Explore the Family Name Beck

The meaning of Beck

1. English: topographic name for someone who lived beside a stream, from northern Middle English bekke ‘stream’ (Old Norse bekkr). 2. English (of Norman origin): habitational name from any of various places in northern France named Bec, for example Bec Hellouin in Eure, named with Old Norman French bec ‘stream’, from the same Old Norse root as in 1 above. 3. English: from the Middle English personal name Becke (Old English Becca or Beocca), of uncertain origin. 4. English: probably a nickname for someone with a prominent nose, from Middle English bek, bekke ‘beak (of a bird)’ (Old French bec). 5. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): occupational name for a baker, a cognate of Becker, from (older) South German beck, West Yiddish bek ‘baker’. Some Jewish bearers of the name claim that it is an acronym of Hebrew ben-kedoshim ‘son of martyrs’, i.e. a name taken by one whose parents had been martyred for being Jews. The German surname is also found in France (mainly Alsace and Lorraine), Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, and Croatia. Compare Bek 1. 6. North German and Dutch: topographic name for someone who lived by a stream, from Low German beke, Dutch beck ‘stream’. Compare the High German form Bach 1 and Dutch Bek 6. 7. Danish and Norwegian: habitational name from a farmstead named Bekk, Bæk, or Bäck, from Old Norse bekkr ‘stream, brook’, denoting a farm by a stream. 8. Swedish: variant of Bäck (see Back). This surname may also be of German origin (see above). 9. Americanized or Germanized form of Polish, Rusyn, Czech, Croatian, or Slovenian Bek, in the last two languages a cognate of the German name in 5 above.

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

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

According to data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Beck experienced a slight decrease and shift in its standing from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Beck ranked as the 295th most popular surname, while in 2010, it descended to the 328th position, marking an 11.19% drop in rank. However, the count of individuals bearing the surname Beck saw a marginal increase of 0.67%, growing from 93,161 in 2000 to 93,786 in 2010. Consequently, the proportion per 100k people reduced by 7.94%, indicating that the name has become slightly less common in the population.

Proportion per 100k34.5331.79-7.94%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Beck

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Beck also underwent changes between 2000 and 2010, based on the Decennial U.S. Census data. The White ethnicity, which formed the majority, decreased slightly from 91.73% to 90.27%. On the other hand, those identifying as Hispanic showed the most significant increase, rising by 56.12% over the decade. Individuals of Asian/Pacific Islander descent also increased by 27.59%, while those identifying as two or more races rose by 34.96%. The percentage of Black individuals carrying the surname Beck was relatively stable, increasing only marginally from 4.47% to 4.53%. Lastly, the American Indian and Alaskan Native group saw a 5% increase in the ten-year period.

Two or More Races1.23%1.66%34.96%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.58%0.74%27.59%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.6%0.63%5%

Beck 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 Beck is British & Irish, which comprises 42.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (29.7%) and Eastern European (5.6%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish42.4%
French & German29.7%
Eastern European5.6%

Possible origins of the surname Beck

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 Beck have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom79.80%
Merseyside, United Kingdom79.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom79.60%
West Midlands, United Kingdom79.50%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom79.40%

What Beck 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 Beck is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L48 and R-L2, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Meyer, Schmidt, Wagner, Miller, Mueller, Hoffman, Weber, Schneider, Fisher, Myers.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Beck surname are: H1, T2b, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

beckPaternal 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 Beck 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.

"Beck" Surname 44.9%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Beck" Surname 29.0%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Beck" Surname 21.3%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Beck" Surname 18.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Beck?

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 Beck 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%