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Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

Research into every occurrence of the ULPH surname began in 1978 and was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 1983. We aim to bring together holders of the name and their descendants through correspondence, newsletters and occasional clan gatherings.

Variant names


Name origin

The surname is one of a group of names that originated in the parish of Burnham Ulph, now part of Burnham Market, Norfolk. Before the acquisition of surnames, ULF (Old Norse meaning 'wolf') was a common name among the Saxons and Vikings of northern Europe. One of these gave his name to Burnham Ulph.

Historical occurrences of the name

Earl ULF, whose ivory drinking horn is one of the treasures of York Minster, was brother-in-law of king Cnut in the eleventh century. Domesday Book of 1086 has 268 references to the name ULF.

Name frequency

Currently there are approximately 400 ULPHs, 100 AULPHs, 80 HULFs and 2 HOLFs of British origin in the world (including spouses). The variants ELPH and ULF are now extinct, except for any of non-British origin.

Distribution of the name

The name ULPH now occurs throughout Britain - mostly in the eastern counties - and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. HULFs are known only in England and AULPHs are now only in the USA and Canada.


Data held includes births, baptisms, adoptions, marriages, deaths, burials, wills, census entries, soldiers' documents, trade directories and court records. Most of these are British records, but the study is worldwide and new contacts and information are always welcome. We have a twice-yearly newsletter, ULPH Family News, which is sent free of charge to anyone interested. The official history of the name is documented in a hardback book, ULPH FAMILY HISTORY, published in 2005.


A DNA project for the name ULPH and its variants was begun in August 2008. At present testing is confined to Y-DNA, for males only. For further details, email the address below.