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The meaning of Williams
English: variant of William, with genitival or post-medieval excrescent -s. This form of the surname is also common in Wales. In North America, this surname has also absorbed some cognates from other languages, such as Dutch Willems. Williams is the third most frequent surname in the US. It is also very common among African Americans and Native Americans.History: This surname was brought to North America from southern England and Wales independently by many different bearers from the 17th century onward. Roger Williams, born in London in 1603, came to MA in 1630, but the clergyman was banished from the colony for his criticism of the Puritan government; he fled to RI and founded Providence.
Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.
How common is the last name Williams in the United States?
Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Williams has remained fairly consistent from 2000 to 2010. It maintained its rank as the third most popular surname in both years, with a slight increase in count from 1,534,042 in 2000 to 1,625,252 in 2010, corresponding to a growth rate of approximately 5.95%. However, its proportion per 100,000 people slightly decreased by 3.11%, from 568.66 in 2000 to 550.97 in 2010.
|Proportion per 100k||568.66||550.97||-3.11%|
Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Williams
In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows some notable changes between 2000 and 2010. The percentage of individuals with the surname Williams who identify as Black increased marginally from 46.72% to 47.68%. There was also a significant increase in the number of people identifying as Hispanic, rising from 1.60% to 2.49% — a change of 55.62%. Additionally, those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native have also seen slight increases. However, there was a decrease in the percentage of people identifying as White, dropping from 48.52% to 45.75%. Notably, those identifying with two or more races saw an increase from 2.01% to 2.81%.
|Two or More Races||2.01%||2.81%||39.8%|
|American Indian and Alaskan Native||0.78%||0.82%||5.13%|
williams 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 Williams is British & Irish, which comprises 48.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.0%) and Nigerian (7.5%). Additional ancestries include Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Eastern European, Scandinavian, Angolan & Congolese, and Italian.
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|British & Irish||48.7%|
|French & German||19.0%|
Possible origins of the surname williams
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 Williams have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.
|RECENT ANCESTRY Location||Percentage|
|Greater London, United Kingdom||76.70%|
|Glasgow City, United Kingdom||76.30%|
|Merseyside, United Kingdom||76.20%|
|Greater Manchester, United Kingdom||76.00%|
|West Midlands, United Kingdom||75.90%|
What williams 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 Williams is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and E-P252, which are predominantly found among people with European and Sub-Saharan African ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Davis, Thomas, Brown, Lewis, Taylor, Walker, Jones, Robinson, Wilson, James.
The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Williams surname are: H, T2b, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.
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.
What do people with the surname Williams 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.
"Williams" Surname 40.3%
23andMe Users 41.3%
When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.
"Williams" Surname 28.1%
23andMe Users 27.9%
Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.
"Williams" Surname 23.1%
23andMe Users 21.1%
A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
"Williams" Surname 17.9%
23andMe Users 16.4%