Explore the Family Name Gold

The meaning of Gold

1. Jewish (Ashkenazic): artificial name from German Gold, Yiddish gold ‘gold’. In North America, it is often a shortened form of one of the many compound artificial names of which Gold is the first element. 2. English and German: from Middle English go(u)ld, or Old English and Old High German gold ‘gold’, applied as a metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in gold, i.e. a refiner, jeweler, or gilder, or as a nickname for someone who either had many gold possessions or bright yellow hair. 3. English: from an Old English personal name Golda (or the feminine Golde), which persisted into the Middle Ages as a personal name. The name was in part a byname from gold ‘gold’, and in part a short form of various compound names with this first element. Some characteristic forenames: Jewish Emanuel, Meyer, Mayer, Hyman, Ari, Avram, Mendel, Moshe, Shraga, Aviva.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname 'Gold' has seen a slight increase in usage between 2000 and 2010, though it's rank in popularity has slightly dipped. The count of individuals with the surname rose from 18,237 in 2000 to 18,698 in 2010, marking a 2.53% increase. However, its rank dropped from 1,810th most popular in 2000 to the 1,928th in 2010, a 6.52% decrease. The proportion per 100,000 people also saw a minor decrease of 6.21% over the decade.

Proportion per 100k6.766.34-6.21%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Gold

In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals that the majority of people with the 'Gold' surname identify as White, although the percentage decreased slightly from 91.81% in 2000 to 90.18% in 2010. The percentages of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic both saw substantial increases, 81.25% (from 0.64% to 1.16%) and 38.99% (from 2.18% to 3.03%) respectively. Individuals who reported being of two or more ethnicities increased by 12.12%, while the ratio of Black individuals remained relatively stable. American Indian and Alaskan Native representation within the 'Gold' surname also rose, moving from 0.24% in 2000 to 0.34% in 2010.

Two or More Races1.32%1.48%12.12%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.64%1.16%81.25%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.24%0.34%41.67%

Gold 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 Gold is Ashkenazi Jewish, which comprises 46.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (22.4%) and French & German (12.6%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Scandinavian, and Indigenous American.

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Ashkenazi Jewish46.7%
British & Irish22.4%
French & German12.6%

Possible origins of the surname Gold

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 Gold have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom49.10%
Merseyside, United Kingdom48.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom48.80%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom48.30%
West Midlands, United Kingdom48.10%

What Gold 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 Gold is J-CTS5368, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup J-CTS5368 is descended from haplogroup J-M304. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and E-L791, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Berman, Friedman, Goldberg, Stern, Rosenthal, Weiss, Rosenberg, Schwartz, Bernstein, Feldman.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Gold surname are: K1a1b1a, H1, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

goldPaternal Haplogroup Origins J-M304
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to men who spread the Semitic languages

Men carrying the J-M267 lineage took part in many waves of migrations over the millennia, and domesticated animals and plants weren't the only things they carried. They may also have been among the communities that spread the Semitic languages, a diverse group that bloomed from a single proto-Semitic tongue in the Levant nearly 5,750 years ago. These men likely carried branches of both haplogroup J and of the Semitic language family through the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa. Still later, some J-M267-bearing men re-expanded from the Arabian Peninsula back through the Middle East and across North Africa in migrations associated with the emergence and spread of Islam.

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 Gold 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.

"Gold" Surname 43.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Gold" Surname 27.5%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Gold" Surname 19.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Gold" Surname 17.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Gold?

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 Gold 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

Ashkenazi Jewish 57.0%

23andMe Users 57.2%