Explore the Family Name Epstein

The meaning of Epstein

German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from any of the places called Eppstein, for example in the Palatinate and Hesse, from Old High German ebur ‘wild boar’ + stein ‘stone’. History: This is one of the old Ashkenazic surnames. In Eastern Europe, it was used by rabbinical families well before the mass adoption of surnames by local Jews at the turn of the 19th century. Some characteristic forenames: Jewish Hyman, Emanuel, Isadore, Moshe, Aron, Chaim, Meyer, Shlomo, Yoav, Ari.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Epstein has seen a slight decrease between 2000 and 2010. Ranked as the 2,489th most popular surname in 2000, it fell to 2,786th place in 2010, a change of -11.93%. The total count of individuals with this surname has also dropped from 13,269 in 2000 to 12,952 in 2010, marking a -2.39% change. Likewise, the proportion per 100k people decreased from 4.92 to 4.39 during the same period, indicating a -10.77% change.

Proportion per 100k4.924.39-10.77%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Epstein

In terms of ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals some shifts among those with the Epstein surname between 2000 and 2010. The percentage of individuals identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased from 0.47 to 0.70, and those identifying with two or more races saw a minor increase from 0.95 to 1.03. On the other hand, the proportion of individuals identifying as White decreased slightly from 97.05 to 95.72. The Hispanic community experienced the most notable growth, increasing from 1.32 to 2.19. Additionally, there were new representations from the Black community (0 to 0.31) and the American Indian and Alaskan Native community (0 to 0.04), where there were no recorded individuals in these categories in 2000.

Two or More Races0.95%1.03%8.42%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.47%0.7%48.94%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0%0.04%0%

Epstein 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 Epstein is Ashkenazi Jewish, which comprises 64.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (14.1%) and French & German (7.8%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Scandinavian, and Indigenous American.

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Ashkenazi Jewish64.5%
British & Irish14.1%
French & German7.8%

Possible origins of the surname Epstein

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 Epstein have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom34.40%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom34.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom34.00%
Merseyside, United Kingdom33.60%
West Midlands, United Kingdom33.40%

What Epstein 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 Epstein is R-L2, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L2 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include J-CTS5368 and R-U152, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Rosenberg, Feldman, Schwartz, Kaufman, Goldberg, Weiss, Goldstein, Silverman, Berman, Rosen.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Epstein surname are: H1, H, K1a1b1a. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

epsteinPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to many people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent

A few branches of haplogroup K, such as K1a9, K2a2a, and K1a1b1a, are specific to Jewish populations and especially to Ashkenazi Jews, whose roots lie in central and eastern Europe. These branches of haplogroup K are found at levels of 30% among the Ashkenazim. But they are also found at lower levels in Jewish populations from the Middle East and Africa, and among Sephardic Jews who trace their roots to medieval Spain. That indicates an origin of those K haplogroup branches in the Middle East before 70 AD, when the Roman destruction of Jerusalem scattered the Jewish people around the Mediterranean and beyond.About 1.7 million Ashkenazi Jews living today (nearly 20% of the population) share a single branch of the K haplogroup, K1a1b1a. The diversity of that haplogroup suggests that it arose in the Middle East between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago, and that everyone who shares it today could descend from a woman who lived as recently as 700 years ago. A similar pattern in two other K branches, K1a9 and K2a2, as well as the N1b branch of haplogroup N, has led researchers to conclude that 40% of the Ashkenazim living today – about 3.4 million people – could descend from as few as four women who lived within the last 2,000 years.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Epstein 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.

"Epstein" Surname 45.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Epstein" Surname 16.7%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Epstein" Surname 13.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Epstein" Surname 15.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Epstein?

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 Epstein 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

Ashkenazi Jewish 57.0%

23andMe Users 57.2%