Explore the Family Name Gibson

The meaning of Gibson

English: from the Middle English and Older Scots personal name Gibb (a pet form of Gilbert) + son, hence ‘son of Gibb’. The name is very common in Ireland, having arrived in that country in the 17th century. It is also occasionally adopted for Ó Gibealláin, see Giblin. This surname is also common among African Americans. History: One of the ancestors of the African American bearers of the surname Gibson was Gibson Gibson, recorded in VA in 1672. He was a son of Elizabeth Chavis (see Chavis), a free mixed-race woman from VA, and of unknown Gibson.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Gibson underwent a slight shift between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Gibson was the 119th most common surname, but by 2010 it had dropped to the 130th position, indicating a decrease in popularity by 9.24%. However, the actual count of individuals with the Gibson surname increased in this time period from 184,420 to 190,667, a growth of 3.39%. The proportion per 100k also saw a slight decline from 68.36 to 64.64, a change of -5.44%.

Proportion per 100k68.3664.64-5.44%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Gibson

The ethnicity distribution for the Gibson surname shows a diverse spread based on the Decennial U.S. Census data. Between 2000 and 2010, there were increases across all ethnic identities except for Whites. The percentage of Asians/Pacific Islanders rose from 0.36% to 0.46%, an increase of 27.78%. Individuals identifying as two or more races saw a significant increase from 1.65% to 2.34%, marking a change of 41.82%. The Hispanic population with the Gibson surname also saw a large boost, jumping from 1.49% to 2.31%, a rise of 55.03%. The Black community saw a minor increase from 21.07% to 21.78%, a change of 3.37% while American Indian and Alaskan Native populations grew from 0.85% to 0.97%, a 14.12% increase. Conversely, those of White ethnicity decreased from 74.57% to 72.14%, marking a -3.26% change.

Two or More Races1.65%2.34%41.82%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.85%0.97%14.12%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.36%0.46%27.78%

Gibson 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 Gibson is British & Irish, which comprises 56.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.3%) and Scandinavian (3.3%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Nigerian, Italian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish56.6%
French & German21.3%

Possible origins of the surname Gibson

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 Gibson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom86.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom86.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom86.60%
West Midlands, United Kingdom86.40%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom86.30%

What Gibson 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 Gibson 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-P311 and R-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Morris, Davis, Wilson, Thompson, Thomas, Clark, Taylor, Richards, Lewis, Harrison.

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

gibsonPaternal 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 Gibson 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.

"Gibson" Surname 41.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Gibson" Surname 30.0%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Gibson" Surname 25.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Gibson" Surname 19.0%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Gibson?

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 Gibson 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%