How many Whitneys?
Miscellaneous > How many Whitneys?
How many people have had the surname Whitney throughout history? How many people today have this surname? How many people are descended from Whitneys? These are all currently unanswered questions, but this page is the start of an effort to solve these questions mathematically.
A review of U.S. and U.K. Census records resulted in the following count of Whitneys:
|Year||HoH - US||Total - US||Total - UK||Total - All|
Numbers in green are estimates based upon known family information.
Numbers in black are from published census indices.
Numbers in red are statistical estimates based upon the other numbers.
Existing data from the count of how many Whitneys there were in the early years (based upon known family growth data) as well as from later years (from census information) was entered into a statistical tool called Minitab. A fitted line was calculated using quadratic regression using the logten of the population numbers. This resulted in a formula which fits the known data fairly well - S=0.0359676 and R-Sq(adj) of 99.9% Using this formula, the following two plots were created. The known population is plotted in blue, and the statistical data is plotted in red. The graph on the left is the actual population graph, and the graph on the right is a logarithmic scale to demonstrate how well this predictive model fits the known population data.
The formula for calculating the population of Whitneys in the United States from 1640 through 1930 is:
Population = 10^(0.7922+0.2296*((Year-1630)/10)-0.00372*((Year-1630)/10)^2)
Early Whitneys in England
How many different Whitney families lived in England between 1500 and 1700? The earliest comprehensive "snapshot" record is the census of 1841. At that time, there were 698 people named Whitney and/or Whitny. In 1851, the census listed 832 individuals, of which 172 were heads of households. The 1881 census listed 1,424 Whitneys, with 301 heads of households. If we assume the same ratio of Whitney households and individuals to the general population in earlier times, we get the following estimate, based on estimates of English population for the earlier periods:
|Year||Total Population of England||Total Whitneys||Total Whitney Heads of Households|
|1541||2,774,000 (est.)||125 (est.)||27 (est.)|
|1600||4,066,000 (est.)||183 (est.)||39 (est.)|
|1640||5,055,000 (est.)||227 (est.)||49 (est.)|
|1700||5,027,000 (est.)||226 (est.)||48 (est.)|
These estimates are, by their nature, limited in their accuracy, but they do allow us to gain some idea of how comprehensive we are in our coverage of this earlier period.
Note: This approach taken from Gifford Origins by Paul Gifford.
© 2006, Tim Doyle