Explore the Family Name Windham

The meaning of Windham

1. English: habitational name usually from the Norfolk placename Wymondham, which is locally pronounced /wɪndəm/. The placename probably derives from the Old English personal name Wīgmund + Old English hām ‘village, homestead’. By various marriages in the 16th century the Wyndham family of Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, acquired estates in North Yorkshire and Somerset, for which reason the manor of Orchard in the parish of Watchet, came to be known as Orchard Wyndham in the early 17th century. Later descendants became earls of Egremont, whose estates included Petworth in Sussex. This and other marital acquistions probably explain the post-medieval presence of the surname in Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, northern England, and perhaps also (from the late 17th century) in Sussex and Kent. In 1741 Percy Wyndham of the Orchard family inherited the earldom of Thomond, in Ireland, which may account for the currency of the name in Connaght (see 4 below). 2. English: habitational name perhaps occasionally from Wymondham in Leicestershire. The placename derives from the Old English personal name Wīgmund (genitive Wīgmundes) + Old English hām ‘village, homestead’. 3. English: habitational name from Wyndham in Shermanbury (Sussex). The placename derives from an Old English personal name Winda + Old English hamm ‘water meadow’. 4. Irish (Connacht): Anglicized (‘translated’) form of Gaelic Ó Gaoithín ‘descendant of Gaoithín’ (see Gahan), by linking Irish gaoth ‘wind’ with the name Wyndham.

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

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

The surname Windham, as per the Decennial U.S. Census data, experienced a slight dip in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, the surname was ranked 3226 and saw a decline of 6.54% to rank 3437 in 2010. However, the count or total number of people with this surname slightly increased by 2.24%, moving from 10,162 in 2000 to 10,390 in 2010. The proportion of the population with this surname per 100,000 individuals also decreased from 3.77 to 3.52 during the same period.

Proportion per 100k3.773.52-6.63%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Windham

Observing the ethnic identity associated with the surname Windham, it becomes evident that changes occurred over the decade from 2000 to 2010. According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the percentage of individuals with this surname who identified as Asian/Pacific Islander increased by 65.62%. Those identifying as two or more races also rose by 20.95%. The white demographic, however, saw a slight decrease of 3.29%. During this period, the proportion of Hispanic individuals with this surname grew by 47.33%, while those identifying as Black increased by 8.18%. Furthermore, there was a 23.81% increase in those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native.

Two or More Races1.48%1.79%20.95%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.32%0.53%65.62%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.42%0.52%23.81%

Windham 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 Windham is British & Irish, which comprises 64.6% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (17.8%) and Nigerian (2.9%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Eastern European, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Spanish & Portuguese, and Italian.

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British & Irish64.6%
French & German17.8%

Possible origins of the surname Windham

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 Windham have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom90.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom90.20%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom89.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom89.80%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom89.80%

What Windham 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 Windham is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L2 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Earnest, Ramey, Cave, Stover, Buffington, Darden, Cronin, Alden, Hoyle, Stocker.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Windham surname are: H1, H, U5a1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

windhamPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to the nomadic Tuareg of the Sahara

Though haplogroup H1 rarely reaches high frequencies beyond western Europe, over 60% of eastern Tuareg in Libya belong to haplogroup H1. The Tuareg call themselves the Imazghan, meaning “free people.” They are an isolated, semi-nomadic people who inhabit the West-Central Sahara and are known today for a distinctive dark blue turban worn by the men, and for their long history as gatekeepers of the desert.How did women carrying H1 make it all the way from western Europe to this isolated community? They likely migrated from Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar into Morocco after the Last Ice Age, where they were assimilated into the Berbers of the Mediterranean coast. Then, about 5,000 years ago, the Sahara shifted from a period of relative habitable conditions to its dramatically arid desert environment. This shift may have caused migrations throughout the Sahara, prompting the ancient Tuaregs to meet and mingle with the Berbers, bringing H1 lineages into their population.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Windham 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.

"Windham" Surname 50.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Windham" Surname 32.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Windham" Surname 37.1%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Windham" Surname 12.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Windham?

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 Windham 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%