Explore the Family Name Patterson

The meaning of Patterson

1. Scottish and northern English: variant of Patrickson ‘son of Patrick’, which was either shortened to Patrison and metathesized to Patterson, or shortened from Paterickson to Patterson. 2. Irish: in Ulster, this name is of English or Scottish origin, but in County Galway, it was also taken by bearers of the Gaelic name Ó Caisín ‘descendant of the little curly-headed one’ (from Gaelic casín ‘curly’), which is usually Anglicized as Cussane. In addition to the confusion between Irish Gaelic casín ‘curly’ and cosán ‘path’, there has also been an erroneous assumption that the English name Patterson is somehow derived from the English word path. 3. English: 19th-century variant of Patteson, a shortened form of Pattinson.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Patterson has seen a slight decline between 2000 and 2010. The rank of the surname dropped from 104 in 2000 to 117 in 2010, indicating a decrease in popularity by 12.5%. However, the count of individuals with this surname actually increased in that same period from 198,557 to 205,423, a rise of 3.46%. This suggests that while Patterson was less common compared to other surnames, the number of people with this surname grew. The proportion of individuals named Patterson per 100,000 also decreased by 5.38% within this decade.

20002010Change
Rank#104#117-12.5%
Count198,557205,4233.46%
Proportion per 100k73.669.64-5.38%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Patterson

In terms of ethnicity, data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows some shifts over the decade from 2000 to 2010. The percentage of Pattersons identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian and Alaskan Native increased by 27.03% and 11.48% respectively. There was also a significant increase in those identifying as having two or more races (40.72%) or Hispanic (50.93%). The majority of Pattersons identified as White, though this decreased slightly from 70.09% in 2000 to 67.27% in 2010. Those identifying as Black saw a small increase from 25.66% to 26.8%.

20002010Change
White70.09%67.27%-4.02%
Black25.66%26.8%4.44%
Hispanic1.61%2.43%50.93%
Two or More Races1.67%2.35%40.72%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.61%0.68%11.48%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.37%0.47%27.03%

Patterson 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 Patterson is British & Irish, which comprises 53.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.5%) and Nigerian (3.8%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Eastern European, Italian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish53.3%
French & German21.5%
Nigerian3.8%
Other21.4%
Patterson

Possible origins of the surname Patterson

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 Patterson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom82.50%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom82.40%
West Midlands, United Kingdom82.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom81.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom81.70%

What Patterson 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 Patterson is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Walker, Thompson, Taylor, Clark, Brown, Smith, Thomas, Mitchell, Collins, Evans.

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

pattersonPaternal 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 Patterson 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

Patterson

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Patterson" Surname 43.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Patterson

Misophonia

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

"Patterson" Surname 27.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Patterson

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Patterson" Surname 21.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Patterson

Migraine

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

"Patterson" Surname 17.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Patterson?

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 Patterson 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%