Explore the Family Name Pearson

The meaning of Pearson

1. English: patronymic from the Middle English personal name Per(e) or Piers (see Pear and Pierce) + son. The surname is also quite common in Ireland, where it has been established for many centuries. Compare Peerson. 2. Americanized form of one or more similar (like-sounding) Jewish (Ashkenazic) surnames.

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

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

Based on the data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Pearson has seen some changes in its popularity over the years. In 2000, Pearson was the 281st most popular surname, but by 2010, it had slipped to 308th place, marking a decrease in rank by about 9.61%. However, the actual count of people with the Pearson surname rose slightly from 98,728 in 2000 to 101,836 in 2010, showing an increase of 3.15%.

20002010Change
Rank#281#308-9.61%
Count98,728101,8363.15%
Proportion per 100k36.634.52-5.68%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Pearson

The ethnic identity associated with the Pearson surname also saw some shifts between 2000 and 2010 according to the Decennial U.S. Census data. The largest group identifying as Pearsons were still those of White ethnicity, although their percentage dropped slightly by 3.15% to 72.14%. The Black community showed a slight increase of 4.26%, making up 22.51% of Pearsons by 2010. There was also a significant rise in the number of Pearsons of Hispanic ethnicity, which increased by 57.75% to make up 2.24% of the total. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander or two or more races also saw increases, while the proportion of American Indian and Alaskan Native Pearsons decreased slightly.

20002010Change
White74.49%72.14%-3.15%
Black21.59%22.51%4.26%
Hispanic1.42%2.24%57.75%
Two or More Races1.6%2.14%33.75%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.47%0.56%19.15%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.43%0.41%-4.65%

Pearson 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 Pearson is British & Irish, which comprises 48.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (20.5%) and Scandinavian (9.8%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Nigerian, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish48.5%
French & German20.5%
Scandinavian9.8%
Other21.2%
Pearson

Possible origins of the surname Pearson

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 Pearson have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom81.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom81.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom81.10%
Merseyside, United Kingdom81.00%
West Midlands, United Kingdom80.60%

What Pearson 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 Pearson is I-P109, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup I-P109 is descended from haplogroup I-M170. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and R-M405, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Nelson, Johnson, Anderson, Smith, Peterson, Jensen, Thompson, Wilson, Young, Benson.

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

pearsonPaternal 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 Pearson 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

Pearson

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Pearson" Surname 41.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Pearson

Misophonia

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

"Pearson" Surname 27.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Pearson

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Pearson" Surname 21.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Pearson

Cat Allergy

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

"Pearson" Surname 34.8%

23andMe Users 36.7%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Pearson?

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 Pearson 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%