Explore the Family Name Simpson

The meaning of Simpson

1. Scottish (Lanarkshire) and English: patronymic from the Middle English and Older Scots personal name Sim(m), Sime (see Sim) + -son. 2. English: occasionally a variant of Sumsion with unrounding of the vowel before the nasal consonant, a dialect feature of southwestern England. 3. English: habitational name from any of the three places called Simpson or one called Zemson, all in Devon. The one in Holsworthy parish derives from an uncertain first element + Old English tūn ‘farmstead, estate’, while the one in Diptford comes from the Old English personal name Sigewine (genitive Sigewines) + Old English tūn. Both the one in Torbryan and Zempson in Dean Prior probably also have the same origin as the Diptford placename.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Simpson has seen a slight decrease in rank between 2000 and 2010, moving from the 145th to the 158th most popular surname in the United States, a change of -8.97. Despite the decrease in rank, the actual count of individuals carrying the Simpson surname increased by 3.12%, with a total of 163,181 individuals identified as Simpsons in 2010 compared to the 158,241 in 2000. However, when adjusted for population growth, the proportion of Simpsons per 100,000 people declined by -5.69.

Proportion per 100k58.6655.32-5.69%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Simpson

Turning to ethnicity, the data from the Decennial U.S. Census reveals shifts in the ethnic identity associated with the Simpson surname between 2000 and 2010. The percentage of Simpsons identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and those identifying with two or more races saw increases of 20.45% and 36.90%, respectively. Meanwhile, there was a significant increase of 49.70% in Simpsons identifying as Hispanic. The number of Simpsons identifying as Black also rose modestly by 4.34%. On the other hand, the proportion identifying as White decreased by -3.42%, while the percentage of Simpsons identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native remained steady at 0.78%.

Two or More Races1.68%2.3%36.9%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.78%0.78%0%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.44%0.53%20.45%

Simpson 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 Simpson is British & Irish, which comprises 55.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (20.8%) and Eastern European (3.3%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Nigerian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish55.0%
French & German20.8%
Eastern European3.3%

Possible origins of the surname Simpson

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 Simpson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom84.80%
Merseyside, United Kingdom84.70%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom84.60%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom84.40%
West Midlands, United Kingdom84.10%

What Simpson 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 Simpson is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and R-L724, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Brown, Wilson, Martin, Green, Smith, Taylor, Thompson, White, Cooper, Walker.

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

simpsonPaternal 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 Simpson 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.

"Simpson" Surname 39.7%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Simpson" Surname 27.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Simpson" Surname 23.1%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Simpson" Surname 18.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Simpson?

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 Simpson 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%