Discover your DNA and map your family historyShop 23andMe
The meaning of Wilson
English: from the Middle English personal name Will + patronymic -son ‘son of Will’. Will was a very common medieval short form of William. This surname is also very common among African Americans.
Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.
How common is the last name Wilson in the United States?
The surname Wilson, based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, has seen a fluctuation in popularity over a decade. In 2000, it was ranked as the 10th most common surname, but by 2010, its rank had slipped to 14th, marking a decrease of 40%. Despite this drop in ranking, the actual number of people with the surname increased by 2.4% from 783,051 in 2000 to 801,882 in 2010. However, when considering the proportion of people named Wilson per 100,000 individuals, there was a decrease of 6.35% between 2000 and 2010.
|Proportion per 100k||290.27||271.84||-6.35%|
Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wilson
On the subject of ethnicity, the surname Wilson, according to the Decennial U.S. Census data, is predominantly associated with individuals of White ethnic identity, making up approximately 67.36% in 2010, down from 69.72% in 2000. The second largest ethnic group carrying the surname are Blacks, which constituted 25.99% in 2010, slightly up from 25.32% in 2000. Hispanic representation among the Wilsons also saw an increase from 1.73% in 2000 to 2.61% in 2010, showing the greatest percent change among the groups at 50.87%. The percentage of Wilsons of Asian/Pacific Islander origin also rose from 0.46% to 0.60%. Individuals of American Indian and Alaskan Native heritage made up around 1.06% in 2010, marginally higher than the 1.03% in 2000. Meanwhile, those identifying as Two or more races went from 1.74% in 2000 to 2.38% in 2010.
|Two or More Races||1.74%||2.38%||36.78%|
|American Indian and Alaskan Native||1.03%||1.06%||2.91%|
wilson 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 Wilson is British & Irish, which comprises 53.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.0%) and Scandinavian (3.5%). Additional ancestries include Nigerian, Eastern European, Italian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Spanish & Portuguese.
Ready to learn more about your ancestry? Get the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown on the market by taking our DNA test. Shop 23andMe
|British & Irish||53.5%|
|French & German||22.0%|
Possible origins of the surname wilson
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 Wilson have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.
|RECENT ANCESTRY Location||Percentage|
|Greater London, United Kingdom||86.50%|
|Greater Manchester, United Kingdom||86.40%|
|Glasgow City, United Kingdom||86.30%|
|Merseyside, United Kingdom||86.10%|
|West Midlands, United Kingdom||86.00%|
What wilson 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 Wilson 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-P311 and R-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Smith, Thompson, Taylor, Brown, White, Clark, Young, Hill, Green, Walker.
The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Wilson 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 Wilson 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.
"Wilson" Surname 42.4%
23andMe Users 41.3%
When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.
"Wilson" Surname 28.3%
23andMe Users 27.9%
Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.
"Wilson" Surname 23.1%
23andMe Users 21.1%
An allergic reaction to cats, characterized by symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and difficulty breathing.
"Wilson" Surname 36.1%
23andMe Users 36.7%