Explore the Family Name Nowell

The meaning of Nowell

English (Yorkshire and Lancashire): variant of Noel, Knowles, or Newell.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname "Nowell" has shown a steady increase from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Nowell was ranked as the 6004th most popular surname and it improved its rank to 5676 in 2010, marking a positive change of 5.46%. Similarly, the count of individuals with this surname rose from 5281 to 6112 during this decade, indicating an increase of 15.74%. The proportion of people with this surname per 100,000 also saw an increase of 5.61% over the same period.

20002010Change
Rank#6,004#5,6765.46%
Count5,2816,11215.74%
Proportion per 100k1.962.075.61%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Nowell

Analyzing the same Decennial U.S. Census data for ethnicity reveals some changes in the ethnic identities associated with the surname Nowell between 2000 and 2010. The percentage of individuals identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased significantly from 0.30% to 0.74%, a change of 146.67%. Those identifying as having two or more ethnicities rose slightly from 1.74% to 2.00%. The majority of individuals with the surname Nowell are identified as White, though this percentage decreased marginally from 79.97% to 76.77%. The percentages of those who identify as Hispanic and Black saw increases of 50.54% and 8.89% respectively, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native identity saw an increase of 47.37%.

20002010Change
White79.97%76.77%-4%
Black15.75%17.15%8.89%
Hispanic1.86%2.8%50.54%
Two or More Races1.74%2%14.94%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.3%0.74%146.67%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.38%0.56%47.37%

Nowell 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 Nowell is British & Irish, which comprises 61.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (18.4%) and Eastern European (3.8%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Nigerian, Italian, and Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish61.4%
French & German18.4%
Eastern European3.8%
Other16.4%
Nowell

Possible origins of the surname Nowell

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 Nowell have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom88.00%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.00%
Merseyside, United Kingdom88.00%
Greater London, United Kingdom88.00%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom87.30%

What Nowell 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 Nowell is I-L22, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup I-L22 is descended from haplogroup I-M170. Other common haplogroups include I-L205.1 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Speed, Brewer, Tindall, Liles, Stillwell, Amundson, Morse, Holst, Belcher, Gillette.

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

nowellPaternal Haplogroup Origins I-M170
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to many northern European men

If you have haplogroup I1a1b, your paternal line stems from a young branch of I-M253 called I-L22, which likely arose in the last 3,000 years. I-L22 is most common in Northern Europe, but a recent study found that this haplogroup was present in a significant portion of the Partecipanza population living in San Giovanni in Persiceto, Italy. The area of San Giovanni in Persiceto was involved in a migration period in 728 AD, when it became part of the Lombard kingdom, under King Aistulf. San Giovanni in Persiceto was only under Lombard rule for 48 years, after which the Lombards were defeated by King Charlemagne in 776 AD. There are several characteristics of San Giovanni in Persiceto that link it to other Lombard settlements. For instance, some research suggests San Giovanni in Persiceto was the seat of a Lombard Duke between 750 and 800 AD. It is possible that the Lombards who ruled over San Giovanni in Persiceto played an important role in the introduction and growth of haplogroup I-L22 in the region.

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 Nowell 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.

Preferences

Nowell

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Nowell" Surname 42.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Nowell

Misophonia

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

"Nowell" Surname 36.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Nowell

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Nowell" Surname 22.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Nowell

Migraine

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

"Nowell" Surname 17.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Nowell?

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 Nowell 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%