Explore the Family Name Williamson

The meaning of Williamson

1. English (Northern) and Scottish: from the Middle English personal name William + patronymic -son ‘son of William’. This surname is also found in Northern Ireland (Ulster), especially in Antrim. 2. Americanized form of Norwegian, Danish, and North German Wilhelmsen, Swedish Wilhelmsson, or Dutch and North German Willemsen, all cognates of 1. History: This surname was brought to North America from northern England and northern Ireland independently by numerous different bearers from the 17th century onward. Timothy Williamson is recorded in Plymouth Colony in 1643.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Williamson has seen a slight shift over a decade. In 2000, it was ranked as the 245th most popular surname, but by 2010, it had dropped to the 267th position. This indicates a notable decrease in popularity by around 8.98%. However, the total count of people with this surname increased from 112,216 in 2000 to 114,959 in 2010, reflecting a growth rate of 2.44%. The proportion per 100k also decreased slightly from 41.6 to 38.97.

Proportion per 100k41.638.97-6.32%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Williamson

The ethnicity data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows that the ethnic identity associated with the surname Williamson has diversified over a decade. In 2000, the majority of individuals carrying the Williamson name were White (79.22%), followed by Black (16.74%). By 2010 the percentage of Whites had slightly decreased to 77.17%, while the percentage of Blacks had increased to 17.41%. Notably, the Hispanic community registered the highest increase, from 1.44% in 2000 to 2.27% in 2010. The number of people identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and those of two or more races also increased. Meanwhile, the proportion of American Indian and Alaskan Native remained relatively stable, decreasing marginally from 0.71% to 0.70%.

Two or More Races1.51%1.94%28.48%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.71%0.7%-1.41%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.39%0.5%28.21%

Williamson 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 Williamson is British & Irish, which comprises 56.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.1%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Nigerian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

Ready to learn more about your ancestry? Get the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown on the market by taking our DNA test. Shop 23andMe

British & Irish56.2%
French & German22.1%

Possible origins of the surname Williamson

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 Williamson have recent ancestry locations all within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom88.30%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom88.30%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.00%
Merseyside, United Kingdom87.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom87.60%

What Williamson 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 Williamson 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 I-Z58 and R-YP276, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Hill, White, Smith, Harrison, Brown, Wright, Nelson, Anderson, Johnson, Taylor.

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

williamsonPaternal 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 Williamson 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.

"Williamson" Surname 43.9%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Williamson" Surname 28.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Williamson" Surname 25.3%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Williamson" Surname 19.5%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Williamson?

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 Williamson 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%