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Brown Family History

Brown Name Meaning

English, Scottish, and Irish: generally a nickname referring to the color of the hair or complexion, Middle English br(o)un, from Old English brun or Old French brun. This word is occasionally found in Old English and Old Norse as a personal name or byname. Brun- was also a Germanic name-forming element. Some instances of Old English Brun as a personal name may therefore be short forms of compound names such as Brungar, Brunwine, etc. As a Scottish and Irish name, it sometimes represents a translation of Gaelic Donn. As an American family name, it has absorbed numerous surnames from other languages with the same meaning.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Brow, Crown, Brun, Bruin, Braun, Bjorn, Brin, Lown, Rohn, Biron

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Brown family from?

You can see how Brown families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Brown family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Brown families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 3,320 Brown families living in New York. This was about 17% of all the recorded Brown's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Brown families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Brown surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Brown ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Brown. 17% of Brown men worked as a Laborer and 9% of Brown women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Brown were Truck Driver and Housewife.

View Census data for Brown | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

  • Laborer
    17%
  • Farmer
    14%
  • Salesman
    4%
  • Truck Driver
    3%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
    9%
  • Cook
    6%
  • Housekeeper
    6%
  • Housewife
    5%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Brown family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 9 million census records available for the last name Brown. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Brown census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Brown

Passenger Lists

There are 1 million immigration records available for the last name Brown. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Brown immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 1 million military records available for the last name Brown. For the veterans among your Brown ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Brown military records

You've only scratched the surface of Brown family history.

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What is the average Brown lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Brown life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Brown in 1940 was 40, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Brown

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