Friday 3 July, 2020

Here are the top 10 surnames in Cayman... and their origins

1. Ebanks

With 4,513 Ebanks in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 14 people, Ebanks is the most popular surname in Cayman. Its origin can be traced back to 7th century England and it is a topographical name for a dweller by the yew-bank in Cumbria England. That said, according to David Wells’ ‘A Brief History of the Cayman Islands,’ “The surname Ebanks is believed to come from a slave owner or merchant, who may have given his first initial and surname, E. Banks, to his slaves and thus it does not come from England.” Contemporary notable name-holders include Caymanian fashion model Selita Ebanks and Caymanian cricketer for the Cayman Islands national cricket team Ryan Ebanks, Ronald Ebanks.

2. Bodden

With 1,799 Boddens in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 36 people, Bodden is the second most popular surname in Cayman. The surname Bodden was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from very early times, and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Caymanian folklore holds that the island's first inhabitants included a man named Bawden (or Bodden), who first arrived in Cayman in 1658 after serving in Oliver Cromwell's army in Jamaica.
 

3. Smith

With 1,078 Smiths in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 59 people, Smith is the third most popular surname in Cayman. Derived from the Anglo-Saxon smitan, meaning "to smite or strike," Smith and its derivations are an occupational name for a man who works with metal (smith or blacksmith), one of the earliest jobs for which specialist skills were required.

4. Scott

With 1,043 Scotts in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 61 people, Scott is the fourth most popular surname in Cayman. The surname Scott first appears in the 12th century and derives from the Anglo-Scottish border and its medieval border clans. The Scott family is believed to have first arrived to Cayman in the early nineteenth century.

5. McLaughlin

With 819 McLaughlins in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 78 people, McLaughlin is the fifth most popular surname in Cayman. It is an ancient Irish surname. The McLaughlins appear to have arrived to Cayman before the mid-1830s. The name is thought to be an alternate spelling of Clan MacLachlan.

6. Jackson

With 750 Jacksons in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 85 people, Jackson is the sixth most popular surname in Cayman. Jackson is a common surname of English and Scottish origin. It literally means "son of Jack". According to, David Wells’ ‘A Brief History of the Cayman Islands,’ “John Shearer Jackson originally came from Chatham, Kent and arrived in Grand Cayman around 1770 when he was about 40 years old.”

7. Whittacker

With 717 Whittackers in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 89 people, Whittacker is the seventh most popular surname in Cayman. Whittacker is a surname of English and Scottish origin, meaning the white acre, also spelled "Whittaker" and "Whitacre." The Cayman Islands has the highest density of the surname Whittacker in the world.

8. Bush

With 702 Bushs in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 91 people, Bush is the eighth most popular surname in Cayman. According to David Wells’ ‘A Brief History of the Cayman Islands,’ “The Bush family is believed to be descended from Charles Christopher, a deserter from the British Army, who, after being stationed at Fort Augustus, Jamaica, jumped ship at Grand Cayman and hid in the bushes on the south side of the island at some point in the 1750s. He started a family, which came to be known as the ‘bushers’ by the Caymanians; his eldest son adopted Bush as his surname.”

9. McField

With 611 McFields in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 105 people, McField is the ninth most popular surname in Cayman. This name is either Scottish or Irish. In Cayman, the surname can be traced back to Robert McField in the early 1800’s. The Cayman Islands has the highest density of the surname McField in the world.

10. Thompson

With 597 Thompsons in Cayman and at an incidence of 1 for every 107 people, Thompson is the tenth most popular surname in Cayman. Thompson is a patronymic surname of Scottish origin, with a variety of spellings, meaning "son of Thom". Thomas Thompson, who came from Penicuik in Scotland, sometime after 1760 brought his cousin, William Thompson, who started another branch of the family in Cayman.

 

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