Explore the Family Name Hill

The meaning of Hill

1. English: topographic name for someone who lived on or by a hill, from Middle English hill, hell, hull ‘hill’ (Old English hyll). Compare Hiller. This surname is also very common among African Americans. 2. English: possibly in some cases from the personal name Hille, a pet form of some name such as Hilger or Hillary. 3. German: from a short form of Hildebrand or any of a variety of other names, male and female, containing ancient Germanic hild ‘battle’ as the first element. 4. Americanized form (translation into English) of Finnish Mäki ‘hill’, or of any of various other names formed with this element (see Maki). 5. Americanized form of various like-sounding Jewish surnames.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname "Hill" has shown a modest rise in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was the 41st most common surname in the United States, with approximately 411,770 individuals bearing the name. A decade later, the rank rose to 39th, and the count increased by 5.6% to about 434,827. However, when adjusted for population growth, there was a slight decrease in the proportion of people named Hill per 100,000 residents, dropping by 3.43%.

Proportion per 100k152.64147.41-3.43%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Hill

The ethnic identity associated with the surname "Hill" has diversified over the same time period, according to the Decennial U.S. Census data. In 2000, the majority of Hills were identified as White (66.83%), followed by Black (28.42%). By 2010, while still predominantly White (64.36%) and Black (29.12%), there were notable increases in other categories. The largest change was seen among those identifying as Hispanic, from 1.64% in 2000 to 2.51% in 2010, an increase of 53.05%. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander also saw a significant increase of 26.19%, although they make up only a small fraction of the total. There was also a 41.01% increase in those identifying with two or more races.

Two or More Races1.78%2.51%41.01%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.91%0.97%6.59%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.42%0.53%26.19%

Hill 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 Hill is British & Irish, which comprises 52.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.3%) and Nigerian (3.9%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Eastern European, Italian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish52.5%
French & German21.3%

Possible origins of the surname Hill

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 Hill have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom83.50%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom83.40%
West Midlands, United Kingdom83.40%
Merseyside, United Kingdom83.40%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom83.10%

What Hill 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 Hill is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and R-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Smith, White, Brown, Wilson, Taylor, Green, Young, Miller, Johnson, Clark.

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

hillPaternal 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 Hill 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.

"Hill" Surname 42.8%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Hill" Surname 27.7%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Hill" Surname 22.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Hill" Surname 18.6%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Hill?

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 Hill 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%