Explore the Family Name Benson

The meaning of Benson

1. English: patronymic from the medieval personal name Ben(ne), a pet form of Benedict (see Benn) + -son. 2. English: habitational name from a place in Oxfordshire named Benson, from Old English Benesingtūn ‘settlement (Old English tūn) associated with Benesa’, a personal name of obscure origin, perhaps a derivative of Bana meaning ‘slayer’. 3. Americanized form of any of various Scandinavian patronymics from the personal name Bengt, Bendt, etc., Scandinavian forms of Benedict, e.g. Swedish Bengtsson, Danish Bendtsen, Danish and Norwegian Bentsen. Compare Bensen 2. 4. In some cases also an Americanized form of Norwegian and Danish Berntsen or Bernsen, and probably also of Swedish Berntsson (see Berntson) or Bernsson. Compare Bensen 3 and Bernson. 5. German: patronymic from a short form of the personal name Benjamin or Bernhard. 6. Jewish (Ashkenazic): patronymic from a pet form of the personal name Beniamin (see Bien, Benjamin) + German Sohn ‘son’.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Benson saw a slight dip in popularity from 2000 to 2010. The rank of the name fell from 332 in 2000 to 365 in 2010, marking a drop of 9.94%. However, despite decreasing in rank, the count of individuals bearing the surname increased by 2.19%, jumping from 84,233 in 2000 to 86,081 in 2010. This indicates that while the name did not hold as high a rank, it was adopted by more individuals during this period. The proportion of Bensons per 100,000 people similarly decreased by 6.53%, moving from 31.22 to 29.18.

Proportion per 100k31.2229.18-6.53%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Benson

In terms of ethnicity, data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows some shifts among those carrying the Benson surname between 2000 and 2010. The largest increase was seen in the Hispanic community, with a 55.48% jump. Asian/Pacific Islanders and those identifying with two or more races had increases of 29.51% and 31.76% respectively. The proportion of Bensons within the Black community grew by 3.77%, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native group saw an increase of 4.05%. The only decrease occurred among Whites, where the proportion dropped by 2.66%, falling from 79.98% in 2000 to 77.85% in 2010.

Two or More Races1.48%1.95%31.76%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.61%0.79%29.51%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.74%0.77%4.05%

Benson 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 Benson is British & Irish, which comprises 43.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.7%) and Scandinavian (11.8%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Nigerian.

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British & Irish43.9%
French & German21.7%

Possible origins of the surname Benson

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 Benson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom81.20%
Merseyside, United Kingdom81.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom81.00%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom80.80%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom80.10%

What Benson 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 Benson 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 I-L205.1 and I-L22, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Nelson, Anderson, Thompson, Matthews, Johnson, Peterson, King, Smith, Olson, Pearson.

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

bensonPaternal 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 Benson 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.

"Benson" Surname 41.9%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Benson" Surname 26.7%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Benson" Surname 19.3%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Benson" Surname 16.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Benson?

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 Benson 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%