Explore the Family Name Erb

The meaning of Erb

1. German and Swiss German: from the medieval personal name Erbo, meaning ‘descendant, heir’, which was popular in the Upper Rhine area. 2. German: habitational name from Erb (Westphalia) or Erbe (North Rhine-Westphalia). History: This (see 1 above) is the name of a Swiss Mennonite and Amish family, originating from the canton of Bern, Switzerland. The first Mennonite immigrant bearing this name was Nicholas Erb from Switzerland, who came to Lancaster County, PA, in the beginning of the 18th century.

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

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

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Erb has experienced a slight decline. In 2000, Erb was ranked at 3699 and by 2010 it shifted to 3923, marking a decrease of 6.06%. However, despite the drop in ranking, the actual count of people with the Erb surname increased by 2.84% from 8810 in 2000 to 9060 in 2010. The proportion per 100k also saw a marginal dip of 6.12%, moving from 3.27 in 2000 to 3.07 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k3.273.07-6.12%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Erb

Regarding the ethnic identity associated with the surname Erb, data from the Decennial U.S. Census reveals that the majority of individuals with this last name identify as White, accounting for 96.08% in 2010, a slight decrease from 96.87% in 2000. Other significant findings include a 66.32% rise in those identifying as Hispanic, increasing from 0.95% in 2000 to 1.58% in 2010. There has also been an increase in those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and those indicating they belong to two or more races, with changes of 22.50% and 11.11% respectively. Meanwhile, the percentages of those who identify as Black remained constant at 0.33%, and those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native decreased by 10.64%.

Two or More Races0.99%1.1%11.11%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.4%0.49%22.5%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.47%0.42%-10.64%

Erb 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 Erb is French & German, which comprises 42.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (34.8%) and Eastern European (7.0%). Additional ancestries include Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Chinese.

Ready to learn more about your ancestry? Get the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown on the market by taking our DNA test. Shop 23andMe

French & German42.0%
British & Irish34.8%
Eastern European7.0%

Possible origins of the surname Erb

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

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Merseyside, United Kingdom74.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom74.20%
Greater London, United Kingdom74.20%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom73.80%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom73.80%

What Erb 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 Erb is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L48 and I-BY138, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Funk, Landers, Brink, Hoskins, Kauffman, Millard, Bradshaw, Garland, Cope, Ratliff.

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

erbPaternal 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 Erb 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.

"Erb" Surname 44.3%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Erb" Surname 31.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Erb" Surname 15.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Erb" Surname 16.1%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Erb?

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 Erb 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

French & German 60.8%

23andMe Users 57.2%