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Best Family History

Best Name Meaning

English, northern Irish, and French: from Middle English, Old French beste ‘animal’, ‘beast’ (Latin bestia), applied either as a metonymic occupational name for someone who looked after beasts—a herdsman— or as a derogatory nickname for someone thought to resemble an animal, i.e. a violent, uncouth, or stupid man. It is unlikely that the name is derived from best, Old English betst, superlative of good. By far the most frequent spelling of the French surname is Beste, but it is likely that in North America this form has largely been assimilated to Best. German: from a short form of Sebastian.

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


Similar surnames: Bast, Belt, Beck, Beste, Bean, Bess, West, Test, Bost, Bolt

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Best family from?

You can see how Best families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Best family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Best families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 93 Best families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 23% of all the recorded Best's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Best families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Best surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Best ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Best. 18% of Best men worked as a Farmer and 8% of Best women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Best were Clerk and Maid.

View Census data for Best | 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

  • Farmer
    18%
  • Laborer
    16%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Clerk
    3%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Housewife
    8%
  • Teacher
    7%
  • Housekeeper
    6%
  • Maid
    6%
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What Best family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 342,000 census records available for the last name Best. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Best census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Best

Passenger Lists

There are 37,000 immigration records available for the last name Best. 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 Best immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 72,000 military records available for the last name Best. For the veterans among your Best ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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

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What is the average Best lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Best life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Best in 1942 was 36, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Best

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