Explore the Family Name Edward

The meaning of Edward

English and Welsh: from the Middle English personal name Edward (Old English Ēadweard, from ēad ‘prosperity, fortune’ + w(e)ard ‘guard, ward’). The popularity of the personal name was largely due to its being the name of the sainted Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor and of three kings in the 13th–14th centuries.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname "Edward" saw a decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. The rank of the surname dropped from 6074 to 7446, representing a decline of 22.59%. In 2000, there were approximately 5207 individuals with the Edward surname, but by 2010 this count had fallen to 4473. This represents a 14.1% decrease. Moreover, the proportion of people per 100 thousand with the surname Edward also decreased from 1.93 in 2000 to 1.52 in 2010, a drop of 21.24%.

Proportion per 100k1.931.52-21.24%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Edward

In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows that the distribution of the Edward surname among various ethnic identities shifted slightly between 2000 and 2010. People of Asian/Pacific Islander ethnicity with the Edward surname increased markedly from 2.84% to 6.73%, an increase of 136.97%. Those identifying as two or more races saw a slight decrease from 2.77% to 2.35%. The percentage of Edward's belonging to the White demographic decreased by 5.52% while the Hispanic representation rose by 23.97%. The percentage of Black individuals with the Edward surname declined from 50.97% to 48.58%. Lastly, those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native saw their representation increase from 0.58% to 0.92%.

Asian/Pacific Islander2.84%6.73%136.97%
Two or More Races2.77%2.35%-15.16%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.58%0.92%58.62%

Edward 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 Edward is British & Irish, which comprises 38.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (14.0%) and Southern Indian & Sri Lankan (7.2%). Additional ancestries include Nigerian, Eastern European, Spanish & Portuguese, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish38.5%
French & German14.0%
Southern Indian & Sri Lankan7.2%

Possible origins of the surname Edward

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 Edward have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom57.30%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom57.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom57.30%
West Midlands, United Kingdom57.30%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom56.20%

What Edward 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 Edward 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 J-M304, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Gillam, Brodie, Timms, Jeffrey, Langdon, Cowen, Gaskin, Forde, Jack, Matthew.

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

edwardPaternal 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 Edward 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.

"Edward" Surname 53.3%

23andMe Users 41.3%



Light Hair

Hair that is blonde or light brown in color

"Edward" Surname 54.5%

23andMe Users 50.5%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Edward" Surname 29.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Edward" Surname 10.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Edward?

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 Edward 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%