Explore the Family Name Brooks

The meaning of Brooks

1. English: usually a variant of Brook, with excrescent -s. The optional addition of -s, with no grammatical function, is usually post-medieval, but some examples of the same person’s name occurring with and without -(e)s have been noted as early as the 14th century in South Lancashire. The -es in such cases probably has neither a plural nor a genitival function, and the name means ‘dweller at the brook’, not ‘dweller at the brooks’. A plural sense cannot be ruled out elsewhere, but a non-grammatical -(e)s must also be considered a strong possibility. 2. Americanized form of German Brucks. 3. Americanized form of Dutch Broeks, an inflected form of Broek, see Brook. 4. Americanized form of one or more similar (like-sounding) Jewish surnames. History: This name was brought independently to North America from England by numerous different bearers from the 17th century onward. Among them were William Brooks, who brought the name to Scituate, MA, from Kent, England, in 1635, and Henry Brooks, who came to Woburn, MA, in or before 1649.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Brooks saw a slight decline between 2000 and 2010. The rank of the Brooks surname dropped from 77 to 82, representing a 6.49% decrease in its ranking. However, the total count of individuals with the Brooks surname rose by 4.53% from 240,751 in 2000 to 251,663 in 2010. This resulted in a small dip in the proportion per 100,000 people from 89.25 to 85.32, indicating a slight decrease in the popularity of the surname.

Proportion per 100k89.2585.32-4.4%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Brooks

For ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data showed interesting shifts in the ethnic identity associated with the Brooks surname from 2000 to 2010. While the percentage of individuals identifying as White decreased by 3.99%, those identifying as Black increased slightly by 2.45%. The most significant growth was seen among those who identified as Hispanic, which increased by 53.09%. There were also incremental increases for those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native. Notably, the percentage of individuals identifying with two or more races grew by almost 40%, highlighting an increasing diversity within the population carrying the Brooks surname.

Two or More Races1.83%2.56%39.89%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.75%0.79%5.33%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.41%0.48%17.07%

Brooks 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 Brooks is British & Irish, which comprises 49.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (20.9%) and Nigerian (5.0%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Ashkenazi Jewish, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Italian.

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British & Irish49.4%
French & German20.9%

Possible origins of the surname Brooks

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 Brooks have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom79.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom79.60%
Merseyside, United Kingdom79.00%
West Midlands, United Kingdom78.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom78.70%

What Brooks 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 Brooks 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-P311 and R-Z12, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Smith, Brown, Wilson, Hill, Taylor, Green, Harris, White, Mitchell, Johnson.

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

brooksPaternal 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 Brooks 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.

"Brooks" Surname 42.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Brooks" Surname 28.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Brooks" Surname 23.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Brooks" Surname 19.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Brooks?

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 Brooks 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%