Explore the Family Name Barlow

The meaning of Barlow

English: habitational name from any of several places called Barlow, especially those in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The former is named with Old English bere ‘barley’ + hlāw ‘hill’; the latter probably has as its first element the derived adjective beren or the compound bere-ærn ‘barn’. There is also a place of this name in Derbyshire, named with Old English bār ‘boar’ or bere ‘barley’ + lēah ‘woodland clearing’, and one in Shropshire, which is from bere ‘barley’ + lēah.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Barlow in the United States?

According to the data derived from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Barlow has seen a slight decrease in rank from 1041 in 2000 to 1047 in 2010, marking a change of -0.58. However, the count of people with this surname increased by 8.41 percent during the same period, growing from 30,749 to 33,335. The proportion of people named Barlow per 100,000 also saw a minor decrease from 11.4 in 2000 to 11.3 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k11.411.3-0.88%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Barlow

In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals notable changes between 2000 and 2010. The percentage of people named Barlow who identified as Asian/Pacific Islander increased by 30.95 percent, while those identifying as two or more races saw an increase of 24.16 percent. The largest growth was observed among those of Hispanic ethnic identity, which rose by 49.62 percent. The percentage of individuals who identify as White fell slightly, from 82.57 to 81.17 percent. Similarly, there was a minor increase in the Black community, from 13.09 to 13.30 percent. The American Indian and Alaskan Native group witnessed a growth of 3.54 percent. It's important to note that some data may have been suppressed for privacy reasons.

Two or More Races1.49%1.85%24.16%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.13%1.17%3.54%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.42%0.55%30.95%

Barlow ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Barlow is British & Irish, which comprises 56.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.2%) and Eastern European (4.3%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Nigerian.

Ready to learn more about your ancestry? Get the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown on the market by taking our DNA test. Shop 23andMe

British & Irish56.9%
French & German22.2%
Eastern European4.3%

Possible origins of the surname Barlow

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Barlow have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom87.20%
Greater London, United Kingdom87.20%
West Midlands, United Kingdom86.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom86.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom86.80%

What Barlow haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Barlow is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Maxwell, Trimble, Whitney, Mckenna, Mcnulty, Justice, Massey, Culver, Mccabe, Mayfield.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Barlow surname are: H1, H3, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

barlowPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Barlow have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Barlow" Surname 37.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Barlow" Surname 24.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Barlow" Surname 23.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Barlow" Surname 16.0%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Barlow?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Barlow are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%