What is the origin of the last name Travis?

The last name Travis is a variant of the medieval English name "Travers," derived from the Old French word "travese," meaning "to cross or pass through." It was likely originally used as a nickname for someone who worked as a gatekeeper or a bridge keeper, or perhaps as a topographical name for someone who lived by a bridge or crossing point. Over time, the name Travis has evolved to become a distinct surname, commonly found in English-speaking countries.

Countries of origin for the last name Travis

The last name Travis has an interesting history and meaning. Here is an in-depth analysis of this surname for a US audience:

The name Travis is primarily of English origin and is classified as a patronymic surname. Patronyms are surnames derived from the given name of the father or paternal ancestor. In the case of Travis, it is a shortened form of the given name “Traver,” which itself is a variant of the name “Trevarris.” However, the specific origins of the name Trevarris are not definitively known.

The name Travis can also be traced back to its French roots. It is believed to have originated from the French word “traverser,” meaning “to cross” or “to go across.” This association with traversing or crossing suggests that the name Travis may have originally been a descriptive surname, referring to someone who lived near or was associated with a crossing point, such as a bridge or ford, in medieval times.

Throughout history, the name Travis has been found in various regions, including England, France, and the United States. It gained popularity as a surname, particularly in England, during the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. In the United States, the name Travis became more prevalent following the settlement of English colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries.

One notable figure with the last name Travis is William Barret Travis, an American lawyer and military leader. He played a significant role in the Texas Revolution and is best known for his leadership and courage during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. William B. Travis’ bravery and sacrifice have made him a legendary figure in American history.

The popularity of the surname Travis has remained consistent over time. According to data from the United States Census Bureau, Travis ranks as the 85th most common surname in the country, with an estimated frequency of occurrence around 0.03%. This suggests that there are a significant number of individuals with the last name Travis living in the United States today.

Despite the available information on the origins and meaning of the last name Travis, some aspects of its history and etymology remain uncertain. There may be regional variations or alternative explanations that have not been fully explored or documented. Further research and analysis could uncover additional insights into the name’s origins and significance.

Interesting facts about the last name Travis

  • The surname Travis has English origins and is derived from the Old French word “traverser,” meaning “to cross or go across.”
  • The name first appeared in England in the 12th century and was originally used as a nickname for someone who lived near a bridge or ford.
  • As a surname, Travis has various spellings and variations, including Travers, Traverse, Traverser, and Traves.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Travis include American country music singer Randy Travis and American astronaut David M. Brown.
  • The Travis surname is relatively common in the United States, particularly in the states of Texas and Kentucky.
  • The popularity of the name Travis increased significantly in the late 20th century, likely influenced by the success of Randy Travis in the music industry.
  • The Travis DNA Project was established to help individuals with the Travis surname and its variations trace their ancestry through genetic testing.
  • In England, the name Travis is associated with the county of Cornwall, where it is most commonly found.
  • The meaning of the name Travis can symbolize crossing barriers or obstacles, representing a determined and adventurous nature.
  • Travis County, located in central Texas, was named after William Barret Travis, a commander at the Battle of the Alamo.

Name Rank


There are around 34985 people with the last name Travis in the US

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