Explore the Family Name Geary

The meaning of Geary

1. Irish (Cork): shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Gadhra ‘descendant of Gadhra’ (see O’Gara). 2. Irish: alternatively, possibly a shortened form of McGeary. 3. English: from the Old French personal name Geri, ancient Germanic Geric, from gēr ‘spear’ + rīc ‘power(ful)’. 4. English: nickname for a wayward or capricious person, from Middle English ge(a)ry ‘fickle, changeable, passionate’. See Gear. 5. Possibly an altered form of Swiss German Gehri or Gehry, variants of Gehr. History: Most present-day Irish bearers of the name Geary and its variants and derivatives are descended from a single 10th-century ancestor, a nephew of Eadhra, who founded the family O’Hara in Connacht. The family is now spread more widely.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Geary has seen a slight decrease between the years 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Geary was ranked as the 2717th most popular surname, but by 2010 it had fallen to the 2895th position, marking a change of -6.55%. However, despite this drop in rank, the actual count of people with the Geary surname increased by 1.76% during the same period, moving from 12,168 to 12,382. The proportion of individuals bearing the surname per 100k also saw a minor decline from 4.51 to 4.2 (-6.87%).

Proportion per 100k4.514.2-6.87%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Geary

In terms of ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows some shifts among those carrying the Geary surname between 2000 and 2010. A vast majority identified as White, although there was a slight decrease from 93.41% in 2000 to 92.51% in 2010. The Hispanic population saw the most significant increase, jumping from 1.41% to 2.25%, marking a 59.57% change. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native also saw increases, at 28.21% and 16.33% respectively. The number of individuals reporting two or more races rose modestly from 1.15% to 1.20%. Meanwhile, the percentage of Black individuals decreased slightly from 3.15% to 2.98%.

Two or More Races1.15%1.2%4.35%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.49%0.57%16.33%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.39%0.5%28.21%

Geary 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 Geary is British & Irish, which comprises 58.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.0%) and Eastern European (5.7%). Additional ancestries include Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Nigerian.

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British & Irish58.0%
French & German19.0%
Eastern European5.7%

Possible origins of the surname Geary

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 Geary have recent ancestry locations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom86.90%
Greater London, United Kingdom86.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom86.60%
Merseyside, United Kingdom86.60%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom85.70%

What Geary 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 Geary is R-Z255, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-Z255 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Murphy, Doyle, Burns, Buckley, Whitmore, Byrnes, Redmond, Nunn, Mackey, Foley.

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

gearyPaternal 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 Geary 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.

"Geary" Surname 52.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Geary" Surname 22.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Geary" Surname 22.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Geary" Surname 19.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Geary?

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 Geary 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%