Explore the Family Name Wendel

The meaning of Wendel

1. German, Swedish, Danish, and Dutch: from the German personal name Wendel, a pet form of a short form, Wando, of a compound ancient Germanic name beginning with wand ‘to go, to migrate’. 2. German: metonymic occupational name for a turner, from Middle High German wendel ‘to turn’ or Middle Low German wendelen ‘to turn, twist’. Some characteristic forenames: German Hans, Helmut, Otto, Aloys, Bodo, Egon, Elke, Erwin, Frieda, Gerhard, Jurgen, Katharina.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Wendel saw a marginal decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. It dropped in rank from 5990 to 6149, marking a 2.65% decline. Despite this slip in rank, the actual count of individuals with the Wendel surname increased by 5.27% during the same period, rising from 5293 to 5572. The proportion of people with this surname per 100k also experienced a slight decrease of 3.57%.

Proportion per 100k1.961.89-3.57%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wendel

In terms of ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census reveals a few changes amongst individuals bearing the Wendel surname between 2000 and 2010. The number of individuals identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander nearly doubled, reflecting a 75% growth rate. Those indicating they belonged to two or more races went up by 90.79%. However, there was a 1.49% decrease in those identifying as White. There was an almost 97% increase in individuals identifying as Hispanic. Representation among Black individuals decreased by 37.21%, while those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native increased by 47.62%.

Two or More Races0.76%1.45%90.79%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.32%0.56%75%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.21%0.31%47.62%

Wendel 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 Wendel is French & German, which comprises 37.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (35.9%) and Scandinavian (7.0%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian, Greek & Balkan, and Korean.

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French & German37.6%
British & Irish35.9%

Possible origins of the surname Wendel

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 Wendel have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom79.30%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom79.30%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom79.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom79.30%
West Midlands, United Kingdom78.70%

What Wendel 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 Wendel is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include J-M172 and R-M417, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Clemente, Ott, Tate, Ackerman, Neese, Clayton, Schenk, Randolph, Dreher, Hoskins.

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

wendelPaternal 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 Wendel 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.

"Wendel" Surname 52.3%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Wendel" Surname 16.3%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wendel" Surname 16.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Wendel" Surname 19.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wendel?

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 Wendel 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

French & German 60.8%

23andMe Users 57.2%