Explore the Family Name Doe

The meaning of Doe

1. English: nickname from Middle English do(e) ‘doe, female fallow deer’ (Old English dā). 2. English (of Norman origin): habitational name for someone from (French de) Eu in Seine-Maritime, France (Old French d’Eu). The placename derives from the ancient Germanic element auwa ‘water meadow, island’. 3. Americanized form of French Daoust. History: Some of the American Does are descended from Guillaume Daoust from France, who was in QC by 1686 (see Daoust).

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

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

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Doe has seen a decrease over time. In 2000, it ranked as the 2,834th most common surname in the United States, with an estimated count of 11,603 people. However, by 2010, the ranking had fallen to 4,972 and the count reduced to 7,066. This represents a significant change in popularity, with a drop in rank by 75.44% and a 39.1% decline in the number of people with this surname. The proportion per 100,000 also fell by 44.19%, from 4.3 to 2.4.

Proportion per 100k4.32.4-44.19%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Doe

The ethnic identity associated with the Doe surname also underwent changes between 2000 and 2010, according to the Decennial U.S. Census data. While the majority of Doe individuals identified as White in both years (55.34% in 2000 and 54.91% in 2010), there was a slight decrease in this percentage. The second-largest ethnicity group identified as Black, which saw an increase from 24.29% in 2000 to 29.90% in 2010. Hispanic representation decreased slightly, while Asian/Pacific Islander also saw a substantial decrease. Notably, those identifying as Two or more races and American Indian and Alaskan Native also saw decreases, though the latter experienced a small increase.

Asian/Pacific Islander6.94%3.92%-43.52%
Two or More Races3.25%1.95%-40%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.67%0.82%22.39%

Doe 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 Doe is British & Irish, which comprises 34.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (17.7%) and Eastern European (6.6%). Additional ancestries include Spanish & Portuguese, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Scandinavian, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish34.0%
French & German17.7%
Eastern European6.6%

Possible origins of the surname Doe

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 Doe have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom60.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom60.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom60.70%
West Midlands, United Kingdom60.50%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom60.20%

What Doe 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 Doe 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-Z19 and R-L2, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Meyers, Smith, Braun, Mitchell, Miller, Lang, Meyer, Stevens, Thompson, Weber.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Doe surname are: A2, H, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

doePaternal 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 Doe 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.

"Doe" Surname 33.3%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Doe" Surname 26.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Doe" Surname 16.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Doe" Surname 16.1%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Doe?

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 Doe 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%