Explore the Family Name Stead

The meaning of Stead

English (West Yorkshire and Lancashire): 1. in Yorkshire and Lancashire, a habitational name primarily from Stead near Storiths in Hazlewood (Skipton, Yorkshire), which became a grange of Bolton Priory. Alternative origins might include Stead Farm in Nether Hoyland (Yorkshire), and Stidd in Ribchester (Lancashire), but it is not known if this latter produced a surviving hereditary surname. Across England, the name may arise from one or other minor places which were also named with Middle English stede ‘farm, estate; hamlet’ (Old English stede); for example, The Stude in Church Lawford (Warwickshire). The word was especially common in minor names and field names in south and southeastern England. 2. variant of Steed.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Stead experienced a slight decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. The ranking of the surname fell from 10,802 in 2000 to 11,257 in 2010, marking a 4.21% drop. However, there was a minor increase in the number of people with this surname, from 2,710 in 2000 to 2,808 in 2010, showing a growth of 3.62%. Despite the growth in count, the proportion per 100,000 decreased by 5.0%.

Proportion per 100k10.95-5%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Stead

The Decennial U.S. Census data also provides insight into the ethnic identity associated with the surname Stead. In 2010, the majority of individuals with the surname identified as White, although the percentage decreased slightly from 90.26% in 2000 to 88.89%. The next largest group is those who identify as American Indian and Alaskan Native, but this group also saw a decrease from 3.73% to 3.28%. The percentages of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic significantly increased, with the former rising from 0.33% to 0.75% and the latter from 1.73% to 3.13%. Those identifying as Black or belonging to two or more races saw changes as well, with the former decreasing from 2.21% to 1.92%, and the latter increasing from 1.73% to 2.03%.

American Indian and Alaskan Native3.73%3.28%-12.06%
Two or More Races1.73%2.03%17.34%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.33%0.75%127.27%

Stead 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 Stead is British & Irish, which comprises 60.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.5%) and Scandinavian (4.6%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Indigenous American, Spanish & Portuguese, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish60.4%
French & German23.5%

Possible origins of the surname Stead

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 Stead have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Belfast, United Kingdom94.40%
County Durham, United Kingdom93.30%
South Yorkshire, United Kingdom93.30%
Kent, United Kingdom91.10%
Edinburgh, United Kingdom90.00%

What Stead 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 Stead 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 I-M170 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Beaumont, Liddle, Watterson, Broadbent, Towers, Tedder, Messick, Peckham, Howells, Ferrier.

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

steadPaternal 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 Stead 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.

"Stead" Surname 66.7%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Stead" Surname 41.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Stead" Surname 21.2%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Stead" Surname 19.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Stead?

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 Stead 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%