Explore the Family Name Peak

The meaning of Peak

1. English: habitational name from any of several places in different parts of England named in Old English with pēac ‘hill, knoll, peak’, includingPeak (Hill) in Sidmouth (Devon), East and West Peek in Luffincot (Devon), a minor locality in Chiddingly (Sussex) once called Peke (now Peke’s House), and the Peak District, an area of rugged hills in northwest Derbyshire and adjacent counties. 2. English: possibly a nickname from the Middle English word in 1 above, denoting a stout, thick-set man. 3. English: shortened form of Peacock. 4. Possibly also Irish: shortened form of McPeak. History: Major concentrations of the surname Peak are found in Staffordshire and the West Country of England. Among the earliest known bearers are Richard del Pech or del Pek (died 1196), a son of Rannulf, sheriff of Nottingham, and Willielmus Piec (Winchester 1194). A century later, c.1284, Richard del Peke settled in Denbighshire (now part of Clwyd), Wales, receiving lands from Henry de Lacey, earl of Lincoln, in return for helping to control the region. His descendants, who bear the name Peak(e), can be traced to the present day, and are found in New Zealand and Canada as well as in Britain. Peake is also the name of a family descended from John Pyke, who paid rent to the abbot of Leicester in 1477. The name took various forms, such as Peke and Pick, eventually becoming established as Peak in the 17th century.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname "Peak" has maintained a relatively steady popularity over the years. In 2000, the surname was ranked 4077 and ten years later, in 2010, it had moved up slightly to rank 4076, a negligible change of 0.02. The count of individuals with this surname increased by 8.45% from 8034 to 8713 between 2000 and 2010. However, when looking at the proportion per 100k people, there was a slight decrease of 1.01%, from 2.98 to 2.95.

Proportion per 100k2.982.95-1.01%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Peak

In terms of ethnicity, data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows that the ethnic identity associated with the surname "Peak" has experienced some fluctuation. The largest change was seen within the Hispanic community, which saw a significant increase of 124.22%, growing from 1.28% in 2000 to 2.87% in 2010. There was also an increase in the Asian/Pacific Islander and Black communities by 26.37% and 8.83% respectively. Meanwhile, there was a modest increase of 34.25% for those identifying as two or more races. On the other hand, the percentage of individuals identifying as White decreased by 4.56%, while American Indian and Alaskan Native representation also decreased by 5.94%.

Asian/Pacific Islander1.82%2.3%26.37%
Two or More Races1.46%1.96%34.25%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.01%0.95%-5.94%

Peak 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 Peak is British & Irish, which comprises 55.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (25.3%) and Eastern European (3.7%). Additional ancestries include Nigerian, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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

British & Irish55.1%
French & German25.3%
Eastern European3.7%

Possible origins of the surname Peak

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 Peak have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom90.80%
Merseyside, United Kingdom90.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom90.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom90.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom89.60%

What Peak 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 Peak 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-CTS241 and R-CTS6889, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Elson, Bullen, Clair, Ladd, Symons, Sumpter, Knott, Archer, Allman, Ambrose.

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

peakPaternal 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 Peak 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.

"Peak" Surname 39.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Peak" Surname 20.0%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Peak" Surname 27.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Peak" Surname 18.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Peak?

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 Peak 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%