Explore the Family Name Snowden

The meaning of Snowden

English: habitational name from any of the many minor places called from hills where the snow lay long (Old English snāw ‘snow’ + dūn ‘hill’). In Yorkshire, the name is either from High and Low Snowden in Askwith (Yorkshire) or Snowden Hill in Hunshelf, while in Devon the name is probably from Snowdon in Buckfastleigh or Snowdon in Rattery. The precise sources of the name in other counties have not been identified. Snow End in Anstey (Hertfordshire), recorded as Snowdon in 1362, is a possibility but it is not known if it gave rise to a surname. Compare Sneddon.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Snowden has slightly declined from 2000 to 2010. Ranked as 3081st most popular surname in 2000, it dropped to 3233rd place by 2010, marking a decrease of 4.93%. However, count-wise, there was a marginal increase of 3.55% with the number of individuals carrying the Snowden surname rising from 10,788 in 2000 to 11,171 in 2010. Consequently, the proportion of people with the Snowden surname per 100k population decreased by 5.25%, going from 4.0 in 2000 to 3.79 in 2010.

20002010Change
Rank#3,081#3,233-4.93%
Count10,78811,1713.55%
Proportion per 100k43.79-5.25%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Snowden

The ethnic identity associated with the Snowden surname also saw some changes between 2000 and 2010, according to the Decennial U.S. Census data. The majority of the Snowdens identified as White, although this percentage fell from 62.34% in 2000 to 59.77% in 2010. The second most common ethnicity was Black, increasing slightly from 33.58% to 34.38%. The category representing two or more races saw the biggest increase of 63.74%, surging from 1.82% to 2.98%. Conversely, the percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander Snowdens fell by 18.60%. Additionally, the representation of Hispanic and American Indian and Alaskan Native ethnic identities in the Snowden surname both increased in 2010 compared to 2000.

20002010Change
White62.34%59.77%-4.12%
Black33.58%34.38%2.38%
Two or More Races1.82%2.98%63.74%
Hispanic1.43%2.03%41.96%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.41%0.48%17.07%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.43%0.35%-18.6%

Snowden 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 Snowden is British & Irish, which comprises 50.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (20.0%) and Nigerian (4.2%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Spanish & Portuguese, and Italian.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish50.7%
French & German20.0%
Nigerian4.2%
Other25.1%
Snowden

Possible origins of the surname Snowden

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 Snowden have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom78.60%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom78.60%
Greater London, United Kingdom78.60%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom78.10%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom77.60%

What Snowden 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 Snowden is R-M467, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-M467 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and E-P252, which are predominantly found among people with European and Sub-Saharan African ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Blount, Proctor, Shipp, Sparks, Boyd, Skelton, Hinds, Lilly, Donnell, Hurst.

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

snowdenPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to King Louis XVI

The rule of France by men of the House of Bourbon began with King Henri IV in 1589 C.E. and continued until the beheading of his direct paternal descendant King Louis XVI in 1793. Several years ago, researchers analyzed a mummified head and a blood-soaked cloth that they believed might belong to the two kings, and concluded that the royal paternal line belonged to haplogroup G. In a more recent study, however, a different set of researchers tested three living men who are direct descendants of the Bourbon kings. Their efforts revealed that the male lineage of the House of Bourbon is actually a branch of haplogroup R-M405.

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 Snowden 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

Snowden

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Snowden" Surname 32.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Snowden

Misophonia

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

"Snowden" Surname 38.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Snowden

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Snowden" Surname 27.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Snowden

Migraine

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

"Snowden" Surname 14.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Snowden?

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 Snowden 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%