Explore the Family Name Griffin

The meaning of Griffin

1. Welsh: from the personal name Gruffin, Griffin, a pet form of Middle Welsh Gruffudd. In the Welsh border counties this name was introduced directly from Welsh, and in the eastern counties of England by Bretons from France who came over with the Norman conquest. 2. Irish: Anglicized (part translated) form of Gaelic Ó Gríobhtha ‘descendant of Gríobhtha’, a personal name from gríobh ‘gryphon’.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Griffin held a rank of 114 in terms of popularity in 2000, but dropped to 122 by the year 2010. This represents a change of -7.02 positions over the decade. The count, which signifies the number of people with the Griffin surname, increased from 190,636 in 2000 to 198,406 by 2010, marking a 4.08% growth. However, when we look at the proportion per 100,000 individuals, it declined from 70.67 in 2000 to 67.26 in 2010, showing a decrease of -4.83.

Proportion per 100k70.6767.26-4.83%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Griffin

Diving into the ethnicity breakdown of the surname Griffin according to the Decennial U.S. Census data, we observe some shifts over the decade from 2000 to 2010. Individuals identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander grew from 0.34% to 0.44%, and those reporting two or more races also saw an increase from 1.56% to 2.28%. White representation among Griffins decreased slightly from 66.46% to 63.77%, while Hispanic representation marked a notable rise from 1.36% to 2.21%. The percentage of Black Griffins increased marginally from 29.77% to 30.81%. Lastly, there was a slight decrease in the American Indian and Alaskan Native demographic, dropping from 0.50% to 0.47%.

Two or More Races1.56%2.28%46.15%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.5%0.47%-6%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.34%0.44%29.41%

Griffin 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 Griffin is British & Irish, which comprises 55.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (18.8%) and Nigerian (4.0%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Italian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish55.7%
French & German18.8%

Possible origins of the surname Griffin

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 Griffin have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom83.70%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom83.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom83.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom83.20%
West Midlands, United Kingdom82.50%

What Griffin 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 Griffin is R-L21, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L21 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Williams, Thomas, Davis, Brown, Martin, Young, Walker, Taylor, Roberts, Lewis.

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

griffinPaternal 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 Griffin 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.

"Griffin" Surname 38.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Griffin" Surname 26.3%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Griffin" Surname 23.2%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Griffin" Surname 18.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Griffin?

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 Griffin 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%