Explore the Family Name Erwin

The meaning of Erwin

1. Scottish and Irish: variant of Irvine 1 and 2. 2. English: from the Middle English personal name Everwin, Erwin, perhaps from Old English Eoforwine (eofor ‘boar’ + wine ‘friend’) but mostly from an Old French form of the cognate ancient Germanic name Everwin, or from a different ancient Germanic name, Herewin, with loss of initial H- (first element hari, heri ‘army’). 3. German: from the personal name Erwin, from Herwin, a compound of Old High German heri ‘army’ + wini ‘friend’.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Erwin saw a slight variation between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Erwin ranked as the 1475th most popular surname with a count of 22,120 individuals bearing it. By 2010, its rank had shifted to 1594 despite a small increase in the number of individuals named Erwin to 22,496. This change represented a decrease in its relative popularity by 8.07%, with its proportional representation per 100,000 people also falling by approximately 7%.

Proportion per 100k8.27.63-6.95%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Erwin

On the other hand, the ethnic identity associated with the Erwin surname became more diverse over the same period, as shown by the Decennial U.S. Census data. From 2000 to 2010, there was an increase in the percentage of individuals with this surname who identified as Asian/Pacific Islander, those identifying as having two or more races, Hispanic, Black, and American Indian and Alaskan Native. The most notable increases were seen amongst the Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic communities with their representation growing by 68.89% and 44.86% respectively. However, the majority of individuals with the Erwin surname identified as White, although their proportion decreased slightly from 89.84% in 2000 to 87.78% in 2010.

Two or More Races1.32%1.75%32.58%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.65%0.85%30.77%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.45%0.76%68.89%

Erwin 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 Erwin is British & Irish, which comprises 56.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.0%) and Eastern European (4.4%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Italian, Indigenous American, and Chinese.

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British & Irish56.6%
French & German23.0%
Eastern European4.4%

Possible origins of the surname Erwin

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 Erwin have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom88.70%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom88.50%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.50%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom88.40%
Merseyside, United Kingdom88.40%

What Erwin 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 Erwin is R-L555, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L555 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Irwin, Irvin, Irvine, Ervin, Irving, Haddock, Byers, Black, Evans, Conner.

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

erwinPaternal 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 Erwin 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.

"Erwin" Surname 39.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Erwin" Surname 26.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Erwin" Surname 22.1%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Erwin" Surname 17.1%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Erwin?

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 Erwin 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%