Explore the Family Name Wade

The meaning of Wade

1. English: from the Middle English personal name Wade (Old English Wada or, via Norman French, from ancient Germanic Wado, of unclear origin but possibly related to Old English wadan ‘to go’). 2. English: topographic name from Middle English wade ‘ford’ (Old English (ge)wæd ‘ford, especially a tidal crossing’) for someone who lived by a ford, or a habitational name from a place so called, such as Wade Hall in North Cove (Suffolk). 3. Irish: shortened and altered from Mac Uaid, see McQuaid. 4. German: occupational name or nickname from Middle Low German wade ‘garment, large net’. 5. West African (mainly Senegal, also Mauritania): Wolof name of unexplained etymology. History: Jonathan Wade emigrated from Norfolk, England, to Medford, MA, in 1632. Benjamin Franklin Wade (1800–78), born near Springfield, MA, was a prominent US senator from OH during the Civil War.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census, as of 2010, Wade was the 319th most common surname in the United States, slipping from its 297th position in 2000. This represents a percentage change of -7.41% over the decade. However, the actual number of people bearing the surname increased, growing from 92,834 in 2000 to 97,040 in 2010, marking an increase of 4.53%. The proportion of Wades per 100k individuals decreased slightly by 4.39%, sitting at 32.9 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k34.4132.9-4.39%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wade

Regarding ethnicity, the data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows that the majority of individuals with the surname Wade identify as White, though this proportion has slightly decreased from 67.49% in 2000 to 64.94% in 2010. The percentage of Wades who identify as Black saw a modest increase from 28.13% to 29.08%. There was a significant increase in the Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander populations among the Wades, with increases of 57.05% and 30.56% respectively. Also, there was an increase in the number of Wades identifying as two or more ethnicities, up 30.48% from 2000 to 2010. The American Indian and Alaskan Native Wade population experienced an increase of 13.85% during the same period.

Two or More Races1.87%2.44%30.48%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.65%0.74%13.85%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.36%0.47%30.56%

Wade 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 Wade is British & Irish, which comprises 54.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.5%) and Nigerian (4.3%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Italian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish54.0%
French & German21.5%

Possible origins of the surname Wade

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 Wade have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom84.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom84.00%
Merseyside, United Kingdom84.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom83.90%
West Midlands, United Kingdom83.80%

What Wade 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 Wade 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 J-M137, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: West, Williams, Byrd, Davis, Powell, Harrison, Andrews, Brown, Howard, Webb.

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

wadePaternal 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 Wade 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.

"Wade" Surname 44.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Wade" Surname 27.5%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wade" Surname 24.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Wade" Surname 18.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wade?

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 Wade 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%