Explore the Family Name Curtis

The meaning of Curtis

English: nickname for a refined person, sometimes perhaps given ironically, from Middle English, Old French courteis, courtois, curtis ‘courtly, refined, urbane’ (derivative of Old French court; see Court 1).

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Curtis has slightly decreased over the years. In 2000, it was ranked 280th in terms of commonality, but by 2010, it dropped to a rank of 309, a decline of 10.36 percent. Yet, interestingly, the actual number of people with the Curtis surname increased over this period from 98,958 to 101,801, a modest rise of 2.87 percent. The proportion of people named Curtis per 100,000 also decreased from 36.68 in 2000 to 34.51 in 2010, representing a 5.92 percent reduction.

Proportion per 100k36.6834.51-5.92%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Curtis

The ethnicity associated with the surname Curtis saw some shifts between the 2000 and 2010 Decennial U.S. Census. During this decade, there was an increase in the percentage of people with this surname identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander (from 0.41% to 0.53%), as having two or more races (from 1.56% to 2.13%), and as Hispanic (from 1.67% to 2.57%). Meanwhile, the percentage identifying as Black rose slightly from 15.42% to 15.84%. There was a minor decrease in those identifying as White, declining from 79.88% in 2000 to 77.90% in 2010. The percentage of people with the Curtis surname identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native also dipped slightly from 1.07% in 2000 to 1.03% in 2010.

Two or More Races1.56%2.13%36.54%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.07%1.03%-3.74%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.41%0.53%29.27%

Curtis 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 Curtis is British & Irish, which comprises 51.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.3%) and Scandinavian (4.3%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Spanish & Portuguese, and Nigerian.

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British & Irish51.7%
French & German23.3%

Possible origins of the surname Curtis

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 Curtis have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom83.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom83.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom83.10%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom82.90%
West Midlands, United Kingdom82.70%

What Curtis 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 Curtis 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-M467 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Reed, Atkinson, Smith, Green, Cooper, White, Brown, Taylor, Thompson, Adams.

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

curtisPaternal 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 Curtis 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.

"Curtis" Surname 42.9%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Curtis" Surname 30.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Curtis" Surname 22.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Curtis" Surname 18.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Curtis?

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 Curtis 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%