Explore the Family Name Willey

The meaning of Willey

1. English: from a pet form of the personal name Will, a short form of William. In some instances a variant of Wiley. 2. Americanized form of Swiss German Willi. History: Isaac Willey is recorded in Boston, MA, in 1640, and went on to be one of the founders of New London, CT. His descendent Samuel Hopkins Willey (1821–1914) was one of the founders of the College of California at Berkeley in 1860.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname "Willey" has seen a slight dip in popularity over the years. In 2000, it was ranked as the 2,521st most common surname in the United States with 13,145 individuals bearing the name. However, by 2010, its rank dropped to 2,759 and the count of individuals with the surname fell slightly to 13,067. This represents a change of -9.44% in rank and -0.59% in count. The proportion of people with the Willey surname per 100,000 people also decreased from 4.87 in 2000 to 4.43 in 2010, marking a decline of 9.03%.

20002010Change
Rank#2,521#2,759-9.44%
Count13,14513,067-0.59%
Proportion per 100k4.874.43-9.03%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Willey

The ethnic identity of those with the Willey surname also evolved between 2000 and 2010, based on the data from the Decennial U.S. Census. The percentage of people identifying as White decreased marginally from 94.82% to 94.07%. The number of individuals identifying as Black also saw a decrease from 1.86% to 1.47%. However, there were increases in the percentages of individuals identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander (from 0.38% to 0.57%), Hispanic (from 1.23% to 1.83%), and American Indian and Alaskan Native (from 0.57% to 0.60%). The group identifying with two or more ethnic identities also increased from 1.14% to 1.47%.

20002010Change
White94.82%94.07%-0.79%
Hispanic1.23%1.83%48.78%
Two or More Races1.14%1.47%28.95%
Black1.86%1.47%-20.97%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.57%0.6%5.26%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.38%0.57%50%

Willey 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 Willey is British & Irish, which comprises 53.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (26.4%) and Scandinavian (4.4%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Spanish & Portuguese, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Indigenous American.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish53.0%
French & German26.4%
Scandinavian4.4%
Other16.1%
Willey

Possible origins of the surname Willey

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 Willey have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Merseyside, United Kingdom89.20%
West Midlands, United Kingdom89.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom89.20%
Greater London, United Kingdom89.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.90%

What Willey 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 Willey is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-Z209 and I-Z58, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Vickers, Bullard, Grace, France, Bernard, Morgan, Burk, Lloyd, Woodhouse, Clemens.

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

willeyPaternal 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 Willey 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

Willey

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Willey" Surname 44.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Willey

Misophonia

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

"Willey" Surname 20.0%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Willey

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Willey" Surname 24.3%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Willey

Migraine

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

"Willey" Surname 16.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Willey?

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 Willey 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%