Explore the Family Name Hamm

The meaning of Hamm

1. English (London): topographic name for someone who lived at a place called from Middle English ham(me), hom(me) (Old English hamm), which meant ‘land in a river bend’, ‘land hemmed in by marshland’, ‘wet land hemmed in by higher ground’, ‘river meadow’, or ‘cultivated plot on the edge of woodland or moor’. The topographic term is found mainly in the South Midlands and southern England. There are many farmsteads with this name in Devon and Sussex, five more substantial settlements called Ham or Hamp in Somerset, as well as East and West Ham in Essex, and places called Ham in Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, and Wiltshire. This form of the surname is also comparatively frequent in Ireland. 2. German: topographic name for someone who lived on land in a river bend, Old High German ham (see 1 above). 3. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from any of numerous places called Hamm, mainly the city in Westphalia. 4. German: from a short form of the ancient Germanic personal name Hadumar, from hadu ‘combat’ + mari ‘glorious’.

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

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

According to data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Hamm decreased in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, the surname Hamm ranked as the 1216th most popular surname but dropped to the 1314th position by 2010, a decrease of 8.06%. Despite this drop in rank, the total count of individuals with the Hamm surname showed a slight increase of 1.27%, from 26,392 in 2000 to 26,726 in 2010. Per 100,000 people, however, the proportion of the Hamm surname decreased by 7.36% during this period.

Proportion per 100k9.789.06-7.36%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Hamm

The ethnic identity associated with the Hamm surname also saw shifts between 2000 and 2010, as per data from the Decennial U.S. Census. The percentage of those identifying as White decreased slightly from 87.17% to 86.29%, while the Black category saw a minor decrease from 8.95% to 8.89%. The percentage of those self-identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased marginally from 0.53% to 0.57%. Individuals identifying as belonging to two or more races and Hispanic categories experienced significant growth, with increases of 33.33% each. Conversely, American Indian and Alaskan Native identifiers saw a decline in numbers from 0.56% to 0.53%.

Two or More Races1.23%1.64%33.33%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.53%0.57%7.55%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.56%0.53%-5.36%

Hamm 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 Hamm is British & Irish, which comprises 51.8% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (26.4%) and Eastern European (4.2%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Nigerian, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish51.8%
French & German26.4%
Eastern European4.2%

Possible origins of the surname Hamm

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 Hamm have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom84.90%
Greater London, United Kingdom84.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom84.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom84.50%
West Midlands, United Kingdom84.50%

What Hamm 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 Hamm is R-M405, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-M405 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include I-Z58 and E-V13, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Ham, Schumacher, Hartmann, Zimmer, Schilling, Atkinson, Schafer, Busch, Dick, Wagoner.

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

hammPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to King Louis XVI

The rule of France by men of the House of Bourbon began with King Henri IV in 1589 C.E. and continued until the beheading of his direct paternal descendant King Louis XVI in 1793. Several years ago, researchers analyzed a mummified head and a blood-soaked cloth that they believed might belong to the two kings, and concluded that the royal paternal line belonged to haplogroup G. In a more recent study, however, a different set of researchers tested three living men who are direct descendants of the Bourbon kings. Their efforts revealed that the male lineage of the House of Bourbon is actually a branch of haplogroup R-M405.

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 Hamm 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.

"Hamm" Surname 42.3%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Hamm" Surname 22.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Hamm" Surname 25.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Hamm" Surname 15.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Hamm?

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 Hamm 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%