Explore the Family Name Edwards

The meaning of Edwards

English and Welsh: variant of Edward, with genitival or post-medieval excrescent -s. This surname is also very common among African Americans. History: One of the earliest American bearers of this very common English surname was William Edwards, the son of Rev. Richard Edwards, a London clergyman in the age of Elizabeth I, who came to New England c.1640. His descendant Jonathan (1703–58), of East Windsor, CT, was a prominent Congregational clergyman whose New England theology led to the first Great Awakening, a great religious revival.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname 'Edwards' has seen a slight decrease from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, it ranked as the 53rd most popular surname but fell by five spots to the 58th position in 2010, marking a decrease of 9.43%. However, despite this drop in rank, the total count of individuals bearing the 'Edwards' surname actually increased by 4.84% during the same period, growing from 317,070 in 2000 to 332,423 in 2010. Furthermore, the proportion per 100,000 people declined slightly from 117.54 to 112.69, representing a decrease of 4.13%.

Proportion per 100k117.54112.69-4.13%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Edwards

Regarding its ethnic identity, based again on the Decennial U.S. Census data, 'Edwards' is predominantly a surname found within the White community, although there was a slight decline of 4.65% in this demographic between 2000 and 2010. The largest increase in the prevalence of this surname occurred within the Hispanic community, with a significant rise of 53.37%. The surname also saw increases among those identifying as Black (4.70% increase), Asian/Pacific Islander (25% increase), Two or more races (34.24% increase), and American Indian and Alaskan Native (2.67% increase) communities.

Two or More Races1.84%2.47%34.24%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.75%0.77%2.67%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.4%0.5%25%

Edwards 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 Edwards is British & Irish, which comprises 52.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.6%) and Nigerian (4.9%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Italian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish52.7%
French & German19.6%

Possible origins of the surname Edwards

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 Edwards have recent ancestry locations all within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom81.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom81.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom81.10%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom80.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom80.70%

What Edwards 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 Edwards 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-L21 and R-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Davis, Thomas, Evans, Thompson, Jones, James, Green, Taylor, Price, Williams.

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

edwardsPaternal 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 Edwards 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.

"Edwards" Surname 42.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Edwards" Surname 29.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Edwards" Surname 22.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Edwards" Surname 18.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Edwards?

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 Edwards 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%