Explore the Family Name Wright

The meaning of Wright

English and Scottish: occupational name for a craftsman or maker of machinery, mostly in wood, of any of a wide range of kinds, from Middle English and Older Scots wriht, wright, wricht, writh, write (Old English wyrhta, wryhta) ‘craftsman’, especially ‘carpenter, joiner’. The term is found in various combinations (for example, Cartwright and Wainwright), but when used in isolation it often referred to a builder of windmills or watermills. 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 Wright in the United States?

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname "Wright" experienced a slight drop in popularity from 2000 to 2010, moving from the 34th most popular surname to the 35th. Despite this minor decrease in rank, the number of individuals bearing the Wright surname actually increased by 4.23%, totaling 458,980 individuals in 2010 compared to 440,367 in 2000. However, when considering the proportion per 100,000 people, there was a 4.68% decrease over this ten-year span.

Proportion per 100k163.24155.6-4.68%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Wright

The ethnic identity associated with the surname "Wright" also showed some shifts between 2000 and 2010 according to the Decennial U.S. Census data. The proportion of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander increased by 27.50%, while those identifying as two or more races saw an even larger increase of 37.71%. The percentage of Wrights identifying as Hispanic also grew significantly, with a 55.26% increase over the decade. Conversely, those identifying as White decreased by 3.66%, although this group still made up the majority at 65.80% in 2010. The proportion of Black Wrights grew slightly by 3.18%, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native group saw a 4.55% increase.

Two or More Races1.75%2.41%37.71%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.66%0.69%4.55%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.4%0.51%27.5%

Wright 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 Wright is British & Irish, which comprises 53.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.8%) and Nigerian (3.7%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Italian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish53.7%
French & German21.8%

Possible origins of the surname Wright

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 Wright have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom83.10%
Greater London, United Kingdom83.10%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom82.80%
Merseyside, United Kingdom82.70%
Lancashire, United Kingdom82.70%

What Wright 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 Wright is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include E-V13 and I-Z58, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Brown, Smith, Clark, Hill, Baker, Mason, Miller, Harrison, Johnson, White.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Wright surname are: T2b, H, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

wrightPaternal 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 Wright 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.

"Wright" Surname 41.8%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Wright" Surname 26.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Wright" Surname 22.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%



Cat Allergy

An allergic reaction to cats, characterized by symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and difficulty breathing.

"Wright" Surname 35.5%

23andMe Users 36.7%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Wright?

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 Wright 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%