Explore the Family Name Waldman

The meaning of Waldman

1. Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Yiddish wald ‘forest’ + man ‘man’. Very few Jews would have been living anywhere near a forest at the time when they acquired surnames, so in most cases this is probably an artificial name. In other cases it may be a metonymic occupational name for someone whose job was connected with forestry, such as a woodcutter or lumber merchant. 2. Americanized form of German Waldmann. 3. English: topographic name for a forest dweller, from Old English w(e)ald ‘forest’ + mann ‘man’. Some characteristic forenames: Jewish Isadore, Shmuel, Chaim, Emanuel, Herschel, Hyman, Itzchak, Menachem, Meyer, Shimon, Zalman.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Waldman saw a minor decrease in its rank for popularity from 5878 in 2000 to 6167 in 2010, a change of -4.92%. Despite this drop in ranking, the number of individuals carrying the Waldman name increased by 2.93% during the same period, growing from 5391 to 5549. However, the proportion per 100,000 people decreased by 6.0%, which indicates that while the absolute count of people with the surname Waldman increased, its popularity relative to other surnames decreased.

Proportion per 100k21.88-6%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Waldman

In terms of ethnic identity, the Waldman surname is predominantly associated with individuals of White ethnicity, with 94.50% identified as such in 2010, down slightly from 95.75% in 2000. This information aligns with the data from the Decennial U.S. Census. It's interesting to note that there was a sizable increase in the percentage of those with the Waldman surname who identify as Hispanic, rising from 1.85% in 2000 to 3.24% in 2010. The representation of the Waldman surname also increased among those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander, but decreased among Black, American Indian and Alaskan Native, and those reporting two or more races.

Two or More Races1.13%1.01%-10.62%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.67%0.87%29.85%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.3%0.11%-63.33%

Waldman 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 Waldman is Ashkenazi Jewish, which comprises 53.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (17.7%) and French & German (12.9%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Spanish & Portuguese, Italian, Scandinavian, and Indigenous American.

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Ashkenazi Jewish53.2%
British & Irish17.7%
French & German12.9%

Possible origins of the surname Waldman

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 Waldman have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom41.70%
Greater London, United Kingdom41.70%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom41.10%
Merseyside, United Kingdom41.10%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom41.10%

What Waldman 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 Waldman is R-CTS6, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS6 is descended from haplogroup R-M420. Other common haplogroups include G-M377 and J-M67, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Pollack, Strauss, Lieberman, Berkowitz, Rosenberg, Grossman, Schwartz, Stein, Singer, Mandel.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Waldman surname are: H1, H, K1a1b1a. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

waldmanPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M420

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 Waldman 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.

"Waldman" Surname 59.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Waldman" Surname 25.0%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Waldman" Surname 13.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Waldman" Surname 14.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Waldman?

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 Waldman 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

Ashkenazi Jewish 57.0%

23andMe Users 57.2%