Explore the Family Name Wight

The meaning of Wight

1. Scottish and English: nickname from Middle English wiht, wight ‘agile, nimble, strong, brave’ (Old Norse víg with the Old Norse neuter suffix -t, for which compare the word scant), or from the corresponding Older Scots word wicht. Possibly sometimes a nickname from Middle English wight ‘living creature; small portion or thing’, or from the corresponding Older Scots word wicht. 2. English: habitational name from the Isle of Wight. The island is recorded as Vectis (its Latin name) c.150 AD. Its name derives from a British word, perhaps related to Welsh gwaith ‘turn, course’, meaning ‘place of the division’, in reference to the island’s position in the Solent. 3. English and Scottish: variant of White.

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

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

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Wight saw a slight dip in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it ranked as the 6442nd most popular surname, but by 2010, it had fallen to the 6863rd spot, marking a decrease of 6.54%. However, the actual count of people carrying the Wight surname increased slightly during this period, from 4862 in 2000 to 4904 in 2010, an increase of 0.86%. The proportion of people with the Wight surname per 100k also saw a minor decrease of 7.78%.

Proportion per 100k1.81.66-7.78%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wight

As for ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census reveals that there were shifts among those with the surname Wight between 2000 and 2010. The majority identified as White, making up 92.47% in 2000 and 91.74% in 2010. However, there was a significant rise in the percentage of Asians/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics holding the Wight surname. Asian/Pacific Islanders went from 0.93% in 2000 to 1.37% in 2010, an increase of 47.31%, while Hispanics rose from 1.19% to 1.81%, a 52.10% increase. There was a small increase in individuals of two or more races, from 2.18% in 2000 to 2.26% in 2010, while the percentage of Blacks and American Indians and Alaskan Natives decreased slightly.

Two or More Races2.18%2.26%3.67%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.93%1.37%47.31%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.43%0.41%-4.65%

Wight 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 Wight is British & Irish, which comprises 55.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (24.5%) and Scandinavian (5.4%). Additional ancestries include Italian, Eastern European, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Filipino & Austronesian.

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British & Irish55.2%
French & German24.5%

Possible origins of the surname Wight

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 Wight have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Glasgow City, United Kingdom89.70%
Greater London, United Kingdom89.70%
Merseyside, United Kingdom89.70%
Lancashire, United Kingdom89.00%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom89.00%

What Wight 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 Wight is Q-L940, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup Q-L940 is descended from haplogroup Q-M242. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and Q-M346, which are predominantly found among people with European and East Asian & Indigenous American ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Vick, Henson, Jones, Phillips, Oliver, Lloyd, Morgan, Shaw, Buchholz, Thomas.

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

wightPaternal Haplogroup Origins Q-M242

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 Wight 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.

"Wight" Surname 34.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Wight" Surname 27.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wight" Surname 22.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Wight" Surname 15.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wight?

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 Wight 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%