Explore the Family Name Waldo

The meaning of Waldo

1. English: variant of Walthall. Compare Scottish Waldie. 2. German: habitational name from any of several places in Pomerania and Brandenburg called Waldow. This surname is very rare in Germany. History: Cornelius Waldo was living in Ipswich, MA, in 1647. Samuel Waldo (1695–1759) was born in Boston and became a land speculator in ME.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Waldo has seen a slight dip in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it ranked as the 6700th most common surname in the U.S., while in 2010, it slipped to 7120th place, marking a decline of 6.27%. However, the census data also highlights that the actual number of people with this surname increased slightly from 4651 to 4699, an increase of 1.03%.

Proportion per 100k1.721.59-7.56%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Waldo

The ethnicity data from the Decennial U.S. Census reveals changes in the ethnic identities associated with the surname Waldo. While a majority of those with the surname identified as White (83.34% in 2010, down from 86.11% in 2000), there was notable growth in some minority ethnic identities. Specifically, individuals identifying as Hispanic grew from 4.28% in 2000 to 6.79% in 2010, a significant increase of 58.64%. Those identifying as Black also saw growth, from 6.71% to 7.00%. Asian/Pacific Islander representation decreased slightly (-17.59%) as did the Two or More Races category (4.73%). The percentage of American Indian and Alaskan Natives also rose, albeit from a small base, increasing by 26.47%.

Two or More Races1.48%1.55%4.73%
Asian/Pacific Islander1.08%0.89%-17.59%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.34%0.43%26.47%

Waldo 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 Waldo is British & Irish, which comprises 46.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.9%) and Eastern European (5.3%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Nigerian.

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British & Irish46.1%
French & German21.9%
Eastern European5.3%

Possible origins of the surname Waldo

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 Waldo have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Glasgow City, United Kingdom76.10%
Greater London, United Kingdom76.10%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom76.10%
West Midlands, United Kingdom76.10%
South Yorkshire, United Kingdom76.10%

What Waldo 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 Waldo is I-CTS616, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup I-CTS616 is descended from haplogroup I-M170. Other common haplogroups include I-Z2058 and R-P312, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Belden, Olmos, Spears, Speer, Hine, Spear, Coulter, Bentz, Bernhard, Barroso.

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

waldoPaternal Haplogroup Origins I-M170

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 Waldo 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.

"Waldo" Surname 44.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Waldo" Surname 29.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Waldo" Surname 26.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Waldo" Surname 18.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Waldo?

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 Waldo 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%