Explore the Family Name Gillett

The meaning of Gillett

1. English: when pronounced with a soft G (/dʒ/), it is usually from the Middle English (Old French) personal name Gillet, Gilot, Giliot, or Geliot. These are diminutives of Gille or Gilly, which are commonly pet forms of the (often female) name Gilian, Gelian (see Gillian). Gilot and Gillet are also probably pet forms of Giles. 2. English (of Norman origin): when pronounced with hard G, it is more likely from the Middle English personal name Gilot, a borrowing of Old French Guillot, a pet form of Guillaume (see William) and a doublet of Willett. 3. English: habitational name from one or other of the numerous minor places called Gillhead, such as those in the parishes of Matterdale, Moresby, Castle Sowerby, and Westward (all Cumberland), formed from Middle English gil(le) ‘ravine, narrow valley’ (Old Norse gil) + hed, heved ‘head’. This would become Gillett, with hard g. 4. English: sometimes perhaps a variant of Gillard. 5. Altered form of French Gillet, (usually) reflecting the Canadian and American French practice of sounding the final -t. Compare Gillette. History: This surname is listed along with its variant (or original form) Gillet in the (US) National Huguenot Society’s register of qualified Huguenot ancestors. As a name supposedly of French Huguenot origin (compare 5 above) it was brought to North America from England by the brothers Jonathan and Nathan Gillett, who settled in Windsor, CT, in 1638. It is their father, William Gyllet, vicar of Chaffcombe, Somerset (1609–41), who is recognized as the Huguenot ancestor in the register of the National Huguenot Society. However, since the surname Gillett is widely found in medieval and early modern England, including Somerset, proof of a French Huguenot origin is difficult to substantiate. — The surname Gillett was later also brought to the US by various immigrants from France (originally in the form Gillet).

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

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

According to data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Gillett experienced slight changes in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked 6,209th but dropped slightly to 6,421st by 2010, which represents a decrease of 3.41%. Despite this drop in rank, the actual count of individuals with the Gillett surname increased by 4.28%, moving from 5,076 in 2000 to 5,293 in 2010. Consequently, the proportion per 100,000 people declined by 4.79% during the same period.

Proportion per 100k1.881.79-4.79%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Gillett

When examining ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census shows shifts among those with the Gillett surname between 2000 and 2010. People identifying as White made up the majority at 87% in 2000, dropping slightly to 84.07% in 2010. Those identifying as Black increased by 30.96% to reach 9.18 % in 2010. Hispanic representation also increased by 40.60%. However, those identifying with two or more races decreased by 31.72%. The Asian/Pacific Islander group showed a growth of 40%, although they make up less than 1% of the total. The American Indian and Alaskan Native category also saw an increase of 34.15%, though this group too remains a small fraction of the total.

Two or More Races2.27%1.55%-31.72%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.65%0.91%40%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.41%0.55%34.15%

Gillett 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 Gillett is British & Irish, which comprises 50.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.6%) and Scandinavian (4.8%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian, Nigerian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish50.5%
French & German23.6%

Possible origins of the surname Gillett

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 Gillett have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom90.40%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom89.80%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom89.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom89.80%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom89.80%

What Gillett 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 Gillett is I-L22, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup I-L22 is descended from haplogroup I-M170. Other common haplogroups include I-L205.1 and R-U152, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Hamel, Trowbridge, Newsom, Gillette, Carothers, Belcher, Newsome, Tankersley, Liles, Culpepper.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Gillett surname are: T2, H, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

gillettPaternal Haplogroup Origins I-M170
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to many northern European men

If you have haplogroup I1a1b, your paternal line stems from a young branch of I-M253 called I-L22, which likely arose in the last 3,000 years. I-L22 is most common in Northern Europe, but a recent study found that this haplogroup was present in a significant portion of the Partecipanza population living in San Giovanni in Persiceto, Italy. The area of San Giovanni in Persiceto was involved in a migration period in 728 AD, when it became part of the Lombard kingdom, under King Aistulf. San Giovanni in Persiceto was only under Lombard rule for 48 years, after which the Lombards were defeated by King Charlemagne in 776 AD. There are several characteristics of San Giovanni in Persiceto that link it to other Lombard settlements. For instance, some research suggests San Giovanni in Persiceto was the seat of a Lombard Duke between 750 and 800 AD. It is possible that the Lombards who ruled over San Giovanni in Persiceto played an important role in the introduction and growth of haplogroup I-L22 in the region.

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 Gillett 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.

"Gillett" Surname 50.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Gillett" Surname 22.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Gillett" Surname 17.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Gillett" Surname 16.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Gillett?

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 Gillett 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%