Explore the Family Name Webster

The meaning of Webster

English and Scottish: occupational name for a weaver, from Middle English webbester ‘weaver’ (Old English webbestre ‘female weaver’). By the time of surname formation, the gender distinction of the -stre suffix had almost completely disappeared. Compare Webb, Webber, and Weaver. History: The name Webster was brought to North America from England independently by several different bearers in the 17th and 18th centuries. One John Webster settled in Ipswich, MA, in 1635; another John Webster (died 1661), ancestor of the lexicographer Noah Webster, emigrated to Cambridge, MA, c.1631 and later became one of the founders of the colony of CT, of which he was appointed governor in 1656. Daniel Webster (1782–1852), politician and orator, was born in Salisbury, NH, a descendant of Thomas Webster, a prominent 17th-century citizen of Ipswich, MA, whose family had settled there around 1635, while he was still a child.

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

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

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Webster has seen a slight shift in its popularity over the 2000 to 2010 decade. In 2000, Webster was ranked as the 418th most common surname, but by 2010 it had slipped to 453, representing a change of -8.37%. Despite this drop in rank, the actual count of individuals with the surname Webster increased by 3.57% during that same period, rising from 70,123 to 72,625. However, the proportion of individuals with this last name per 100k people decreased slightly by -5.27%, moving from 25.99 to 24.62.

20002010Change
Rank#418#453-8.37%
Count70,12372,6253.57%
Proportion per 100k25.9924.62-5.27%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Webster

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Webster also experienced some changes between 2000 and 2010 based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census. The percentage of Websters identifying as White fell slightly from 76.16% to 73.50%, while those identifying as Black saw a minor increase of 6.70%, going from 18.51% to 19.75%. There were also increases in the percentages of Websters identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander (0.48% to 0.62%), those of two or more races (1.88% to 2.25%), Hispanic (1.64% to 2.51%), and American Indian and Alaskan Native (1.34% to 1.38%). These figures indicate a diversification in the ethnic identities tied to the surname Webster.

20002010Change
White76.16%73.5%-3.49%
Black18.51%19.75%6.7%
Hispanic1.64%2.51%53.05%
Two or More Races1.88%2.25%19.68%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.34%1.38%2.99%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.48%0.62%29.17%

Webster 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 Webster is British & Irish, which comprises 53.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.6%) and Eastern European (3.8%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Nigerian, Italian, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish53.9%
French & German22.6%
Eastern European3.8%
Other19.8%
Webster

Possible origins of the surname Webster

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 Webster have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom85.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom85.30%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom85.10%
Merseyside, United Kingdom85.10%
West Midlands, United Kingdom84.90%

What Webster 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 Webster is J-CTS5368, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup J-CTS5368 is descended from haplogroup J-M304. Other common haplogroups include E-V13 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: George, Hoffman, Cooper, Klein, Jacobs, Stein, Wolf, Meyers, Solomon, Smith.

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

websterPaternal Haplogroup Origins J-M304
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to men who spread the Semitic languages

Men carrying the J-M267 lineage took part in many waves of migrations over the millennia, and domesticated animals and plants weren't the only things they carried. They may also have been among the communities that spread the Semitic languages, a diverse group that bloomed from a single proto-Semitic tongue in the Levant nearly 5,750 years ago. These men likely carried branches of both haplogroup J and of the Semitic language family through the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa. Still later, some J-M267-bearing men re-expanded from the Arabian Peninsula back through the Middle East and across North Africa in migrations associated with the emergence and spread of Islam.

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 Webster 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.

Preferences

Webster

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Webster" Surname 41.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Webster

Misophonia

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

"Webster" Surname 28.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Webster

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Webster" Surname 20.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Webster

Migraine

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

"Webster" Surname 18.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Webster?

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 Webster 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%