Explore the Family Name Bunnell

The meaning of Bunnell

English: 1. habitational name from Bunwell in Norfolk. The placename is from Old English bune ‘reed’ + wella ‘spring, stream’. Old forms of the surname suggest a second, non-habitational source. 2. (of Norman origin): possibly from French Bunel, a shortened form of Busonal, a nickname derived from buson ‘buzzard’ used for someone considered simple, silly.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Bunnell has seen a slight shift in popularity over the years. In 2000, it ranked 5,287 in popularity with a count of 6,058, which translates to 2.25 per 100,000 people. By 2010, its rank slipped to 5,472 even though the total count increased to 6,355, dropping the proportion to 2.15 per 100,000. This represents a 3.5% decrease in rank and a 4.9% increase in the overall count.

Proportion per 100k2.252.15-4.44%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Bunnell

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Bunnell also displayed some variations between 2000 and 2010, according to data from the Decennial U.S. Census. While the majority of Bunnells identified as White, decreasing slightly from 94.12% to 92.95%, there were increases in other groups. Those identifying as two or more races saw a significant increase of 54.55%, going from 1.21% to 1.87%. The percentage of Bunnells identifying as Hispanic rose by 33.81% from 1.39% to 1.86%. The Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, and American Indian and Alaskan Native identifications remained relatively stable, each comprising less than 3% of Bunnells.

Two or More Races1.21%1.87%54.55%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.54%0.6%11.11%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.58%0.58%0%

Bunnell 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 Bunnell is British & Irish, which comprises 48.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (28.5%) and Scandinavian (6.1%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish48.3%
French & German28.5%

Possible origins of the surname Bunnell

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 Bunnell have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Merseyside, United Kingdom90.30%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom90.30%
Greater London, United Kingdom90.30%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom89.60%
Lancashire, United Kingdom88.90%

What Bunnell 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 Bunnell is R-Z159, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-Z159 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L48 and R-P312, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Morehouse, Crenshaw, Cloud, Duquette, Wilbur, Westfall, Logue, Blood, Spurgeon, Elrod.

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

bunnellPaternal 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 Bunnell 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.

"Bunnell" Surname 50.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Bunnell" Surname 20.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Bunnell" Surname 17.3%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Bunnell" Surname 14.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Bunnell?

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 Bunnell 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%