Carter Family History

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Carter Name Meaning

English: occupational name for a transporter of goods, Middle English cartere, from an agent derivative of Middle English cart(e) or from Anglo-Norman French car(e)tier, a derivative of Old French caret (see Cartier). The Old French word coalesced with the earlier Middle English word cart(e) ‘cart’, which is from either Old Norse kartr or Old English cræt, both of which, like the Late Latin word, were probably originally derived from Celtic. Northern Irish: reduced form of McCarter.

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

Similar surnames: Carver, Cater, Carder, Canter, Harker, Easter, Barter, Carton, Marter

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Carter Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Carter name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Carter. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


  • Germanic Europe


  • Benin/Togo


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Carter Family Origin

Where is the Carter family from?

Carter Family Occupations

What did your Carter ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, a less common occupation for the Carter family was Farm Laborer. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Carter. The most common Carter occupation in the USA was Farmer. 39% of Carter's were Farmers.

View Census data for Carter | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Farm Laborer


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Carter ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Carter Historical Records

What Carter family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 2 million census records available for the last name Carter. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Carter census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Carter

Passenger List

There are 213,000 immigration records available for the last name Carter. 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 Carter immigration records

Draft Card

There are 350,000 military records available for the last name Carter. For the veterans among your Carter ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Carter military records

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

Carter Life Expectancy

What is the average Carter lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Carter life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Carter in 1940 was 38, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Carter

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Carter ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Carter Family Ancestors

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