Explore the Family Name Weiss

The meaning of Weiss

1. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for someone with white hair or a remarkably pale complexion, from Middle High German wīz, German weiss ‘white’. This surname is also found in Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia, often as a German translation of a corresponding Slavic surnames, e.g. Slovenian Belec and Bele (see Belle). It is also found in France (mainly Alsace and Lorraine), Denmark, and the Netherlands. 2. German: variant of Weis. 3. German: habitational name from any of various places called Weis(s) or Weissen. 4. German: from a short form of an ancient Germanic personal name formed with wīg ‘battle’ or wid(u) ‘wood, forest’ as the first element. Some characteristic forenames: German Kurt, Otto, Erwin, Hans, Gerhard, Fritz, Manfred, Egon, Armin, Arno, Gunther, Heinz. Jewish Chaim, Moshe, Emanuel, Aron, Meyer, Mendel, Hyman, Isadore, Zvi, Shlomo.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Weiss experienced a slight decline between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 531st most popular surname in the United States, but by 2010, it had slipped to the 587th spot — a decrease of 10.55%. However, the count of individuals bearing this surname increased slightly during the same period, from 56,153 people in 2000 to 57,112 in 2010, marking a growth of 1.71%. The proportion per 100,000 people also took a dip from 20.82 in 2000 to 19.36 in 2010, indicating a 7.01% decrease.

Proportion per 100k20.8219.36-7.01%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Weiss

When examining the ethnic identity associated with the surname Weiss, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals some notable trends. The majority of individuals with this surname identified as White, accounting for 96.45% in 2000 and 95.58% in 2010, a slight decrease of 0.90%. Meanwhile, the percentage of those identifying as Hispanic showed the largest increase, rising from 1.46% in 2000 to 2.24% in 2010, a significant leap of 53.42%. The Asian/Pacific Islander representation also grew from 0.47% to 0.65%, an increase of 38.3%. Conversely, the proportion identifying with two or more races declined by 12.04%. The percentages of those identifying as Black and American Indian and Alaskan Native saw minor increases.

Two or More Races1.08%0.95%-12.04%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.47%0.65%38.3%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.19%0.2%5.26%

Weiss 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 Weiss is Ashkenazi Jewish, which comprises 36.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.9%) and British & Irish (21.9%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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Ashkenazi Jewish36.6%
French & German21.9%
British & Irish21.9%

Possible origins of the surname Weiss

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 Weiss have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom55.50%
Merseyside, United Kingdom55.30%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom55.10%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom54.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom54.90%

What Weiss 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 Weiss 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 R-U152 and E-L791, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Schwartz, Stein, Klein, Berger, Simon, Friedman, Goldberg, Goldstein, Rosenberg, Feldman.

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

weissPaternal 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 Weiss 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.

"Weiss" Surname 43.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Weiss" Surname 22.5%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Weiss" Surname 18.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Weiss" Surname 15.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Weiss?

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 Weiss 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%