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Alexander Family History

Alexander Name Meaning

Scottish, English, German, Dutch; also found in many other cultures: from the personal name Alexander, classical Greek Alexandros, which probably originally meant ‘repulser of men (i.e. of the enemy)’, from alexein ‘to repel’ + andros, genitive of aner ‘man’. Its popularity in the Middle Ages was due mainly to the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great (356–323 bc)—or rather to the hero of the mythical versions of his exploits that gained currency in the so-called Alexander Romances. The name was also borne by various early Christian saints, including a patriarch of Alexandria (ad c.250–326), whose main achievement was condemning the Arian heresy. The Gaelic form of the personal name is Alasdair, which has given rise to a number of Scottish and Irish patronymic surnames, for example McAllister. Alexander is a common forename in Scotland, often representing an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name. In North America the form Alexander has absorbed many cases of cognate names from other languages, for example Spanish Alejandro, Italian Alessandro, Greek Alexandropoulos, Russian Aleksandr, etc. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.) It has also been adopted as a Jewish name.

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


Similar surnames: Mcalexander, Callander, Levander, Lander, Leander, Melander, Mander

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Where is the Alexander family from?

You can see how Alexander families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Alexander family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Alexander families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 264 Alexander families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 12% of all the recorded Alexander's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Alexander families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Alexander surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Alexander ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Alexander. 16% of Alexander men worked as a Laborer and 10% of Alexander women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Alexander were Truck Driver and Housekeeper.

View Census data for Alexander | 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
    16%
  • Farmer
    15%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Truck Driver
    3%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
    10%
  • Cook
    6%
  • Teacher
    6%
  • Housekeeper
    5%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Alexander family records will you find?

Census Records

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

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Passenger Lists

There are 146,000 immigration records available for the last name Alexander. 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.

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Draft Cards

There are 280,000 military records available for the last name Alexander. For the veterans among your Alexander ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Alexander lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Alexander life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Alexander in 1940 was 54, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Alexander

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