Explore the Family Name Colvin

The meaning of Colvin

1. Scottish and Irish (Donegal, Antrim): variant of Colville, probably reflecting a local pronunciation. The name was taken to Ulster in the 17th century. 2. Manx: if not identical with 1, perhaps from the Old Norse personal name Kolbeinn, with /v/ substituted for /b/. 3. English: from the rare Middle English personal name Colwin, Colvin, which may be a borrowing into English of a Welsh name whose modern form is Collwyn ‘white’, or of colwyn ‘doe, puppy, pet dog’, or of the placename Colwyn (Denbighshire, Radnorshire).

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

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

According to data derived from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Colvin has slightly diminished in recent years. In 2000, Colvin ranked as the 1,495th most popular surname but dropped somewhat to become the 1,592nd most common by 2010, a change of -6.49%. However, despite this shift in ranking, the overall count of individuals bearing the surname Colvin increased by 2.7% with 22,499 instances recorded in 2010, up from 21,908 in 2000. Proportionally, though, there was a decrease of -6.03%, with 7.63 Colvins per 100,000 people in 2010 compared to 8.12 per 100,000 in 2000.

Proportion per 100k8.127.63-6.03%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Colvin

In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals some interesting shifts from 2000 to 2010. The majority of those named Colvin identified as white, although that number decreased slightly from 77.58% to 75.23%. On the other hand, the proportion of Colvins identifying as Hispanic saw the greatest increase, rising by 42.00% to 2.84%. Those identifying as Black also increased, moving up to 18.65% from 17.75%. There were slight increases among those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaskan Native, at 19.15% and 18.52% respectively. Finally, those who identified with two or more races rose by 25.45%, making up 2.07% of all Colvins in 2010.

Two or More Races1.65%2.07%25.45%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.54%0.64%18.52%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.47%0.56%19.15%

Colvin 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 Colvin is British & Irish, which comprises 52.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.8%) and Eastern European (3.6%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Nigerian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Italian.

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British & Irish52.9%
French & German22.8%
Eastern European3.6%

Possible origins of the surname Colvin

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 Colvin have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Glasgow City, United Kingdom85.40%
Greater London, United Kingdom85.40%
Merseyside, United Kingdom85.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom84.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom84.50%

What Colvin 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 Colvin 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-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Gibbons, Mccauley, Griffith, Davies, Humphries, Barrow, Logan, Karr, Lloyd, Oliver.

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

colvinPaternal 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 Colvin 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.

"Colvin" Surname 44.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Colvin" Surname 25.7%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Colvin" Surname 19.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Colvin" Surname 20.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Colvin?

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 Colvin 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%