Explore the Family Name Henry

The meaning of Henry

1. English, French, Walloon, and West Indian (mainly Jamaica and Haiti): from a personal name composed of the ancient Germanic elements haim, heim ‘home’ + rīc ‘power, ruler’, introduced to England by the Normans in the form Henri. During the Middle Ages this name became enormously popular in England and was borne by eight kings. Continental forms of the personal name were equally popular throughout Europe. In the period in which the majority of English surnames were formed, a common English vernacular form of the name was Harry, hence the surnames Harris (southern) and Harrison (northern). Official documents of the period normally used the Latinized form Henricus. In medieval times, English Henry absorbed an originally distinct Old English personal name that had hagan ‘hawthorn’ (compare Hain 2) as its first element, and there has also been confusion with Amery. In North America, the English form of the surname has absorbed cognates from other languages, e.g. German Heinrich, and also their derivatives, e.g. Swedish Henriksson (see Henrikson). Compare Henri. 2. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hInnéirghe ‘descendant of Innéirghe’, a byname based on éirghe ‘arising’. 3. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Éinrí or Mac Einri, patronymics from the personal names Éinrí, Einri, Irish forms of Henry. It is also found as a variant of McEnery. 4. Americanized form of various like-sounding Jewish surnames. History: Robert Henry from Rouen in Seine-Maritime, France, married Marie-Madeleine Godin in Acadia c.1678. Jean Henry from Trémeur in Côtes-d’Armor, Brittany (France), married Marguerite Poulin in Saint-Joachim, QC, in 1746.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname 'Henry' has seen a slight decrease over the decade from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, 'Henry' was the 142nd most popular surname in the United States, but it had fallen to 149th by 2010, indicating a decrease of 4.93%. However, the overall count of people with the 'Henry' surname increased by 5.93% during this period, from 161,392 in 2000 to 170,964 in 2010. Despite the increase in numbers, the proportion of people bearing the name 'Henry' per 100k decreased by 3.13%.

Proportion per 100k59.8357.96-3.13%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Henry

The ethnicity associated with the surname 'Henry' showed significant changes between 2000 and 2010 according to the Decennial U.S. Census data. The percentage of individuals identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic having the 'Henry' surname saw a substantial increase, by 47.37% and 49.47% respectively. The category 'Two or more races' also experienced an increase of 17%, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native category rose by 9.36%. On the other hand, White individuals with the 'Henry' surname decreased by 5.58%, although they still formed the majority at 61.43% in 2010. The Black community witnessed a moderate increase of 6.68%, accounting for 30.68% of the total 'Henry' population in 2010.

Two or More Races2%2.34%17%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.71%1.87%9.36%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.57%0.84%47.37%

Henry 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 Henry is British & Irish, which comprises 47.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.9%) and Nigerian (5.0%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Italian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish47.7%
French & German23.9%

Possible origins of the surname Henry

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 Henry have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom79.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom79.00%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom79.00%
West Midlands, United Kingdom78.90%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom78.90%

What Henry 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 Henry is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and I-Y4752, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Thompson, Taylor, Robinson, Walker, White, Thomas, Brown, Smith, Wilson, Mitchell.

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

henryPaternal 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 Henry 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.

"Henry" Surname 42.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Henry" Surname 29.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Henry" Surname 20.1%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Henry" Surname 18.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Henry?

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 Henry 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%