Explore the Family Name Wills

The meaning of Wills

English and German: variant of Will with genitival -s.

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

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

The surname Wills has demonstrated a slight shift in popularity based on the Decennial U.S. Census data from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Wills ranked at 1143 in popularity and had a count of 28,036 occurrences. By 2010, the name's rank had slightly decreased to 1244, and its prevalence had modestly increased by 0.65% to a total of 28,219 instances. The proportion of individuals named Wills per 100,000 people also experienced a small dip from 10.39 to 9.57 during the same period.

20002010Change
Rank#1,143#1,244-8.84%
Count28,03628,2190.65%
Proportion per 100k10.399.57-7.89%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wills

In terms of ethnic identity, the distribution of the surname Wills has seen some significant changes over the decade from 2000 to 2010, according to data from the Decennial U.S. Census. While the majority of individuals with the surname identified as White (78.56% in 2000 and 76.10% in 2010), there were noticeable shifts in other ethnic identities. The percentage of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander rose from 0.52% to 0.69%, and those claiming two or more races increased from 1.43% to 2.06%. The Hispanic population also saw a substantial increase from 1.58% to 2.70%. The Black population with this surname slightly grew from 17.40% to 17.99%, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native population slightly decreased from 0.51% to 0.46%.

20002010Change
White78.56%76.1%-3.13%
Black17.4%17.99%3.39%
Hispanic1.58%2.7%70.89%
Two or More Races1.43%2.06%44.06%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.52%0.69%32.69%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.51%0.46%-9.8%

Wills 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 Wills is British & Irish, which comprises 52.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.5%) and Eastern European (4.3%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Nigerian, and Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish52.1%
French & German22.5%
Eastern European4.3%
Other21.1%
Wills

Possible origins of the surname Wills

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 Wills have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom83.90%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom83.80%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom83.50%
Merseyside, United Kingdom83.50%
Lancashire, United Kingdom83.20%

What Wills 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 Wills is I-Z58, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup I-Z58 is descended from haplogroup I-M170. Other common haplogroups include R-CTS241 and R-Z159, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Lowe, Schafer, Fox, Taylor, White, Thompson, Busch, Smith, Green, Wilkinson.

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

willsPaternal Haplogroup Origins I-M170
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to Alexander Hamilton

Early in the morning on July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr (then Vice President of the United States) and Alexander Hamilton (founder of the U.S. Treasury) dueled on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. This marked the culmination of a bitter personal and political rivalry between the two men. Alexander Hamilton died as a result of the duel, but his intellectual legacy survives in the founding documents of the nation he helped build. A piece of his genetic legacy survives as well: in the 21st century, genealogists documented the paternal haplogroups of dozens of Hamilton's living descendants and concluded that the Founding Father's paternal haplogroup was a branch of I-DF29.

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 Wills 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

Wills

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Wills" Surname 44.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Wills

Misophonia

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

"Wills" Surname 22.3%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Wills

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wills" Surname 17.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Wills

Migraine

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

"Wills" Surname 15.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wills?

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 Wills 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%