Explore the Family Name Whalen

The meaning of Whalen

Irish: variant of Whelan.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Whalen has seen a slight decrease over the last decade. In 2000, Whalen was ranked as the 1377th most popular surname in the United States with a count of 23,642. By 2010, however, it had slipped to the 1470th spot despite an increase in count to 24,262. This indicates a popularity change of -6.75% and a count increase of 2.62%. The proportion of this surname per 100,000 people also fell by -6.16%, from 8.76 in 2000 to 8.22 in 2010.

20002010Change
Rank#1,377#1,470-6.75%
Count23,64224,2622.62%
Proportion per 100k8.768.22-6.16%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Whalen

The Decennial U.S. Census data also provides insight into the ethnicity associated with the Whalen surname. The majority of individuals with this surname identify as White, although this percentage saw a slight decrease from 94.37% in 2000 to 93.29% in 2010. During the same period, the percentage of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased by 37.25%, while those identifying with two or more races jumped by 26.55%. Hispanic representation also grew by 46.15%, moving from 1.43% in 2000 to 2.09% in 2010. Meanwhile, the Black demographic decreased slightly by -3.35% and the American Indian and Alaskan Native category stayed steady at 0.47%.

20002010Change
White94.37%93.29%-1.14%
Hispanic1.43%2.09%46.15%
Black2.09%2.02%-3.35%
Two or More Races1.13%1.43%26.55%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.51%0.7%37.25%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.47%0.47%0%

Whalen 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 Whalen is British & Irish, which comprises 57.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (17.2%) and Eastern European (6.6%). Additional ancestries include Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Greek & Balkan.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish57.7%
French & German17.2%
Eastern European6.6%
Other18.5%
Whalen

Possible origins of the surname Whalen

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 Whalen have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom86.10%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom85.80%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom85.80%
Merseyside, United Kingdom85.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom85.40%

What Whalen 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 Whalen is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-Z255, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Fitzpatrick, Mccarthy, Whelan, Maxwell, Mahoney, Whitney, Mcnulty, Phelan, Devine, Conley.

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

whalenPaternal 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 Whalen 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

Whalen

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Whalen" Surname 49.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Whalen

Misophonia

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

"Whalen" Surname 26.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Whalen

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Whalen" Surname 21.1%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Whalen

Migraine

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

"Whalen" Surname 15.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Whalen?

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 Whalen 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%