Explore the Family Name Estes

The meaning of Estes

English: topographic name from Middle English est ‘east’, denoting someone ‘from the east’ or someone living in the eastern part of a village or settlement. Today the name is still pronounced as two syllables, as it was in medieval times. History: This name was brought to New England by Matthew (1645–1723) and Richard (born 1647) Estes, sons of Robert and Dorothy Estes of Dover, England. Probably unconnected is the founder of the VA and TN family of this name, Benjamin Estes (born 1736 in VA; died 1811 in TN).

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Estes has seen a slight decrease over time. In 2000, Estes was ranked as the 880th most popular surname in the U.S., however by 2010 it had slipped to 956th place, marking a 8.64% drop in rank. Nevertheless, the actual count of people bearing this surname increased slightly from 35,839 in 2000 to 36,318 in 2010, an upturn of 1.34%. The proportion per 100,000 individuals also dropped by 7.37% during this period.

Proportion per 100k13.2912.31-7.37%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Estes

Regarding ethnicity distribution, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals some changes between 2000 and 2010. While the percentage of people with the Estes surname who identify as White decreased from 88.53% to 86.75%, the number of those who identify as Hispanic saw a significant increase, rising from 1.63% to 2.49%. People identifying as Black or Asian/Pacific Islander also saw increases, with Black-identifying individuals growing from 6.72% to 7.17% and Asian/Pacific Islanders seeing a modest rise from 0.46% to 0.48%. Those indicating their ethnic identity as two or more races rose substantially from 1.49% to 2.07%. Conversely, the percentage of those who identify as American Indian and Alaskan Native fell from 1.18% to 1.04%.

Two or More Races1.49%2.07%38.93%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.18%1.04%-11.86%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.46%0.48%4.35%

Estes 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 Estes is British & Irish, which comprises 60.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.7%) and Scandinavian (3.3%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish60.3%
French & German21.7%

Possible origins of the surname Estes

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 Estes have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom92.00%
Merseyside, United Kingdom91.90%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom91.70%
West Midlands, United Kingdom91.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom91.50%

What Estes 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 Estes is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-L1335, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Allred, Snodgrass, Comstock, Griswold, Blodgett, Hetrick, Kenyon, Fairchild, Mayfield, Couture.

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

estesPaternal 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 Estes 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.

"Estes" Surname 44.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Estes" Surname 25.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Estes" Surname 25.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Estes" Surname 18.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Estes?

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 Estes 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%