Explore the Family Name Esch

The meaning of Esch

German: 1. habitational name from any of several places called Esch, from Old High German asc ‘ash’, or a topographic name for someone who lived near a prominent ash tree. 2. from Middle High German ezzisch ‘communally owned seeded field’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by an area where grain was grown or perhaps a status name for someone who owned such land. 3. altered form of Swiss German Oesch, a cognate of the above. This surname, in any of the possible senses and origins, is also found in France (Alsace and Lorraine). Compare Ash, Eash, and Esh. History: Among the bearers of the surname Esch in Germany, France, and North America there are also descendants of the Mennonites from Switzerland who in the 17th century, because of religious persecution, fled to the Palatinate in Germany; some of them later settled in France. In the middle of the 18th century some of the Mennonites bearing this name emigrated from Germany and France to PA. In the US their name is also spelled Esh, Eash, and Ash. See also Oesch.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Esch has seen a slight decrease in ranking, moving from 9998 in 2000 to 10145 in 2010 - a change of -1.47%. However, the number of people carrying the Esch surname increased by 6.89% in the same period, with a count of 2974 in 2000 and 3179 in 2010. The proportion of this surname per 100k also saw a minor decrease, dropping from 1.1 to 1.08 in a span of ten years.

Proportion per 100k1.11.08-1.82%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Esch

In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows that the majority of individuals with the Esch surname identified as White, though this percentage decreased slightly from 97.81% in 2000 to 96.60% in 2010. In the same decade, there was a significant increase in the Hispanic identity associated with the surname, from 0.71% to 1.48%. The data also indicates a new emergence of Asian/Pacific Islander and Black identifications within the Esch surname bearers, both starting from 0 in 2000 and reaching 0.50% and 0.31% respectively in 2010. The percentage of those identifying as having two or more races remained relatively stable, while the proportion of American Indian and Alaskan Native identities experienced a decline from 0.30% to 0.22%.

Two or More Races0.87%0.88%1.15%
Asian/Pacific Islander0%0.5%0%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.3%0.22%-26.67%

Esch 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 Esch is French & German, which comprises 39.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (35.4%) and Eastern European (8.3%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Greek & Balkan, and Japanese.

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

French & German39.3%
British & Irish35.4%
Eastern European8.3%

Possible origins of the surname Esch

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 Esch have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Merseyside, United Kingdom72.10%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom72.10%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom72.10%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom72.10%
Greater London, United Kingdom72.10%

What Esch 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 Esch 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 Esch surname are: H1, H, N. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

eschPaternal 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 Esch 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.

"Esch" Surname 54.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Esch" Surname 36.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Esch" Surname 19.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Esch" Surname 20.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Esch?

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 Esch 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%