Explore the Family Name Rees

The meaning of Rees

1. Welsh: variant of Rice. 2. German: habitational name from a place in the Rhineland called Rees. 3. German: from a short form of the personal name Andreas.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Rees has seen a slight decline from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Rees was ranked the 2,669th most popular last name in the United States. By 2010, it had slipped to the 2,828th position, marking a decrease of 5.96%. Similarly, the proportion of individuals with the surname Rees per 100,000 people dropped by 6.49% during this period. However, the overall count of people bearing the surname Rees increased marginally by 2.39%, from 12,456 in 2000 to 12,754 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k4.624.32-6.49%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Rees

The ethnicity breakdown for the surname Rees also underwent some changes from 2000 to 2010, as reflected in the Decennial U.S. Census data. The percentage of Rees individuals identifying as White decreased slightly from 95.13% in 2000 to 93.90% in 2010. On the other hand, those identifying as Hispanic rose from 1.68% to 2.54%, a significant increase of 51.19%. The Asian/Pacific Islander and Two or More Races categories also saw increases, with growth rates of 26.56% and 38.79% respectively. Conversely, the proportions of Black and American Indian and Alaskan Native populations with the surname Rees declined by 19.81% and 14.71% respectively.

Two or More Races1.16%1.61%38.79%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.64%0.81%26.56%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.34%0.29%-14.71%

Rees 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 Rees is British & Irish, which comprises 60.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.6%) and Eastern European (4.7%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Spanish & Portuguese, and Chinese.

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British & Irish60.9%
French & German19.6%
Eastern European4.7%

Possible origins of the surname Rees

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 Rees have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

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

What Rees 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 Rees 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: Davies, Griffith, Cameron, Lloyd, Pritchard, Phillips, Jones, Griffiths, Morgan, Hopkins.

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

reesPaternal 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 Rees 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.

"Rees" Surname 38.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Rees" Surname 36.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Rees" Surname 18.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Rees" Surname 17.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Rees?

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 Rees 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%