History of your Surname
Get access to Kennedy family records.Start a free trial

Kennedy Family History

Kennedy Name Meaning

Irish and Scottish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Ceannéidigh ‘descendant of Ceannéidigh’ (from ceann ‘head’ + éidigh ‘ugly’); or from the Scottish Gaelic Mac Cinnèidigh consisting of mac ‘son’ with an equivalent name. Compare Canaday Cannady Cannedy Kannady and Kenedy .

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


Similar surnames: Kenny, Dennehy, Kenley, Kenneth, Tunney, Kenney, Keady, Benney

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

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Kennedy family from?

You can see how Kennedy families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Kennedy family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Kennedy families were found in USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 169 Kennedy families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 16% of all the recorded Kennedy's in USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Kennedy families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Kennedy surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Kennedy ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Kennedy. 14% of Kennedy men worked as a Laborer and 7% of Kennedy women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Kennedy were Clerk and Housekeeper. .

View Census Data for Kennedy | 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
    14%
  • Farmer
    12%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Clerk
    4%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Teacher
    7%
  • Stenographer
    6%
  • Housewife
    5%
  • Housekeeper
    5%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Kennedy family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Kennedy. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Kennedy census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Kennedy

Passenger Lists

There are 228,000 immigration records available for the last name Kennedy. 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 Kennedy immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 250,000 military records available for the last name Kennedy. For the veterans among your Kennedy ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Kennedy military records

You've only scratched the surface of Kennedy family history

Discover More

What is the average Kennedy lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Kennedy life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Kennedy in 1940 was 48, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Kennedy

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Kennedy family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial