Explore the Family Name Witham

The meaning of Witham

English: habitational name from any of various places so called, particularly those in Essex, Lincolnshire, and Somerset, though most often from Essex. The Essex placename may derive from Old English wiht ‘curve, bend’ + hām ‘village, homestead’. North and South Witham in Lincolnshire take their names from the river Witham (of uncertain origin). Witham on the Hill (Lincolnshire) may derive from the Old English personal name Wit(t)a, Old English wita ‘councillor’, or wiht ‘curve, bend’ + hām. The Somerset placename derives from the Old English personal name Wit(t)a or Old English wita + hām.

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

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

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Witham saw a slight decline in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 7508th most common surname, but by 2010 it had fallen slightly to the 7734th spot, a change of -3.01%. Despite this drop in ranking, the actual count of individuals with the surname increased from 4090 in 2000 to 4293 in 2010, marking a growth of 4.96%. However, when measured as a proportion per 100,000 people, the presence of the surname dropped from 1.52 in 2000 to 1.46 in 2010, reflecting a decrease of -3.95%.

Proportion per 100k1.521.46-3.95%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Witham

In terms of ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows some significant shifts for those with the surname Witham between 2000 and 2010. The majority of individuals with this surname identified as white, although that proportion decreased slightly from 96.19% in 2000 to 95.15% in 2010. There were increases in the proportions of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander (from 0.46% to 0.68%), Hispanic (from 1.05% to 2.00%), and Black (from 0.34% to 0.58%). Conversely, there was a decrease in the proportion of those identifying as two or more races (from 1.34% to 1.05%) and American Indian and Alaskan Native (from 0.61% to 0.54%).

Two or More Races1.34%1.05%-21.64%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.46%0.68%47.83%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.61%0.54%-11.48%

Witham 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 Witham is British & Irish, which comprises 56.5% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (24.3%) and Italian (4.0%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Eastern European, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Nigerian.

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

British & Irish56.5%
French & German24.3%

Possible origins of the surname Witham

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 Witham have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Merseyside, United Kingdom93.10%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom93.10%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom93.10%
West Midlands, United Kingdom93.10%
Greater London, United Kingdom93.10%

What Witham 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 Witham is R-S5520, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-S5520 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-P312 and R-M405, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Snook, Knox, Mcmillan, Noah, Fine, Mcmillen, Mcmullen, Mccallum, Macmillan, Diehl.

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

withamPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to King Louis XVI

The rule of France by men of the House of Bourbon began with King Henri IV in 1589 C.E. and continued until the beheading of his direct paternal descendant King Louis XVI in 1793. Several years ago, researchers analyzed a mummified head and a blood-soaked cloth that they believed might belong to the two kings, and concluded that the royal paternal line belonged to haplogroup G. In a more recent study, however, a different set of researchers tested three living men who are direct descendants of the Bourbon kings. Their efforts revealed that the male lineage of the House of Bourbon is actually a branch of haplogroup R-M405.

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 Witham 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.

"Witham" Surname 38.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Witham" Surname 36.0%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Witham" Surname 16.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Witham" Surname 17.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Witham?

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 Witham 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%