Explore the Family Name Wold

The meaning of Wold

1. Norwegian: variant of Vold (see Voll). Compare Wald. 2. English: topographic name for someone who lived on any of the areas of open upland known from Middle English times onward as wolds (e.g. the Yorkshire Wolds or the Cotswolds). This term derives from Old English wald ‘forest’ (see Wald). After the extensive clearance of forests in England, from before the Norman Conquest onward, the Old English term wald came to denote open uplands (wolds) in Middle English in certain areas of England. Some characteristic forenames: Scandinavian Lars, Alf, Dagny, Erik, Johan, Juel, Thor.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Wold has seen some changes in popularity from 2000 to 2010. The rank of the surname dropped from 5723 in 2000 to 6091 in 2010, a decrease of roughly 6.43%. However, the actual count of people with the surname increased slightly by 1.37%, from 5555 to 5631. Furthermore, the proportion of people named Wold per 100,000 decreased by 7.28%, indicating that while the number of people with this name may have increased, its overall prevalence within the population declined.

Proportion per 100k2.061.91-7.28%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wold

In terms of ethnicity, data from the Decennial U.S. Census showed some shifts between 2000 and 2010. The majority of individuals with the Wold surname identified as White, though this percentage decreased slightly from 95.21% to 93.77%. There was a significant increase in those identifying as Hispanic, rising from 1.10% to 2.22%. People identifying as Black or having two or more races also saw increases, with percentages rising to 1.33% and 1.49% respectively. Meanwhile, the percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native categories both saw small decreases.

Two or More Races1.17%1.49%27.35%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.76%0.73%-3.95%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.52%0.46%-11.54%

Wold 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 Wold is Scandinavian, which comprises 35.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (26.8%) and French & German (18.8%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish26.8%
French & German18.8%

Possible origins of the surname Wold

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 Wold have recent ancestry locations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
West Midlands, United Kingdom70.60%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom70.60%
Greater London, United Kingdom70.60%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom69.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom69.90%

What Wold 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 Wold 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-P312 and I-Z60, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Severson, Dahl, Amundson, Iverson, Thorson, Christenson, Lindstrom, Lindberg, Paulson, Gilbertson.

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

woldPaternal 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 Wold 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.

"Wold" Surname 48.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Wold" Surname 34.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wold" Surname 21.7%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Wold" Surname 17.0%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wold?

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 Wold 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

Scandinavian 62.9%

23andMe Users 57.2%