Explore the Family Name Elgin

The meaning of Elgin

1. Scottish: habitational name from Elgin, a place in Morayshire, from Gaelic Eilginn, perhaps meaning ‘little Ireland’. 2. In some cases also Turkish: ornamental name or nickname from elgin ‘strange(r)’.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Elgin experienced a slight decrease between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 10,013th most popular surname, but slipped to the 10,555th position by 2010, marking a 5.41% decrease in rank. Despite the drop in rank, the actual count of individuals bearing the surname saw a marginal increase from 2,969 in 2000 to 3,036 in 2010, a growth rate of approximately 2.26%. However, when viewed in terms of the proportion per 100k population, there was a decrease of 6.36%.

Proportion per 100k1.11.03-6.36%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Elgin

The data derived from the Decennial U.S. Census also provides a glimpse into the ethnic identity associated with the Elgin surname. In 2000, a majority of people with this name identified as White (90.03%) but this reduced slightly to 87.75% by 2010. The Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic ethnicity groups saw significant increases in their percentages, going up by 211.76% and 173.73% respectively over the decade. Those identifying as Two or more races increased by 12.59%, while those who identified as Black saw a minor increase of 2.97%. The only decrease was noted in the American Indian and Alaskan Native group, which fell by 29.68%.

Two or More Races1.35%1.52%12.59%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.55%1.09%-29.68%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.17%0.53%211.76%

Elgin 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 Elgin is British & Irish, which comprises 49.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (31.8%) and Eastern European (6.9%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Nigerian, Iranian, Caucasian & Mesopotamian, and Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean.

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British & Irish49.6%
French & German31.8%
Eastern European6.9%

Possible origins of the surname Elgin

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 Elgin have recent ancestry locations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
West Midlands, United Kingdom88.70%
Merseyside, United Kingdom88.70%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom88.70%
Greater London, United Kingdom88.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.70%

What Elgin 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 Elgin is O-F2415, which is predominantly found among people with East Asian & Indigenous American ancestry. Haplogroup O-F2415 is descended from haplogroup O-M1359. Other common haplogroups include E-M183 and O-F2859, which are predominantly found among people with European and East Asian & Indigenous American ancestry.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Elgin surname are: T2b, U2_3_4_7_8_9, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

elginPaternal Haplogroup Origins O-M1359
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to the Cham

One of the many populations harboring members of haplogroup O1b1a1a1a1 is the Cham ethnic group, a group of people who speak Austronesian languages in Mainland Southeast Asia. Austronesian languages make up a language family that is extremely large and widespread, comprising over 350 million people on islands such as Madagascar, Easter Island, and many others. However, Austronesian languages are less common on mainland Asia, with a notable exception being the Chamic language. Research suggests that ancestors of the Cham people migrated from Southeast Asian islands to the mainland around the year 500 BCE, and that early Cham populations quickly began mixing with indigenous southern Vietnamese populations. As a result, the Chamic language now has words that were borrowed from languages spoken by indigenous Vietnamese people. It is likely that an ancestral Kinh population was one of the populations that mixed with the Cham people shortly after their migration to mainland Asia.

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 Elgin 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.

"Elgin" Surname 35.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%



Cheek Dimples

Small indentations that appear on the cheeks when a person smiles.

"Elgin" Surname 47.1%

23andMe Users 37.6%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Elgin" Surname 25.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Elgin" Surname 12.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Elgin?

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 Elgin 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%