Explore the Family Name Kaiser

The meaning of Kaiser

1. German and Dutch: from Middle High German keiser ‘emperor’, from the Latin imperial title Caesar. This was the title borne by Holy Roman Emperors from Otto I (962) to Francis II (who relinquished the title in 1806). Later, it was borne by the monarch of Bismarck’s united Germany (1871–1918). It is very common as a German surname, originating partly as an occupational name for a servant in the Emperor’s household, partly as a nickname for someone who behaved in an imperious manner, and partly as a topographic or habitational name referring to a house or inn distinguished by the sign of an emperor. This surname is also found in many other European countries, for example in France (Alsace and Lorraine), Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Czechia, and Slovenia (see also 3 below). 2. Jewish (Ashkenazic): artificial name from German Kaiser ‘emperor’, adopted (like Graf, Herzog, etc.) because of its aristocratic connotations. 3. Germanized form of Polish, Slovenian, and Croatian Kajzer, Czech and Slovenian Kajzar, or Czech Kajzr: nickname of German origin (see 1 above), often applied as a translation into German of corresponding Slavic nicknames and surnames. Some characteristic forenames: German Kurt, Otto, Hans, Erwin, Manfred, Wolfgang, Arno, Franz, Gunter, Klaus, Bernd, Florian.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Kaiser has seen marginal changes over the decade from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 977th most common name and by 2010, its position slightly declined to 1039th, representing a change of -6.35%. Despite this drop in ranking, the actual count of individuals with the Kaiser surname increased by 2.8% during the same period, growing from 32,567 to 33,480. The proportion per 100,000 people also decreased by -5.97%, moving from 12.07 to 11.35.

Proportion per 100k12.0711.35-5.97%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Kaiser

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Kaiser underwent several shifts between 2000 and 2010, as detailed in the Decennial U.S. Census. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased by 48.57%, while those reporting two or more races rose by 26.61%. However, the largest percentage growth was seen among those identifying as Hispanic, with an increase of 65.71%. Meanwhile, the proportion of Kaiser individuals who identified as White decreased by -1.57%, and those identifying as Black dropped by -1.78%. Similarly, the percentage of American Indian and Alaskan Native individuals with the Kaiser surname fell by -6.25%.

Two or More Races1.09%1.38%26.61%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.7%1.04%48.57%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.48%0.45%-6.25%

Kaiser 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 Kaiser is French & German, which comprises 38.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (33.5%) and Eastern European (8.5%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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French & German38.3%
British & Irish33.5%
Eastern European8.5%

Possible origins of the surname Kaiser

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 Kaiser have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom72.50%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom72.40%
Merseyside, United Kingdom72.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom72.10%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom71.60%

What Kaiser 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 Kaiser is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include E-V13 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Mueller, Schmidt, Weber, Hoffman, Bauer, Wagner, Wolf, Schneider, Becker, Meyer.

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

kaiserPaternal 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 Kaiser 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.

"Kaiser" Surname 44.8%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Kaiser" Surname 24.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Kaiser" Surname 20.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Kaiser" Surname 19.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Kaiser?

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 Kaiser 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

French & German 60.8%

23andMe Users 57.2%