Explore the Family Name Bull

The meaning of Bull

1. English: nickname for a strong, aggressive, bull-like man, from Middle English bule, bole. Occasionally, the name may denote a keeper of a bull (compare Bulman), or possibly someone who lived at a building distinguished by the sign of a bull. 2. German (mainly northern): from Middle Low German bulle ‘bull’, used as a nickname for a cattle breeder, keeper, or dealer. Compare South German Ochs. 3. South German: nickname for a short fat man, a variant of Bolle, or a nickname for a man with the physical characteristics of a bull. 4. North German (Büll): see Buell. 5. Native American: translation into English (and shortening) of a personal name based on a word, such as Lakota and Dakota Sioux tataŋka and Cheyenne hotoa’e, meaning ‘bull’ or ‘buffalo’. The importance of the buffalos to Plains Indians is reflected in their traditional personal names, many of which were adopted as surnames (translated into English), e.g. Two Bulls (see Twobulls) and White Bull (see Whitebull). See also Buffalo 2.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Bull saw a slight decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 2936th most popular surname but fell to the 3088th spot in 2010, reflecting a decline of 5.18%. Despite this drop in rank, the actual number of people bearing the surname increased from 11,254 in 2000 to 11,646 in 2010, demonstrating a growth rate of 3.48%.

Proportion per 100k4.173.95-5.28%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Bull

When examining the ethnic identity associated with the surname Bull based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, there were some noticeable changes between 2000 and 2010. The largest proportion of individuals with this surname identified as White, although this percentage dropped slightly from 87.73% in 2000 to 86.12% in 2010. There was a notable increase in those identifying as Hispanic, with this group growing from 1.62% in 2000 to 2.54% in 2010 — a substantial growth of 56.79%. Meanwhile, those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and Black also saw increases of 26.53% and 9.95%, respectively. However, the proportion of individuals identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native or as having two or more races both declined during this decade.

Two or More Races1.27%1.23%-3.15%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.35%1.19%-11.85%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.49%0.62%26.53%

Bull 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 Bull is British & Irish, which comprises 58.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.5%) and Eastern European (4.5%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish58.0%
French & German23.5%
Eastern European4.5%

Possible origins of the surname Bull

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 Bull have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom90.20%
Greater London, United Kingdom90.20%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom90.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom90.20%
Merseyside, United Kingdom89.60%

What Bull 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 Bull is R-M405, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-M405 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Earl, Forrest, Mathias, Warner, Waggoner, Atkinson, Hamm, Curtis, Stubbs, Hood.

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

bullPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to King Louis XVI

The rule of France by men of the House of Bourbon began with King Henri IV in 1589 C.E. and continued until the beheading of his direct paternal descendant King Louis XVI in 1793. Several years ago, researchers analyzed a mummified head and a blood-soaked cloth that they believed might belong to the two kings, and concluded that the royal paternal line belonged to haplogroup G. In a more recent study, however, a different set of researchers tested three living men who are direct descendants of the Bourbon kings. Their efforts revealed that the male lineage of the House of Bourbon is actually a branch of haplogroup R-M405.

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 Bull 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.

"Bull" Surname 46.7%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Bull" Surname 23.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Bull" Surname 25.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Bull" Surname 20.0%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Bull?

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 Bull 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%