Explore the Family Name Herbert

The meaning of Herbert

1. German, English, and French: from a personal name composed of the ancient Germanic elements heri, hari ‘army’ + berht ‘bright, famous’. In Britain, this Old French name, introduced by the Normans, reinforced the less common Old English cognate Herebeorht. The surname was taken to Ireland after the Anglo-Norman invasion and in the 16th century. 2. Jewish (Ashkenazic): from the German personal name (see 1 above).

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Herbert has seen some fluctuations in the early 21st century. In the year 2000, Herbert was ranked as the 1,285th most popular surname in America. By 2010, it had slipped slightly to the 1,334th spot, marking a decrease of 3.81%. Despite this drop in rank, the actual count of people bearing the Herbert surname increased from 25,224 to 26,417 during the same time period, showing a growth of 4.73%. The proportion per 100,000 people also fell by 4.17%, going from 9.35 in 2000 to 8.96 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k9.358.96-4.17%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Herbert

The Decennial U.S. Census information also indicates shifts in the ethnic identity associated with the Herbert surname. Notably, there was a significant increase in the Hispanic ethnicity, rising from 2.45% in 2000 to 4.20% in 2010, a change of 71.43%. Those identifying as two or more ethnicities also saw a substantial increase of 45.00%, moving from 1.40% to 2.03%. The percentage of individuals identified as White decreased by 4.02%, falling from 74.61% to 71.61%. Meanwhile, those identified as Black and Asian/Pacific Islander saw smaller changes, with increases of 2.15% and 21.87% respectively. Lastly, the American Indian and Alaskan Native group witnessed a minor increase of 6.82%.

Two or More Races1.4%2.03%45%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.88%0.94%6.82%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.64%0.78%21.87%

Herbert 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 Herbert is British & Irish, which comprises 50.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.2%) and Eastern European (4.7%). Additional ancestries include Italian, Scandinavian, Nigerian, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish50.4%
French & German22.2%
Eastern European4.7%

Possible origins of the surname Herbert

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 Herbert have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom80.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom80.00%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom79.50%
Merseyside, United Kingdom79.50%
West Midlands, United Kingdom79.10%

What Herbert 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 Herbert 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-P311 and R-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Harrison, Thompson, Brown, Smith, Davis, Saunders, Richards, Wilson, Williams, Morris.

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

herbertPaternal 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 Herbert 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.

"Herbert" Surname 42.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Herbert" Surname 28.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Herbert" Surname 15.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Herbert" Surname 16.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Herbert?

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 Herbert 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%