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Origins of the Bishop surname

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What does the name Bishop mean?

Bishop is an English surname with a number of points of origin. Most often it can arrive as a nickname, given to someone who looked (or acted) like a member of the clergy. It can also come from the pageant tradition of electing a 'boy-bishop' on St Nicholas' Day festivals, a common occurrence in the medieval era, or a person who plays the character of a Bishop in performances of the time.

Alternative variations of the name Bishop

Bishop, Bischop, Bishope, Bishup, Beshop

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Where do most Bishops live?

In 1921, most Bishops lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Bishops

How common is your surname?

167th most common surname in the UK

We have 221,000 records for the Bishop surname. The oldest one dates back to 1100.

Who were Bishops most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Bishops.

What are the most common Bishop first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Bishop family members

Common jobs for Bishops

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Bishops in 1921




General Servant Domestic


Domestic Servant


House Servant


Common Male occupations for Bishops in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer


Farm Labourer






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