Explore the Family Name Franklin

The meaning of Franklin

1. English: status name from Middle English frankeleyn ‘freeman, freeholder, land-owner of free but not noble birth’ (Anglo-Norman French fraunclein). In general, he was a gentleman ranked above the main body of minor freeholders but below a knight or a member of the nobility. 2. Americanized form of one or more similar (like-sounding) Jewish surnames, such as Frankel. History: The American statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) was the son of Josiah Franklin, a chandler (dealer in soap and candles), who had emigrated c.1682 from Ecton, Northamptonshire, to Boston, MA, where his son was born.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Franklin saw a slight decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 236th most popular surname, but by 2010 it had dropped to the 251st spot, representing a change of -6.36. However, even with this drop in rank, the actual count of individuals with this surname increased from 114,859 in 2000 to 120,621 in 2010, marking an overall growth of 5.02 percent. The proportion of Franklins per 100,000 people also fell slightly, from 42.58 in 2000 to 40.89 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k42.5840.89-3.97%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Franklin

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Franklin also shifted during this decade, as evidenced by data from the Decennial U.S. Census. While the majority of Franklins identified as White (57.22 percent in 2000 and 54.38 percent in 2010), there was a notable increase in those identifying as either Hispanic or as part of two or more races. In 2000, only 1.71 percent of Franklins identified as Hispanic, but by 2010, this percentage had risen to 2.70. Similarly, the percentage of Franklins identifying with two or more races rose from 1.96 in 2000 to 2.78 in 2010. The percentage identifying as Black also increased slightly from 37.78 in 2000 to 38.76 in 2010. There was a small decrease of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native.

Two or More Races1.96%2.78%41.84%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.87%0.83%-4.6%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.45%0.54%20%

Franklin 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 Franklin is British & Irish, which comprises 48.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.6%) and Nigerian (6.0%). Additional ancestries include Ashkenazi Jewish, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Eastern European, Scandinavian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish48.5%
French & German19.6%

Possible origins of the surname Franklin

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 Franklin have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom76.80%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom76.60%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom76.60%
Merseyside, United Kingdom76.30%
West Midlands, United Kingdom76.10%

What Franklin 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 Franklin is R-L21, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L21 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-DF95 and R-M167, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Black, Clarke, Robinson, Newman, White, Brown, Smith, Mack, Gray, Evans.

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

franklinPaternal 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 Franklin 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.

"Franklin" Surname 41.8%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Franklin" Surname 27.5%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Franklin" Surname 23.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Franklin" Surname 17.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Franklin?

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 Franklin 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%