Explore the Family Name Oleson

The meaning of Oleson

Americanized form of Danish and Norwegian Olsen and Olesen, and also of the Swedish cognate Olsson. Some characteristic forenames: Scandinavian Alf, Erik, Kristoffer, Nels, Niels.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Oleson saw a slight decline between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Oleson ranked 8034 in popularity with a count of 3807, accounting for 1.41 per 100k of the population. However, by 2010, the rank had dropped to 8780, representing a change of -9.29%. Furthermore, the count also decreased slightly from 3807 to 3734, marking a -1.92% change during this period.

Proportion per 100k1.411.27-9.93%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Oleson

Regarding the ethnic identity associated with the Oleson surname, data from the Decennial U.S. Census indicates some shifts between 2000 and 2010. The majority of people with this surname identified as White, although the percentage dropped slightly from 95.61% in 2000 to 94.83% in 2010. Meanwhile, there was a notable increase in those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander (from 0.63% to 0.94%) and Black (from 0.18% to 0.27%). Additionally, the proportion of individuals reporting two or more races increased from 1.21% to 1.61%, and those identifying as Hispanic rose from 1.63% to 1.71%. A marginal decrease was observed among those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native, from 0.74% to 0.64%.

Two or More Races1.21%1.61%33.06%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.63%0.94%49.21%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.74%0.64%-13.51%

Oleson 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 Oleson is British & Irish, which comprises 38.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (28.9%) and Scandinavian (17.3%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish38.3%
French & German28.9%

Possible origins of the surname Oleson

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 Oleson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom84.30%
Greater London, United Kingdom84.30%
West Midlands, United Kingdom84.30%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom84.30%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom83.30%

What Oleson 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 Oleson is R-L48, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L48 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-Z282 and R-P312, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Henriksen, Quist, Stromberg, Kiel, Kranz, Lundberg, Heintz, Samuelson, Knorr, Clausen.

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

olesonPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to King Louis XVI

The rule of France by men of the House of Bourbon began with King Henri IV in 1589 C.E. and continued until the beheading of his direct paternal descendant King Louis XVI in 1793. Several years ago, researchers analyzed a mummified head and a blood-soaked cloth that they believed might belong to the two kings, and concluded that the royal paternal line belonged to haplogroup G. In a more recent study, however, a different set of researchers tested three living men who are direct descendants of the Bourbon kings. Their efforts revealed that the male lineage of the House of Bourbon is actually a branch of haplogroup R-M405.

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 Oleson 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.

"Oleson" Surname 34.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Oleson" Surname 32.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Oleson" Surname 15.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Oleson" Surname 14.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Oleson?

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 Oleson 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%