Explore the Family Name Richardson

The meaning of Richardson

1. English: patronymic from the Middle English personal name Richard + -son. This surname is also very common among African Americans. Compare Ritson. 2. Americanized form (and a Swedish variant) of Swedish Richardsson or Rikardsson: patronymic from the personal name Richard, Rikard. 3. Americanized form of Norwegian and Danish Richardsen or Norwegian Rikardsen, cognates of 2 above. History: An early American bearer of this surname, Francis Richardson, emigrated to North America in 1681 as a member of the Society of Friends. His grandson was a respected silversmith from Philadelphia, PA. The name was brought to North America independently by many other bearers from the 17th century onward.

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

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

Based on the data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Richardson experienced a slight decrease between 2000 and 2010. The rank of the surname fell by 8.11 positions from 74 to 80, marking a decline in its frequency. Despite this drop in rank, the count of people with the Richardson name actually rose by 4.11%, reaching 259,798 in 2010 from 249,533 in 2000. However, the proportion of individuals named Richardson per 100,000 decreased by 4.79, going down to 88.07 from 92.5.

20002010Change
Rank#74#80-8.11%
Count249,533259,7984.11%
Proportion per 100k92.588.07-4.79%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Richardson

The Decennial U.S. Census also provides insights into the ethnic identity associated with the Richardson surname. In 2010, the highest percentage of Richardsons identified as White (59.70%), followed by Black (33.63%). There was a marginal decrease in the percentage of Richardsons identifying as White from 62.25% in 2000, whereas those identifying as Black saw a slight increase from 32.77%. Over the decade, there was notable growth in the Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander populations within the Richardson family, increasing by 51.43% and 33.33% respectively. The representation of Two or more races and American Indian and Alaskan Native groups also grew modestly, by 34.07% and 4.76% respectively.

20002010Change
White62.25%59.7%-4.1%
Black32.77%33.63%2.62%
Hispanic1.75%2.65%51.43%
Two or More Races1.82%2.44%34.07%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.05%1.1%4.76%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.36%0.48%33.33%

Richardson 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 Richardson is British & Irish, which comprises 52.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (20.9%) and Nigerian (4.9%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Spanish & Portuguese, and Italian.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish52.1%
French & German20.9%
Nigerian4.9%
Other22.1%
Richardson

Possible origins of the surname Richardson

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 Richardson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom84.10%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom83.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom83.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom83.60%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom83.40%

What Richardson 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 Richardson 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 E-P252, which are predominantly found among people with European and Sub-Saharan African ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Johnson, Nelson, Harris, White, Green, Jackson, Anderson, Carter, Brown, Smith.

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

richardsonPaternal 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 Richardson 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

Richardson

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Richardson" Surname 42.8%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Richardson

Misophonia

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

"Richardson" Surname 27.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Richardson

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Richardson" Surname 24.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Richardson

Migraine

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

"Richardson" Surname 18.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Richardson?

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 Richardson 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%