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Berlin Family History

Berlin Name Meaning

Jewish (Ashkenazic) and German: habitational name from the city of Berlin, capital of Germany. This city takes its name from a West Slavic word meaning ‘river rake’, a scaffold of beams built over a river to prevent logs from jamming; the river in question is the Spree. Folk etymology, however, has put a bear into the arms of the city, as if the name were derived from Bärlin, a diminutive of Bär ‘bear’. The German name is also found in the Hamburg area, where it may be derived from the village of the same name, but uncertain origin, in Holstein. In some cases the Jewish name may be a patronymic from a pet form of the Yiddish personal name Ber (see Berenson).

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


Similar surnames: Perlin, Serlin, Merlin, Belin, Bellin, Berling, Oberlin, Ballin, Brin

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Berlin family from?

You can see how Berlin families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Berlin family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Berlin families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1840 there were 28 Berlin families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 57% of all the recorded Berlin's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Berlin families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Berlin surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Berlin ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Salesman and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Berlin. 14% of Berlin men worked as a Salesman and 11% of Berlin women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Berlin were Proprietor and Saleslady.

View Census data for Berlin | 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

  • Salesman
    14%
  • Laborer
    10%
  • Farmer
    8%
  • Proprietor
    5%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Stenographer
    11%
  • Housewife
    10%
  • Bookkeeper
    8%
  • Saleslady
    8%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Berlin family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 36,000 census records available for the last name Berlin. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Berlin census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Berlin

Passenger Lists

There are 10,000 immigration records available for the last name Berlin. 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 Berlin immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 123,000 military records available for the last name Berlin. For the veterans among your Berlin ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Berlin military records

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

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What is the average Berlin lifespan?

Between 1947 and 2004, in the United States, Berlin life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1947, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Berlin in 1947 was 37, and 79 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Berlin

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