Explore the Family Name Wilk

The meaning of Wilk

1. Polish: from the vocabulary word wilk ‘wolf’, probably applied as a nickname for someone thought to resemble a wolf or connected with wolves in some way. Alternatively, from an Old Slavic personal name based on vlъkъ ‘wolf’. 2. English (Staffordshire): from Middle English Wilke, a pet form of William and probably a shortening of Wilkin. The usage was very likely Flemish in origin. 3. North German: variant of Wilke. 4. Dutch (also Van der Wilk): topographic name from the river Wilk (now Slingerwetering) in South Holland. Some characteristic forenames: Polish Mariusz, Stanislaw, Tadeusz, Zygmunt, Andrzej, Bogdan, Boguslaw, Casimir, Krzysztof, Stanislawa, Boleslaw, Darek.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname "Wilk" has seen a slight decrease in rank from 5622 in 2000 to 5971 in 2010, marking a 6.21% decline. Despite this, the actual count of individuals with this surname increased by 1.78%, going from 5662 in 2000 to 5763 in 2010. This suggests that while the name may have become less common relative to other surnames, the number of people with the name "Wilk" has actually grown. The proportion of people named "Wilk" per 100,000 decreased by 7.14% over the same period.

Proportion per 100k2.11.95-7.14%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wilk

The Decennial U.S. Census also provides interesting insights into the ethnic identities associated with the surname "Wilk". In 2000, a large majority (96.84%) identified as white, which slightly dropped to 95.87% in 2010. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander saw a substantial increase (67.57%), albeit from a small base of 0.37% in 2000 to 0.62% in 2010. Similarly, those of American Indian and Alaskan Native ethnicity saw their numbers grow by 72.73%, although they still only represent a small fraction of the total at 0.19% in 2010. Hispanic representation also increased by 57.84%, moving from 1.02% in 2000 to 1.61% in 2010. Individuals identifying with two or more races saw a slight decrease (-3.42%) over the decade, while those identifying as black saw a moderate increase (16.33%).

Two or More Races1.17%1.13%-3.42%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.37%0.62%67.57%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.11%0.19%72.73%

Wilk 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 Wilk is Eastern European, which comprises 37.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (18.9%) and Ashkenazi Jewish (15.4%). Additional ancestries include French & German, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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Eastern European37.7%
British & Irish18.9%
Ashkenazi Jewish15.4%

Possible origins of the surname Wilk

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 Wilk have recent ancestry locations in Poland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Masovian Voivodeship, Poland60.90%
Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Poland59.80%
Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland58.60%
Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland50.30%
Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland49.70%

What Wilk 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 Wilk is R-L260, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L260 is descended from haplogroup R-M420. Other common haplogroups include R-M417 and R-CTS3402, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Sikora, Baran, Majewski, Kozak, Gregor, Zielinski, Molnar, Rutkowski, Wojciechowski, Dudek.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Wilk surname are: H1c, H1, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

wilkPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M420

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 Wilk 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.

"Wilk" Surname 54.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Wilk" Surname 22.7%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wilk" Surname 23.2%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Wilk" Surname 11.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wilk?

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 Wilk 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

Eastern European 60.6%

23andMe Users 57.2%