Explore the Family Name Hamel

The meaning of Hamel

1. English, Scottish, and Irish (Louth): variant of Hamill. 2. French: topographic name for someone who lived and worked at an outlying farm dependent on the main village, Old French hamel (a diminutive from an ancient Germanic element cognate with Old English hām ‘homestead’); or a habitational name from (Le) Hamel, the name of several places in the northern part of France, named with this word. Compare Duhamel and also Amell. 3. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from the city of Hamlin, German Hameln, Yiddish Haml, where the Hamel river empties into the Weser. The name of the river probably derives from the ancient Germanic element ham ‘water meadow’. 4. Dutch: metonymic occupational name for a shepherd, from Middle Dutch hamel ‘wether, castrated ram’. History: Among the progenitors of the Hamels are two brothers from Avremesnil in Seine-Maritime, France: Charles Hamel, who married first Judith Auvray in France c.1650, and second Catherine Lemaître in France in 1656, died in QC c.1684; and Jean Hamel, who married Marie Auvray in France c.1660, died in Quebec City, QC, in 1674. The descendants of one or another brother also bear altered forms of the surname, such as Amell. Some characteristic forenames: French Armand, Lucien, Normand, Andre, Jacques, Fernand, Aime, Aubert, Cecile, Marcel, Michel, Raoul.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Hamel experienced a slight dip from 2000 to 2010. Ranked at 3,129 in 2000, it dropped to 3,294 in 2010, reflecting a -5.27% change in ranking. However, the count of people with this surname grew by 3.32%, from 10,592 in 2000 to 10,944 in 2010. This increase was not enough to prevent a decrease in proportion per 100k people, which fell by -5.6% over the same period.

Proportion per 100k3.933.71-5.6%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Hamel

With regards to ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows that the majority of individuals with the surname Hamel identified as White in both 2000 and 2010, with a slight decrease from 94.4% to 93.41%. The Hispanic representation saw an increase of 40.61%, growing from 1.65% in 2000 to 2.32% in 2010. The Asian/Pacific Islander group also saw a rise, up 50% from 0.42% to 0.63%. Those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native saw a growth of 29.17%. Representation of those identifying with two or more races rose by 6.43%, while the Black demographic witnessed a decline from 1.34% in 2000 to 1.2% in 2010.

Two or More Races1.71%1.82%6.43%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.42%0.63%50%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.48%0.62%29.17%

Hamel 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 Hamel is British & Irish, which comprises 40.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (28.9%) and Eastern European (7.6%). Additional ancestries include Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Scandinavian, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Indigenous American.

Ready to learn more about your ancestry? Get the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown on the market by taking our DNA test. Shop 23andMe

British & Irish40.1%
French & German28.9%
Eastern European7.6%

Possible origins of the surname Hamel

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 Hamel have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom76.50%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom76.50%
West Midlands, United Kingdom76.50%
Merseyside, United Kingdom76.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom76.20%

What Hamel 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 Hamel 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-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Gillette, Trowbridge, Gillett, Belcher, Carman, Culpepper, Tankersley, Newsome, Liles, Newsom.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Hamel surname are: H1, J1c, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

hamelPaternal 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 Hamel 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.

"Hamel" Surname 38.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Hamel" Surname 30.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Hamel" Surname 18.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Hamel" Surname 15.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Hamel?

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 Hamel 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%