Explore the Family Name Willard

The meaning of Willard

1. English (Sussex, Kent, and Surrey): from the Middle English personal name Willard, representing either Old English Wilheard or Old French Willard (ancient Germanic Willihard), the source of both of which consists of elements meaning ‘will, desire’ + ‘hardy, brave’. The name may also derive from the Middle English personal name Withelard, shortened to Willard (Old French, ancient Germanic Widelard). 2. German: variant of Willhardt (see Willert) and, in North America, (also) an altered form of this. History: Simon Willard (1605–76) came from Horsmonden, Kent, England, to Boston, MA, in 1634. In that year he became one of the founders of Cambridge, MA, and the following year (1635) was a founder of Concord, MA. Twenty years later, in 1659, he was a founder of Lancaster, MA. Simon Willard was involved in numerous confrontations with the Native Americans, in particular in ‘King Philip’s War’ of 1675–6. He had 17 children and was the ancestor of many prominent Americans.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname "Willard" has seen a slight decline from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 1557th most popular surname in the United States, but by 2010 it had fallen to the 1690th rank, marking an 8.54 percent decrease. Despite the drop in rank, the actual count of individuals bearing the "Willard" surname increased marginally by 0.8 percent, from 21,183 in 2000 to 21,352 in 2010. The proportion of people with this surname per 100,000 people also fell by 7.77 percent.

20002010Change
Rank#1,557#1,690-8.54%
Count21,18321,3520.8%
Proportion per 100k7.857.24-7.77%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Willard

The Decennial U.S. Census data for ethnicity reveals a change in the ethnic identity associated with the surname "Willard" between 2000 and 2010. While the White population with this surname dipped slightly by 1.89 percent, there were significant increases among other ethnicities. The Hispanic population experienced the most dramatic increase, growing by 77.97 percent. The Asian/Pacific Islander category also saw noteworthy growth, with a 53.13 percent increase. Those identifying as two or more races also grew by 20.27 percent during this decade. Minor increases were observed among the populations identifying as Black and American Indian and Alaskan Native, with a growth of 6.24 percent and 5.56 percent respectively.

20002010Change
White91.61%89.88%-1.89%
Black4.33%4.6%6.24%
Hispanic1.18%2.1%77.97%
Two or More Races1.48%1.78%20.27%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.08%1.14%5.56%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.32%0.49%53.13%

Willard 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 Willard is British & Irish, which comprises 55.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (24.4%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish55.4%
French & German24.4%
Scandinavian3.7%
Other16.5%
Willard

Possible origins of the surname Willard

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 Willard have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom88.90%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom88.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.70%
West Midlands, United Kingdom88.50%
Merseyside, United Kingdom88.10%

What Willard 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 Willard is R-L664, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L664 is descended from haplogroup R-M420. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and R-M417, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Couch, Ives, Dent, Hand, Fenn, Moorhead, Judd, Bickford, Prendergast, Keeney.

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

willardPaternal 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 Willard 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

Willard

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Willard" Surname 43.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Willard

Misophonia

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

"Willard" Surname 31.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Willard

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Willard" Surname 25.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Willard

Migraine

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

"Willard" Surname 22.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Willard?

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 Willard 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%