Explore the Family Name Birch

The meaning of Birch

English, German, Danish, and Swedish: topographic name for someone who lived by a birch tree or in a birch wood, from an ancient Germanic word meaning ‘birch’ (Old English birce, byrce ‘birch’, Middle High German birche, Old Danish birk). In some cases the German and English name may be derived from any of the places called with this word, such as Birch in Aargau (see Birke) or Birch in Essex. In Swedish, the name is in many instances ornamental.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Birch saw a decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Birch was ranked as the 2,807th most popular surname, but by 2010 it had slipped to 2,954th place, marking a decline of 5.24 percent. However, despite this slip in rankings, the actual number of people bearing the surname Birch increased from 11,745 in 2000 to 12,161 in 2010, representing a rise of 3.54 percent. The proportion of individuals with the surname Birch per 100,000 also decreased slightly from 4.35 in 2000 to 4.12 in 2010.

20002010Change
Rank#2,807#2,954-5.24%
Count11,74512,1613.54%
Proportion per 100k4.354.12-5.29%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Birch

Analyzing the ethnic identity associated with the surname Birch, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals some shifts over the decade from 2000 to 2010. Individuals identifying as White formed the largest group, although their percentage declined from 84.92 percent in 2000 to 82.79 percent in 2010. There was a marked increase in those identifying as Hispanic, growing from 1.92 percent to 3.08 percent—a change of 60.42 percent. Individuals identifying as Black or African American increased slightly from 10.40 percent to 10.95 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and those indicating they were of two or more races also rose, while the percentage of those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native remained relatively stable.

20002010Change
White84.92%82.79%-2.51%
Black10.4%10.95%5.29%
Hispanic1.92%3.08%60.42%
Two or More Races1.63%1.87%14.72%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.61%0.77%26.23%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.51%0.54%5.88%

Birch 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 Birch is British & Irish, which comprises 54.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (20.0%) and Eastern European (5.0%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian, and Indigenous American.

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

ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish54.9%
French & German20.0%
Eastern European5.0%
Other20.1%
Birch

Possible origins of the surname Birch

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 Birch have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Glasgow City, United Kingdom84.70%
Merseyside, United Kingdom84.70%
West Midlands, United Kingdom84.70%
Greater London, United Kingdom84.70%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom84.50%

What Birch 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 Birch 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-M405 and E-V13, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Sheppard, Cooke, Jaeger, Smith, Mueller, Schilling, Grey, Janssen, Schumacher, Miller.

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

birchPaternal 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 Birch 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.

Preferences

Birch

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Birch" Surname 36.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Birch

Misophonia

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

"Birch" Surname 33.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Birch

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Birch" Surname 19.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Birch

Migraine

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

"Birch" Surname 20.0%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Birch?

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 Birch 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%