Explore the Family Name Essex

The meaning of Essex

English: habitational name from the county of Essex, whose name is from Old English ēast ‘east’ + Seaxe ‘Saxons’. In England, the surname is now particularly common in Birmingham.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Essex has seen some shifts in its popularity over the past decade. In 2000, it was ranked 8,401st in terms of frequency, with a total of 3,616 individuals bearing this name. By 2010, the rank had slightly dropped to 8,529th, but the count increased to 3,858. This represents a slight decrease in rank by 1.52%, but an increase in count by 6.69%. The proportion per 100,000 people also saw a minor decline from 1.34 to 1.31, marking a decrease of 2.24%.

20002010Change
Rank#8,401#8,529-1.52%
Count3,6163,8586.69%
Proportion per 100k1.341.31-2.24%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Essex

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Essex also underwent notable changes between 2000 and 2010, as per the Decennial U.S. Census data. The largest group identified as White, though the proportion decreased from 74.34% to 71.70%. The Black community showing an increase from 22.40% to 23.43%. Remarkably, the Asian/Pacific Islander group saw a considerable growth of 105.26%, albeit from a small base, moving from 0.19% to 0.39%. There was also a significant rise in those identifying with two or more races, which went up by 44.85% to reach 1.97%. The Hispanic representation elevated from 1.30% to 2.07%, which is a 59.23% increase. Lastly, the American Indian and Alaskan Native group slightly rose from 0.41% to 0.44%, a growth of 7.32%.

20002010Change
White74.34%71.7%-3.55%
Black22.4%23.43%4.6%
Hispanic1.3%2.07%59.23%
Two or More Races1.36%1.97%44.85%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.41%0.44%7.32%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.19%0.39%105.26%

Essex 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 Essex is British & Irish, which comprises 49.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (25.0%) and Nigerian (4.1%). Additional ancestries include Ashkenazi Jewish, Spanish & Portuguese, Italian, Scandinavian, and Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish49.5%
French & German25.0%
Nigerian4.1%
Other21.4%
Essex

Possible origins of the surname Essex

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 Essex have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Glasgow City, United Kingdom76.60%
Greater London, United Kingdom76.60%
Merseyside, United Kingdom76.60%
Lancashire, United Kingdom76.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom76.60%

What Essex 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 Essex is R-CTS3655, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS3655 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-M405 and R-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Mccartney, Randle, Dee, Kremer, Black, Long, Janssen, Lang, Roberts, Skinner.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Essex surname are: H1, H, U5b. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

essexPaternal 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 Essex 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.

Preferences

Essex

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Essex" Surname 31.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Essex

Misophonia

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

"Essex" Surname 20.7%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Essex

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Essex" Surname 16.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Essex

Migraine

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

"Essex" Surname 17.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Essex?

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 Essex 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%