Explore the Family Name Wharton

The meaning of Wharton

English: 1. habitational name from any of various places called Wharton, in Westmorland, Cheshire, and Lincolnshire, or from Warton in Lancashire, Northumberland, and Warwickshire. The Lancashire, Lincolnshire, and Northumberland placenames probably derive from Old English weard ‘watch’ + tūn ‘farmstead, estate’. The Cheshire and Warwickshire placenames derive from Old English wæfre ‘swamp, marshy ground’ + tūn. The Westmorland placename may derive from Old English hwearf ‘embankment, shore, wharf’ + tūn. 2. perhaps occasionally a habitational name from Wiverton in Nottinghamshire, derived from the Old English personal name Wīgfrith + Old English tūn ‘farmstead, estate’. History: Richard Wharton (died 1689) emigrated from England to MA c.1667, in search of fortune (which he did not achieve) rather than religious freedom. A very different character was the Quaker Thomas Wharton, who came from Westmorland, England, to Philadelphia, PA, some time before 1689.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Wharton has seen some fluctuations between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Wharton ranked as the 2910th most common surname, but dropped to the 3084th position in 2010, representing a decrease of approximately 6%. However, during the same decade, the overall count of individuals with the Wharton surname increased by 2.66%, from 11354 to 11656. Despite this increase in count, the proportion per 100,000 people decreased from 4.21 to 3.95, reflecting a drop of 6.18%.

Proportion per 100k4.213.95-6.18%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wharton

The Decennial U.S. Census also reveals some interesting shifts in the ethnic identity associated with the Wharton surname between 2000 and 2010. The data shows that the largest percentage of people with the Wharton surname identify as White, although this group saw a slight decrease from 75.33% to 73.32% over the decade. Those identifying as Black made up the second-largest group, which saw a slight increase from 19.51% to 20.03%. Meanwhile, those identifying as Hispanic saw the most significant increase, going from 2.03% to 2.81%, an uptick of 38.42%. Additionally, there was a notable increase in individuals identifying with two or more races, climbing from 1.96% to 2.63%, a change of 34.18%. The proportion of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native changed minimally, with a small increase for the former and a slight decrease for the latter.

Two or More Races1.96%2.63%34.18%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.7%0.75%7.14%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.47%0.45%-4.26%

Wharton 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 Wharton is British & Irish, which comprises 52.8% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.0%) and Eastern European (4.3%). Additional ancestries include Ashkenazi Jewish, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, Nigerian, and Italian.

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British & Irish52.8%
French & German23.0%
Eastern European4.3%

Possible origins of the surname Wharton

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 Wharton have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom81.40%
Greater London, United Kingdom81.40%
West Midlands, United Kingdom81.40%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom81.10%
Merseyside, United Kingdom81.10%

What Wharton 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 Wharton is R-S5741, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-S5741 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and I-Z138, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Fraser, Patterson, Hughes, Morgan, Walker, Jones, Coburn, Allen, Price, Morris.

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

whartonPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to King Louis XVI

The rule of France by men of the House of Bourbon began with King Henri IV in 1589 C.E. and continued until the beheading of his direct paternal descendant King Louis XVI in 1793. Several years ago, researchers analyzed a mummified head and a blood-soaked cloth that they believed might belong to the two kings, and concluded that the royal paternal line belonged to haplogroup G. In a more recent study, however, a different set of researchers tested three living men who are direct descendants of the Bourbon kings. Their efforts revealed that the male lineage of the House of Bourbon is actually a branch of haplogroup R-M405.

Your maternal lineage may be linked to the nomadic Tuareg of the Sahara

Though haplogroup H1 rarely reaches high frequencies beyond western Europe, over 60% of eastern Tuareg in Libya belong to haplogroup H1. The Tuareg call themselves the Imazghan, meaning “free people.” They are an isolated, semi-nomadic people who inhabit the West-Central Sahara and are known today for a distinctive dark blue turban worn by the men, and for their long history as gatekeepers of the desert.How did women carrying H1 make it all the way from western Europe to this isolated community? They likely migrated from Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar into Morocco after the Last Ice Age, where they were assimilated into the Berbers of the Mediterranean coast. Then, about 5,000 years ago, the Sahara shifted from a period of relative habitable conditions to its dramatically arid desert environment. This shift may have caused migrations throughout the Sahara, prompting the ancient Tuaregs to meet and mingle with the Berbers, bringing H1 lineages into their population.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Wharton 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.

"Wharton" Surname 39.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Wharton" Surname 35.7%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wharton" Surname 16.2%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Wharton" Surname 19.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wharton?

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 Wharton 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%