Explore the Family Name Cook

The meaning of Cook

1. English: occupational name for a cook, a seller of cooked meats, or a keeper of an eating house, from Middle English cok, coke, cook, couk, cuk(e) (Old English cōc) ‘cook’ or ‘seller of cooked foods’. See also Kew. 2. Irish and Scottish: usually identical in origin with the English name (see 1 above), but in some cases a shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cúg ‘son of Hugo’ (see McCook). 3. Americanized form (translation into English) of various European surnames meaning ‘cook’, such as German and Jewish Koch, Dutch Kook, Polish Kucharz and Kucharczyk, Slovenian and Croatian Kuhar, North German Kuk. 4. Americanized form of Slovenian, Croatian, and Polish Kuk. 5. Americanized form (mistranslation into English) of French Lécuyer ‘squire’ (see Lecuyer). 6. Americanized form of Korean and especially Chinese (Cantonese) Kuk 5–9 or of its variant Kook 3–6.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Cook has seen a slight fluctuation between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Cook was ranked as the 60th most popular surname in the United States, but by 2010 it had dropped to the 65th position — a decrease of 8.33 percent. However, the total count of individuals with the Cook surname increased during this period from 294,795 to 302,589, demonstrating a growth of 2.64 percent. The proportion of Cooks per 100,000 people also slightly decreased by 6.13 percent.

Proportion per 100k109.28102.58-6.13%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Cook

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Cook has also shown some shifts according to the Decennial U.S. Census data. From 2000 to 2010, there was a notable increase in the percentage of Cooks identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander (29.55 percent), Hispanic (52.82 percent), and two or more races (33.78 percent). The percentage of Cooks who identified as Black also rose slightly (2.28 percent), as did those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native (6.98 percent). However, the proportion of Cooks identifying as White saw a small decline of 2.06 percent.

Two or More Races1.48%1.98%33.78%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.86%0.92%6.98%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.44%0.57%29.55%

Cook 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 Cook is British & Irish, which comprises 53.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (24.9%) and Eastern European (3.8%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Nigerian, 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 & Irish53.7%
French & German24.9%
Eastern European3.8%

Possible origins of the surname Cook

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 Cook have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom88.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom88.50%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom88.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom88.10%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.10%

What Cook 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 Cook 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-U152 and R-M405, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Smith, Hill, Miller, White, Young, Brown, Taylor, Meyer, Johnson, Green.

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

cookPaternal 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 Cook 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.



Like Very Hot Weather

Enjoys weather that is hotter than 100 degrees Farenheit.

"Cook" Surname 12.1%

23andMe Users 11.5%




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

"Cook" Surname 27.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%




Ability to make a sound by forcing breath out from between lips or teeth.

"Cook" Surname 79.0%

23andMe Users 84.0%



Chronic Back Pain

Persistent and long-lasting discomfort or soreness in the back, typically lasting for more than three months.

"Cook" Surname 13.4%

23andMe Users 15.0%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Cook?

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 Cook 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%