Explore the Family Name Coffin

The meaning of Coffin

English (southwestern England, of Norman origin) and French: nickname from Middle English cofin, coffin, Old French cof(f)in (from Late Latin cophinus, Greek kophinos) ‘container, basket; coffer, chest (for keeping treasures, documents, armour, etc.)’. Early bearers of this as a hereditary surname were of knightly rank. Old French cofin was synonymous with coffer, and it may be that Cofin was used to denote a keeper of the (royal) coffer, attested in Anglo-Latin cofferarius. Compare Coffer. The modern English word coffin is a specialized development of this term, not attested until the 16th century. History: Tristram Coffin came from Brixham, Devon, to Haverhill, MA, before 1647. An important line of his descendants is associated with Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Coffin saw a minor decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked 3985th most common in the US, but by 2010, it had slipped to 4274th, signifying a change of -7.25%. However, the overall count of individuals with this surname slightly increased from 8,183 in 2000 to 8,312 in 2010, marking a growth rate of 1.58%. The proportion per 100k people also declined marginally from 3.03 in 2000 to 2.82 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k3.032.82-6.93%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Coffin

In terms of ethnicity tied to the surname Coffin, according to Decennial U.S. Census data, the majority of individuals identified as White, although this percentage decreased slightly from 92.78% in 2000 to 91.34% in 2010. There was a notable increase in those identifying as Hispanic, rising from 1.33% in 2000 to 2.25% in 2010, representing a 69.17% change. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native both saw modest increases, while the percentage of people identifying as Black decreased slightly. Notably, there was a significant rise in individuals identifying as two or more races, increasing by 36.36%.

Two or More Races1.1%1.5%36.36%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.98%1.18%20.41%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.99%1%1.01%

Coffin 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 Coffin is British & Irish, which comprises 54.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (24.6%) and Scandinavian (4.0%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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

British & Irish54.5%
French & German24.6%

Possible origins of the surname Coffin

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 Coffin have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom92.50%
Greater London, United Kingdom92.50%
West Midlands, United Kingdom92.50%
Lancashire, United Kingdom92.50%
Merseyside, United Kingdom92.00%

What Coffin 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 Coffin is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L51 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Mattingly, Gagnon, Haskell, Levesque, Barnum, Fortin, Landry, Peabody, Mcshane, Casto.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Coffin surname are: H1, U2_3_4_7_8_9, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

coffinPaternal 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 Coffin 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.

"Coffin" Surname 38.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Coffin" Surname 18.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Coffin" Surname 14.3%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Coffin" Surname 19.6%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Coffin?

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 Coffin 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%