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Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

The Philo one name study was started over 20 years ago by Peter Prismall but in 2011 the study was passed over to me to continue. My interest was kindled by my mothers unusual maiden name - PHILO

Variant names

Early documents have the name spelt PHILOE, PHILOW, PHYLOE and PHYLO (amongst others) but none of these variants has survived in the UK

Name origin

The origin of the name is not known - it has been suggested that it may be of Huguenot origin.

Name frequency

The Philo surname is rare in England and Wales (and most other countries). In the 1851 census there were 94 Philo's or variants representing 0.00040% of the population, 57 of these Philo's lived in Norfolk. In the 1901 census there were 226 Philos or 0.00061% of the population but only 19 lived in Norfolk

Distribution of the name

The earliest Philo surnames that can be linked to living descendants occur in Norfolk and Essex in the early 1700's, but by the time of the 1901 census most of the Philo's in the UK born in England & Wales were living in London or its suburbs


All of the Philo Birth, Marriage and Death entries from the GRO for England and Wales from 1837 to 2011 have been recorded together with all Philo references from the England and Wales census from 1841 to 1911. The study also includes entries from Parish Registers from England and Wales and other information from Philo families who emigrated from the UK to the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
Nearly all of the Philo's in the UK can be linked to one of three Philo family trees


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