow?

The last name Snow is of English origin and originated as a topographic surname to describe someone who lived near or on a snowy hill, or it could have been a nickname given to a person with a very light complexion or hair. Derived from the Old English word "snaw," meaning "snow," the name Snow dates back to medieval times and has been found in various regions of England. As a common English surname, it continues to be passed down through generations, preserving the historical connection to snowy landscapes or physical attributes.

Countries of origin for the last name Snow

The last name Snow is a common English surname with origins that can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The name derives from the Old English word “snaw,” meaning snow, and was likely used as a nickname for someone with a fair complexion or white hair. Snow is a relatively straightforward surname, without many variations or alternative spellings.

Historical records indicate that the surname Snow has been present in England since at least the 13th century. Early instances of the name can be found in various counties across the country, including Yorkshire, Northumberland, and Norfolk. Over time, individuals with the surname Snow migrated to other parts of the British Isles, as well as to colonies and territories influenced by English settlement.

As with many English surnames, the meaning and significance of the name Snow evolved over the centuries. While its original association with fair complexion or white hair remains relevant, it is important to note that surnames often acquired additional meanings and connotations over time. Families with the surname Snow may have adopted the name due to an ancestral connection with a snowy landscape or a place named Snow, reflecting the geographic-based origins of many surnames.

Genealogical research reveals that individuals with the last name Snow have a diverse range of geographical origins within England and later across the United States. Census records and other sources indicate concentrations of the Snow surname in counties such as Yorkshire, Devon, and Norfolk, but significant populations can also be found in other regions of England. The surname Snow has also been introduced to other countries through migration, with substantial numbers of Snows found in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

While the surname Snow does not possess any specific associations with notable historical figures or renowned families, it has been carried by individuals from various walks of life. An investigation into the notable individuals with the surname Snow reveals a range of professions and accomplishments, including authors, musicians, actors, and athletes. This diversity underscores the lack of a specific societal position associated with the name, allowing individuals with the last name Snow to forge their own paths and contributions.

Overall, the last name Snow has a rich and varied history, stemming from its Old English origins and evolving over time. Its association with snow, fair complexions, and white hair provides a glimpse into the historical context that shaped the name. However, the surname Snow is not constrained by any specific meaning or ancestral background, allowing those who bear the name to embrace its versatility. With its widespread distribution across England and other English-influenced countries, the surname Snow offers a sense of connection and heritage to individuals who proudly bear it today.

Interesting facts about the last name Snow

  • The surname Snow is of English origin and is derived from the Old English word “snaw,” meaning “snow.”
  • It is a topographic surname, usually given to someone who lived near a hill covered in snow, or to those who had a pale complexion resembling snow.
  • The surname Snow is fairly common in English-speaking countries, particularly in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
  • In the United States, the highest concentration of individuals with the surname Snow can be found in the states of Maine, Utah, and Vermont.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Snow include American journalist and television news anchor, John Snow, and American singer and songwriter, Phoebe Snow.
  • The Snow surname has variations in different languages, such as “Schnee” in German and “Neige” in French.
  • According to genealogical records, the first documented use of the surname Snow dates back to the 12th century in England.
  • The Snow family motto is “Perseverantia et Labore,” which translates to “Through perseverance and labor.”
  • The surname Snow has spawned a number of compound surnames, such as Snowball, Snowdon, and Snowman.
  • In literature, the famous character Jon Snow from George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series and its television adaptation, “Game of Thrones,” bears the surname Snow.

Name Rank


There are around 47528 people with the last name Snow in the US

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