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Bedford Family History

Bedford Name Meaning

English: habitational name from the county seat of Bedfordshire, or a smaller place of the same name in Lancashire. Both are named with the Old English personal name Beda + Old English ford ‘ford’. The name is now very common in Yorkshire as well as Bedfordshire.

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


Similar surnames: Ledford, Belford, Elford, Binford, Bodiford, Medford, Beckford

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Bedford family from?

You can see how Bedford families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Bedford family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Bedford families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1840 there were 33 Bedford families living in New York. This was about 20% of all the recorded Bedford's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Bedford families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Bedford surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Bedford ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Bedford. 19% of Bedford men worked as a Laborer and 11% of Bedford women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Bedford were Farm Laborer and Teacher.

View Census data for Bedford | 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
    19%
  • Farmer
    18%
  • Salesman
    6%
  • Farm Laborer
    4%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
    11%
  • Cook
    7%
  • Housewife
    6%
  • Teacher
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Bedford family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 226,000 census records available for the last name Bedford. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Bedford census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Bedford

Passenger Lists

There are 16,000 immigration records available for the last name Bedford. 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 Bedford immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 19,000 military records available for the last name Bedford. For the veterans among your Bedford ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Bedford military records

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

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What is the average Bedford lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Bedford life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1988. The average life expectancy for Bedford in 1944 was 21, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bedford

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Bedford family tree

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