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Colby Family History

Colby Name Meaning

English: habitational name from places in Norfolk and Cumbria named Colby, from the Old Norse personal name Koli (a byname for a swarthy person, from kol ‘(char)coal’) + Old Norse býr ‘settlement’. Variant spelling of Norwegian Kolby, a habitational name in Akershus, with the same etymology as 1.

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


Similar surnames: Corby, Cosby, Coley, Carby, Godby, Holtby, Milby, Welby, Hobby, Canby

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Colby family from?

You can see how Colby families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Colby family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Colby families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 215 Colby families living in New Hampshire. This was about 42% of all the recorded Colby's in the USA. New Hampshire had the highest population of Colby families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Colby surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Colby ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Colby. 13% of Colby men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Colby women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Colby were Truck Driver and Housewife.

View Census data for Colby | 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
    13%
  • Farmer
    10%
  • Salesman
    6%
  • Truck Driver
    5%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Teacher
    8%
  • Stenographer
    8%
  • Housekeeper
    8%
  • Housewife
    8%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Colby family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 87,000 census records available for the last name Colby. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Colby census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Colby

Passenger Lists

There are 6,000 immigration records available for the last name Colby. 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 Colby immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 16,000 military records available for the last name Colby. For the veterans among your Colby ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Colby military records

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

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What is the average Colby lifespan?

Between 1945 and 2004, in the United States, Colby life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Colby in 1945 was 27, and 79 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Colby

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