Explore the Family Name Weems

The meaning of Weems

Scottish: variant of Wemyss, reflecting the usual pronunciation of that name. History: David Weems (Wemyss) emigrated from Scotland to Herring Bay, Anne Arundel County, MD, some time before 1722. Mason Locke Weems, born near Herring Bay in 1759, was a clergyman who wrote a biography of George Washington, in which the first account of the cherry-tree story appeared.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Weems has experienced a slight decrease between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked 3432 and by 2010, it had fallen to 3494, marking a change of -1.81%. Despite this drop in rank, the actual count of people with the Weems surname increased from 9544 to 10231, a rise of 7.2%. As per the proportion per 100,000 people, a small decrease of -1.98% was observed, moving from 3.54 to 3.47.

Proportion per 100k3.543.47-1.98%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Weems

When considering ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data indicates a notable shift in the ethnic identity associated with the Weems surname. White individuals holding this surname decreased slightly from 63.94% to 61.71%, a change of -3.49%. However, those identifying as Black saw a slight increase of 1.93%, going from 32.18% to 32.80%. The most significant changes were seen in those identifying with two or more races and Hispanic ethnicity. The proportion of individuals with two or more races increased by 57.62% (from 1.51% to 2.38%), while those identifying as Hispanic rose by 49.21% (from 1.26% to 1.88%). The proportions of Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native remained relatively stable with negligible changes of 0.00% and 14.86% respectively.

Two or More Races1.51%2.38%57.62%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.74%0.85%14.86%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.38%0.38%0%

Weems 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 Weems is British & Irish, which comprises 54.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.8%) and Nigerian (4.9%). Additional ancestries include Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Eastern European, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish54.2%
French & German19.8%

Possible origins of the surname Weems

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 Weems have recent ancestry locations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom78.70%
West Midlands, United Kingdom78.70%
Merseyside, United Kingdom78.70%
Lancashire, United Kingdom78.70%
Greater London, United Kingdom78.70%

What Weems 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 Weems is R-S691, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-S691 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include I-P109 and R-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Buchanan, Mccaslin, Mcgregor, Loftis, Bohannon, Arnett, Macgregor, Peden, Jeffries, Alexander.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Weems surname are: H1, J1c, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

weemsPaternal 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 Weems 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.

"Weems" Surname 45.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Weems" Surname 34.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Weems" Surname 23.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Weems" Surname 18.1%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Weems?

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 Weems 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%