What is the origin of the last name Yarbrough?

The last name Yarbrough has English origins, derived from the combination of two elements. The first element "yar" is derived from the Old English word "gear," meaning "spear" or "yew tree," indicating association with archery or a place with yew trees. The second element "brough" is derived from the Old English word "burh" or "buruh," meaning "fortress" or "stronghold," suggesting an ancestral connection to a fortified place or a local geographic feature. Thus, the surname Yarbrough likely originated as an occupational or locational surname, referring to someone living near or identified with a fortified place associated with yew trees or archery in medieval England.

Countries of origin for the last name Yarbrough

The last name Yarbrough is of English origin and is classified as a habitational surname, meaning that it is derived from the name of a place. Specifically, it is believed to have originated from a place called Yarborough, which is located in the county of Lincolnshire in England.

In terms of etymology, the name Yarbrough can be broken down into two parts: “yar” and “brough.” The element “yar” is thought to come from the Old English word “eorth,” which means “earth” or “land.” The element “brough” is derived from the Old Norse word “borg,” meaning “fort” or “stronghold.” Therefore, the name Yarbrough can be understood to mean “fort on the land” or “stronghold on the earth.”

As with many surnames, various spellings and forms of Yarbrough have evolved over time. These include Yarborough, Yerborough, Yarberg, and Yardborough. Such variations can often be attributed to factors like regional dialects, illiteracy, and the lack of standardized spelling in earlier centuries.

The Yarbrough surname has a long history dating back to medieval times. Records indicate that it was first recorded in England in the 13th century. Over the centuries, individuals bearing the Yarbrough name have been documented in various historical records, including parish registers, census records, and land deeds.

Although the name Yarbrough has its origins in England, it has since spread to other parts of the world, including the United States. Migration and immigration have played a significant role in the dissemination of this surname. Many individuals with the last name Yarbrough can be found across different states in the U.S., with notable concentrations in states such as Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi.

Today, individuals with the Yarbrough surname continue to bear a connection to their ancestral roots, preserving a sense of identity and heritage. While the specific history and significance of the name may vary for each Yarbrough family, the shared surname serves as a reminder of their ancestral origins and the enduring legacy of their predecessors.

Interesting facts about the last name Yarbrough

  • The surname Yarbrough is of English origin and is derived from the Old English words “gear” meaning “spear” and “beorg” meaning “fort” or “hill.” Therefore, Yarbrough can be interpreted to mean “fortress of spears” or “hill of spears.”
  • The Yarbrough surname has been found primarily in the Southern United States, particularly in states like Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.
  • In the early 17th century, the Yarbrough family migrated from England to Virginia, where they settled and established their presence in the New World.
  • Several variants of the Yarbrough surname exist, including Yarborough, Yarboro, Yarber, and Yarbary.
  • The Yarbrough surname is relatively uncommon, ranking at around 7,000th most popular in the United States.
  • Throughout history, individuals with the Yarbrough surname have engaged in a variety of professions, including military service, agriculture, and politics.
  • Notable individuals with the Yarbrough surname include William P. Yarborough, a Major General in the United States Army who played a significant role in the development of unconventional warfare tactics.
  • The Yarbrough surname has deep roots in African American communities, with many individuals tracing their ancestry back to enslaved people who adopted the surname after Emancipation.
  • The Yarbrough family name has become synonymous with qualities such as strength, loyalty, and perseverance.

Name Rank


There are around 24749 people with the last name Yarbrough in the US

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