How Many Wathens are There?

How Many Wathens are There?

As you might expect, it’s not at all unusual for my kids to see me researching and writing about Wathen genealogy. One of my sons is particularly fascinated by the work. He recently asked me, “How many Wathens are there, anyway?” I didn’t know the answer to that question but was able to find some interesting information at I don’t know how precise those numbers are, but they provide some good general information.

First, according to most recently available statistics, there are approximately 5,846 Wathens around the world. Most Wathens – about 4,570 of us – currently live in the United States, and about 708 remain in England, our country of origin. The website breaks down the data this way:

The last name is most widely held in The United States, where it is held by 4,570 people, or 1 in 79,313. In The United States it is most numerous in: Kentucky, where 17 percent are found, Maryland, where 11 percent are found and Indiana, where 11 percent are found. Other than The United States this surname occurs in 27 countries. It is also found in England, where 12 percent are found and Australia, where 2 percent are found.

When you look at the United States data, it’s interesting to consider that many (if not all) of the Wathens in Kentucky and Indiana came from Maryland. If all the Maryland Wathens descend from the colonial John Wathen who came here in 1670, as I’ve been working to prove, then I’d guess that more U.S. Wathens today descend from him than from any other colonial Wathen.

When some Southern Maryland Wathens moved to Northern Maryland in the eighteenth century, the spelling of the name changed to “Warthen,” so it’s worth including that spelling variation. Forbears says of the Warthen last name, “it is most numerous in: Georgia, where 20 percent reside, Maryland, where 11 percent reside and Florida, where 9 percent reside.” Some have said that the Georgia Warthens came from Maryland, so they may also be relatives.

All in all, I’d say that we have a big family tree!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.