Explore the Family Name Elias

The meaning of Elias

Spanish (Elías); French (also Élias); Greek, Catalan, Portuguese, English, Welsh, German, Dutch, Breton, Assyrian/Chaldean, and Jewish; Hungarian (Éliás); Czech (Eliáš); Slovak (Eliáš and Eliaš): from a personal name, taken from the New Testament Greek form (Ēlias) of Hebrew Eliyahu ‘Jehovah is God’ (Anglicized as Elijah in the Old Testament of the King James Bible). This name was borne by a Biblical prophet, but its popularity among Christians in the Middle Ages was largely a result of its adoption by various early saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Syracuse and a 9th-century Spanish martyr. In North America, this surname has absorbed cognates from other languages, e.g. Assyrian/Chaldean Eliya or Elia, Croatian and Slovenian Ilijaš or Iljaš. In medieval England the name generally took the form Ellis but in the 18th and 19th centuries Welsh Nonconformists adopted the form Elias as a patronymic. Some characteristic forenames: Spanish Jose, Miguel, Carlos, Manuel, Juan, Luis, Mario, Jorge, Ramon, Francisco, Fernando, Jesus.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Elias has grown in popularity from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, it was ranked 1,694th most popular and increased in rank to 1,443rd in 2010 - a change of 14.82%. The number of people bearing the Elias surname also rose by 27.34% over the same period, moving from 19,394 in 2000 to 24,696 in 2010. This increase is further highlighted by the proportion per 100k which saw a growth of 16.41% between 2000 and 2010.

Proportion per 100k7.198.3716.41%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Elias

The ethnicity associated with the Elias surname shows some interesting changes according to the Decennial U.S. Census. While a large percentage identified as White (47.48%) or Hispanic (45.21%) in 2000, there was a shift by 2010, with an increase in those identifying as Hispanic (50.11%) and a decrease in those identifying as White (41.59%). There was also a notable rise in Asian/Pacific Islander (68.81%) and Black (25.98%) ethnicities associated with this surname. However, the percentage of those identifying as Two or more races saw a decline (-34.95%), as did American Indian and Alaskan Native (-11.11%).

Asian/Pacific Islander1.09%1.84%68.81%
Two or More Races2.06%1.34%-34.95%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.36%0.32%-11.11%

Elias 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 Elias is British & Irish, which comprises 20.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Spanish & Portuguese (15.0%) and French & German (11.4%). Additional ancestries include Levantine, Indigenous American, Ashkenazi Jewish, Eastern European, and Italian.

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British & Irish20.6%
Spanish & Portuguese15.0%
French & German11.4%

Possible origins of the surname Elias

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 Elias have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom39.40%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom39.40%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom39.00%
Merseyside, United Kingdom38.90%
Lancashire, United Kingdom38.70%

What Elias 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 Elias is J-CTS5368, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup J-CTS5368 is descended from haplogroup J-M304. Other common haplogroups include J-M67 and R-L23, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Schwartz, Frank, Weiss, Solomon, Kaufman, Klein, Strauss, Simon, Russo, Stein.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Elias surname are: B2, H, A2. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

eliasPaternal Haplogroup Origins J-M304
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to men who spread the Semitic languages

Men carrying the J-M267 lineage took part in many waves of migrations over the millennia, and domesticated animals and plants weren't the only things they carried. They may also have been among the communities that spread the Semitic languages, a diverse group that bloomed from a single proto-Semitic tongue in the Levant nearly 5,750 years ago. These men likely carried branches of both haplogroup J and of the Semitic language family through the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa. Still later, some J-M267-bearing men re-expanded from the Arabian Peninsula back through the Middle East and across North Africa in migrations associated with the emergence and spread of Islam.

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 Elias 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.

"Elias" Surname 40.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Elias" Surname 37.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Elias" Surname 18.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Elias" Surname 17.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Elias?

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 Elias 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%