Explore the Family Name Giles

The meaning of Giles

1. English (of Norman origin): from a medieval personal name, Middle English Giles or Gile, a borrowing from Old French Gil(l)e(s). This is from Latin Aegidius and this presumably from Greek aigidion ‘kid, young goat’ (alternatively, it could be a Late Latin formation from the Latin personal name Eggius + the suffix -idius). The personal name was widely used in France and the Low Countries, partly through veneration of Saint Gilles de Provence, supposedly a hermit of the 7th century near Arles; he was patron saint of cripples, hence the dedication of Saint Giles Cripplegate in London, though the personal name itself was less common in England than elsewhere in Europe. See also Gilles. 2. Irish: adopted as an Anglicized equivalent of Gaelic Ó Glaisne, a County Louth name based on glas ‘green, blue, gray’. 3. French: variant of Gilles, a cognate of 1 above.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Giles saw a slight decrease in rank from 805th most popular in the year 2000 to 849th in 2010, representing a change of -5.47%. However, the actual count of individuals bearing this surname increased by 4.09% during the same period, growing from 39,002 to 40,598. The proportion per 100,000 people also fell slightly by -4.84%, from 14.46 to 13.76.

Proportion per 100k14.4613.76-4.84%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Giles

In terms of ethnic identity, data from the Decennial U.S. Census reveals shifts among those with the Giles surname between 2000 and 2010. The percentage identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased by 25.71%, though it remained a small proportion overall at 0.44%. There was a significant rise in those identifying with two or more races, up by 40.61% to 2.32%. Those identifying as White decreased slightly by -3.92% to 64.94%, while Hispanic representation increased by 50.13% to 5.66%. The proportion identifying as Black remained stable at around 26.15%, with a minuscule increase of 0.04%. Lastly, those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native declined by -4.00% to 0.48%.

Two or More Races1.65%2.32%40.61%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.5%0.48%-4%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.35%0.44%25.71%

Giles 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 Giles is British & Irish, which comprises 57.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.1%) and Eastern European (3.7%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Nigerian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Italian.

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British & Irish57.6%
French & German19.1%
Eastern European3.7%

Possible origins of the surname Giles

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 Giles have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom85.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom85.50%
Merseyside, United Kingdom85.20%
West Midlands, United Kingdom85.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom85.00%

What Giles 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 Giles 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 I-Z58 and R-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: White, Saunders, Smith, Thompson, Harrison, Taylor, Brown, Wilson, Hill, Green.

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

gilesPaternal 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 Giles 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.

"Giles" Surname 42.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Giles" Surname 32.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Giles" Surname 22.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Giles" Surname 16.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Giles?

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 Giles 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%