Explore the Family Name Frank

The meaning of Frank

1. German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Slovenian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): ethnic or habitational name for someone from Franconia (German Franken), a region of southwestern Germany so called from its early settlement by the Franks, an ancient Germanic people who inhabited the lands around the River Rhine in Roman times. In the 6th–9th centuries, under leaders such as Clovis I (c.466–511) and Charlemagne (742–814), the Franks established a substantial empire in Western Europe, from which the country of France takes its name. 2. English (of Norman origin), Dutch, and German: from the personal name Frank (Norman French Franco, ancient Germanic Franko), in origin an ethnic name for a Frank, or from German Franke ‘Frank(ish), Franconian’ (compare 1 above). This also came to be used as an adjective meaning ‘free, open-hearted, generous’ (Middle English and Old French franc ‘free’, i.e. not a serf or slave), deriving from the fact that in Frankish Gaul only people of Frankish race enjoyed the status of fully free men. As a surname of German origin it is also found (in both possible meanings; see 1 above) in France (Alsace and Lorraine). Compare Franc and Franck.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname "Frank" saw a slight decrease in popularity from 2000 to 2010. Although the count of individuals with this surname grew by 2.1%—from 65,918 in 2000 to 67,304 in 2010—the name's ranking fell from 454th to 499th, making it less common relative to other surnames. This decline in rank represented a change of -9.91%. Moreover, the proportion of people named Frank per 100,000 decreased by 6.63%, from 24.44 in 2000 to 22.82 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k24.4422.82-6.63%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Frank

In terms of ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows that most individuals with the surname "Frank" identified as White in both 2000 and 2010, although this percentage decreased slightly from 86.69% to 84.54%. The percentage of those identifying as Black increased from 7.38% to 7.96%. Notably, there were significant increases in the Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic populations, with changes of 41.43% and 50.56% respectively. Those who identified as having two or more races also increased, from 1.34% to 1.60%, while those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native rose modestly, from 2.10% to 2.23%.

American Indian and Alaskan Native2.1%2.23%6.19%
Two or More Races1.34%1.6%19.4%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.7%0.99%41.43%

Frank 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 Frank is British & Irish, which comprises 29.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (29.3%) and Ashkenazi Jewish (13.2%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish29.3%
French & German29.3%
Ashkenazi Jewish13.2%

Possible origins of the surname Frank

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 Frank have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom66.50%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom66.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom66.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom66.00%
West Midlands, United Kingdom65.80%

What Frank 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 Frank is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-U152 and J-CTS5368, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Klein, Kramer, Schneider, Fischer, Simon, Miller, Meyers, Hoffman, Berger, Schmidt.

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

frankPaternal 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 Frank 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.

"Frank" Surname 41.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Frank" Surname 22.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Frank" Surname 20.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Frank" Surname 16.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Frank?

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 Frank 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%