Explore the Family Name Ware

The meaning of Ware

English: 1. topographic name for someone who lived by or looked after a dam or weir on a river (from Old English wær, wer, Middle English war(e), warre, wer(e), werre ‘weir’), or a habitational name from a place called with this word, such as Weare (Somerset), Weare Giffard (Devon), or Ware (Hertfordshire). 2. topographic name for someone who lived by a horse pond or fish pond, from Anglo-Norman French, Middle English wayour, which became early modern English ware, wear. 3. nickname for a cautious person, from Middle English war(e) ‘wary, prudent’, also ‘wise, skilful, cunnning’ (Old English (ge)wær). 4. (of Norman origin): variant of Warr. 5. (of Flemish origin): nickname from Flemish De Weer, from Middle Dutch we(d)er ‘wether, ram’. History: Robert Ware came to Dedham, MA, from England in or before 1642. Henry Ware (1764–1845), born in Sherborn, MA, was a Unitarian clergyman and theologian and father of the physician John Ware (born 1795) and two clergymen, Henry (born 1794) and William (born 1797).

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

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

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Ware has experienced fluctuations in popularity. In 2000, it was ranked as the 667th most popular surname with a count of 46,682 in the United States. By 2010, the rank had fallen slightly to 700, indicating a decrease in popularity by approximately 4.95%. However, despite the drop in ranking, the count of individuals with the Ware surname increased by 5.64% to 49,316 during the same period. The proportion per 100,000 people also decreased marginally from 17.3 in 2000 to 16.72 in 2010, marking a downward shift of 3.35%.

Proportion per 100k17.316.72-3.35%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Ware

When looking at the ethnic identity associated with the Ware surname according to the Decennial U.S. Census, variations occurred between 2000 and 2010. The percentage of those identifying as White fell by 5.46% from 51.5% to 48.69%. Those identifying as Black saw a slight increase of 2.35%, going from 43.85% to 44.88%. Hispanic representation also grew significantly by 53.21%, rising from 1.56% to 2.39%. The Asian/Pacific Islander category rose by 30.56%, though still representing a small proportion of the Ware surname bearers. Lastly, individuals reporting two or more races increased by 41.03%, and those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native saw an increase of 5.13%.

Two or More Races1.95%2.75%41.03%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.78%0.82%5.13%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.36%0.47%30.56%

Ware 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 Ware is British & Irish, which comprises 48.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (20.3%) and Nigerian (7.6%). Additional ancestries include Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Scandinavian, Angolan & Congolese, Eastern European, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish48.5%
French & German20.3%

Possible origins of the surname Ware

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 Ware have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom74.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom74.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom74.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom74.60%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom74.50%

What Ware 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 Ware is R-Z159, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-Z159 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Stephens, Ball, Long, Hill, Cooke, Barr, Taylor, Turner, Wilson, Brown.

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

warePaternal 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 Ware 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.

"Ware" Surname 42.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Ware" Surname 26.5%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Ware" Surname 26.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Ware" Surname 18.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Ware?

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 Ware 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%