Explore the Family Name Will

The meaning of Will

1. English: from the Middle English personal name Will, a short form of William. This surname is now commonly found in Scotland, in Aberdeenshire, Angus, and Kincardineshire. 2. English: topographic name for someone who lived by a spring or stream, from Middle English wel, wel(l)e, wille, in a southwestern dialect form. This surname is found predominantly in the south and southwestern parts of the country. Compare Well 1. 3. English: nickname from Middle English iwil, wil(l)e ‘agreeable, pleasing’. 4. German: from a short form of any of various ancient Germanic personal names beginning with wil ‘will, desire’.

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

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

According to the data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname "Will" experienced a decrease between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it ranked 2514 in terms of popularity but dropped to 2869 by 2010, reflecting a change of -14.12%. The count of this surname also reduced from 13,177 in 2000 to 12,575 in 2010, indicating a -4.57% shift. The proportion per 100k people bearing the name also fell by -12.7%, from 4.88 in 2000 to 4.26 in 2010.

20002010Change
Rank#2,514#2,869-14.12%
Count13,17712,575-4.57%
Proportion per 100k4.884.26-12.7%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Will

As for the ethnic identity associated with the surname "Will", the Decennial U.S. Census reveals some interesting changes between 2000 and 2010. While the percentage of those identifying as White remained nearly constant at around 91%, there were notable increases in those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic. The former group increased by 46.15%, from 0.52% to 0.76%, while the latter saw a growth of 46.04%, from 1.39% to 2.03%. There was a moderate increase of 19.83% in the number of individuals identifying as belonging to two or more races. Meanwhile, the count of those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native declined by 33.33%, and those identifying as Black decreased by 18.23%.

20002010Change
White91.17%91.16%-0.01%
Black5.32%4.35%-18.23%
Hispanic1.39%2.03%46.04%
Two or More Races1.21%1.45%19.83%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.52%0.76%46.15%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.39%0.26%-33.33%

Will 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 Will is British & Irish, which comprises 38.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (37.1%) and Eastern European (7.6%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Filipino & Austronesian.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish38.1%
French & German37.1%
Eastern European7.6%
Other17.2%
Will

Possible origins of the surname Will

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 Will have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom76.60%
Greater London, United Kingdom76.60%
Merseyside, United Kingdom76.30%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom75.90%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom75.60%

What Will 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 Will 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 I-Z58 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Dodd, Jarvis, Knight, Heck, Ritchie, Goebel, Weber, Nash, Winter, Goodman.

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

willPaternal 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 Will 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

Will

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Will" Surname 44.9%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Will

Misophonia

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

"Will" Surname 25.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Will

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Will" Surname 20.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Will

Migraine

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

"Will" Surname 18.7%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Will?

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 Will 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%