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The meaning of Peterson
1. English, Scottish, and German: patronymic from the personal name Peter. In North America, this surname has absorbed various cognates and their derivatives from other languages, e.g. Norwegian and Danish Pedersen and Pettersen and their Swedish cognates (see 2 below), Polish Piotrowicz, Slovenian Petrič, Petrovčič, and Petrovič (see Petric, Petrovic). 2. Americanized form (and a less common Swedish variant) of Swedish Petersson, a cognate of 1 above, and also of its variant Pettersson. Compare 1 above.
Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.
How common is the last name Peterson in the United States?
Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Peterson has experienced a slight decrease between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Peterson ranked as the 63rd most popular surname, but by 2010 it fell to the 71st position, marking a decline of 12.7%. Despite this drop in rank, the actual number of people with the Peterson surname increased from 275,041 in 2000 to 278,297 in 2010, representing a growth of 1.18%. The proportion per 100k people bearing this surname also fell by 7.47 during this decade.
|Proportion per 100k||101.96||94.34||-7.47%|
Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Peterson
The ethnicity breakdown for the Peterson surname, according to the Decennial U.S. Census data, shows various shifts from 2000 to 2010. Those identifying as White were the largest group, despite decreasing from 86.29% in 2000 to 84.39% in 2010. The Black community marked an increase from 9.58% to 10.09%, while those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander rose from 0.52% to 0.66%. The most significant percentage increase was amongst Hispanics, who went from 1.56% in 2000 to 2.40% in 2010, reflecting a growth of 53.85%. The proportion of those claiming two or more ethnic identities grew from 1.33% to 1.72%, and American Indian and Alaskan Natives saw a smaller increase from 0.70% to 0.74%.
|Two or More Races||1.33%||1.72%||29.32%|
|American Indian and Alaskan Native||0.7%||0.74%||5.71%|
peterson 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 Peterson is British & Irish, which comprises 36.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.8%) and Scandinavian (19.5%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Ashkenazi Jewish.
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|British & Irish||36.9%|
|French & German||23.8%|
Possible origins of the surname peterson
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 Peterson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.
|RECENT ANCESTRY Location||Percentage|
|Greater London, United Kingdom||76.90%|
|Greater Manchester, United Kingdom||76.80%|
|Glasgow City, United Kingdom||76.60%|
|Merseyside, United Kingdom||76.50%|
|West Midlands, United Kingdom||76.40%|
What peterson 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 Peterson 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 I-Z58 and I-L205.1, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Nelson, Larson, Anderson, Hansen, Olson, Hanson, Erickson, Carlson, Jensen, Swanson.
The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Peterson surname are: H, T2b, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.
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.
What do people with the surname Peterson 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.
"Peterson" Surname 42.1%
23andMe Users 41.3%
When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.
"Peterson" Surname 25.1%
23andMe Users 27.9%
Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.
"Peterson" Surname 20.9%
23andMe Users 21.1%
An allergic reaction to cats, characterized by symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and difficulty breathing.
"Peterson" Surname 37.3%
23andMe Users 36.7%