Explore the Family Name Moore

The meaning of Moore

1. English: from Middle English more ‘moor, marsh, fen’ (Old English mōr), hence a topographic name for someone who lived in such a place, or a habitational name from any of various places called with this word, as for example Moore in Cheshire or More in Shropshire. 2. English (of Norman origin): ethnic name from Old French more ‘Moor’, either someone from North Africa or, more often, a nickname for someone thought to resemble a Moor. Compare Morrell and Moreau. 3. English (of Norman origin): from the Middle English personal name More (Old French More, Maur, Latin Maurus), originally denoting either ‘Moor’ or someone with a swarthy complexion (compare Morrell, Morrin, Morris, and sense 2 above). There was a 6th-century Christian saint of this name. 4. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Mórdha ‘descendant of Mórdha’, a byname meaning ‘great, proud’, or ‘stately’. 5. Scottish: variant of Muir. 6. Welsh: nickname from mawr ‘big, great’, either describing a man’s size or greatness (perhaps applied ironically), or as a means of distinguishing two men with the same name. 7. Americanized form of Slovenian Mur.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Moore shifted slightly between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Moore was the 16th most common surname in the United States, but by 2010, it had dropped to the 18th position, a decrease of 12.5 percent. However, the overall count of individuals with the Moore surname increased by 3.68 percent during this period, growing from 698,671 to 724,374. The proportion of people named Moore per 100,000 population also decreased by 5.19 percent, moving from 259.0 in 2000 to 245.57 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k259245.57-5.19%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Moore

When examining the ethnicity of those with the surname Moore, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals several shifts between 2000 and 2010. The percentage of Moores identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander rose by 29.73 percent, while those reporting two or more races increased by 37.65 percent over that decade. Those identifying as White decreased by 3.54 percent, and Hispanic Moores increased by 56.00 percent. The percentage of Moores identifying as Black grew slightly by 3.05 percent, and American Indian and Alaskan Native Moores saw a modest increase of 4.62 percent. It is important to note that due to privacy concerns, some data may have been suppressed.

Two or More Races1.7%2.34%37.65%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.65%0.68%4.62%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.37%0.48%29.73%

Moore 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 Moore is British & Irish, which comprises 53.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.0%) and Nigerian (3.7%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Italian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Spanish & Portuguese.

Ready to learn more about your ancestry? Get the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown on the market by taking our DNA test. Shop 23andMe

British & Irish53.4%
French & German22.0%

Possible origins of the surname Moore

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 Moore have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom82.60%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom82.50%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom82.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom82.30%
West Midlands, United Kingdom82.10%

What Moore 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 Moore is R-L627, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L627 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Young, Taylor, Smith, Thompson, Brown, Wilson, Walker, White, Cooper, Mitchell.

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

moorePaternal 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 Moore 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.

"Moore" Surname 41.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Moore" Surname 27.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Moore" Surname 23.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%



Cat Allergy

An allergic reaction to cats, characterized by symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and difficulty breathing.

"Moore" Surname 34.0%

23andMe Users 36.7%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Moore?

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 Moore 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%