Explore the Family Name Willson

The meaning of Willson

English (eastern): variant of Wilson.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Willson saw some fluctuation in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, the surname ranked 3,562 in popularity with a count of 9,154 people bearing the name. By 2010, the rank had slightly dropped to 3,679, but the overall count of people with the surname Willson increased by 5.52% to reach 9,659. The proportion of the population with this surname per 100,000 people decreased by 3.54%, from 3.39 in 2000 to 3.27 in 2010.

20002010Change
Rank#3,562#3,679-3.28%
Count9,1549,6595.52%
Proportion per 100k3.393.27-3.54%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Willson

When we look at the ethnic identity associated with the surname Willson as per the Decennial U.S. Census data, there have been some shifts between 2000 and 2010. While a majority of individuals with this surname identified as White (86.86% in 2000 decreasing to 85.67% in 2010), there were also representations from other ethnicities. Notably, those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased by 61.90% from 0.42% to 0.68%. There was also a significant increase amongst those identifying as Hispanic, up by 44.02% from 2.09% to 3.01%. The proportion of individuals identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native also rose by 28.17% from 0.71% to 0.91%. However, there was a slight decrease in those identifying as Black (-1.70%) and those identifying with two or more races (-3.53%).

20002010Change
White86.86%85.67%-1.37%
Black8.23%8.09%-1.7%
Hispanic2.09%3.01%44.02%
Two or More Races1.7%1.64%-3.53%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.71%0.91%28.17%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.42%0.68%61.9%

Willson 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 Willson is British & Irish, which comprises 55.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (24.6%) and Scandinavian (4.4%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Greek & Balkan.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish55.1%
French & German24.6%
Scandinavian4.4%
Other15.9%
Willson

Possible origins of the surname Willson

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 Willson have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom90.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom90.70%
Greater London, United Kingdom90.70%
Merseyside, United Kingdom90.70%
West Midlands, United Kingdom90.30%

What Willson 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 Willson 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-Z159 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Ball, Carr, Swan, Thomson, Thompson, Shearer, Mathews, Cooke, Matthews, Wilson.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Willson surname are: H1, H, H1c. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

willsonPaternal 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 Willson 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

Willson

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Willson" Surname 37.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Willson

Misophonia

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

"Willson" Surname 25.3%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Willson

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Willson" Surname 21.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Willson

Migraine

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

"Willson" Surname 16.6%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Willson?

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 Willson 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%