History of your Surname
Get access to Elder family records.Start a free trial

Elder Family History

Elder Name Meaning

Scottish and English: distinguishing nickname bestowed on the elder (Old English ealdra) of two bearers of the same personal name. It may also denote an elder of a Church, in the sense of a senior and respected member of a congregation. Americanized form of German Elter, which has the same meaning as 1.

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

Similar surnames: Elter, Alder, Helder, Elmer, Ender, Older, Gelder, Eder, Melder

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 Elder family from?

You can see how Elder families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Elder family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Elder families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 112 Elder families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 22% of all the recorded Elder's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Elder families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Elder surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Elder ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Elder. 19% of Elder men worked as a Farmer and 7% of Elder women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Elder were Clerk and Maid.

View Census data for Elder | 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
  • Laborer
  • Salesman
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Teacher
  • Stenographer
  • Housewife
  • Maid
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Elder family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 189,000 census records available for the last name Elder. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Elder census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Elder

Passenger Lists

There are 22,000 immigration records available for the last name Elder. 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 Elder immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 34,000 military records available for the last name Elder. For the veterans among your Elder ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Elder military records

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

Discover More

What is the average Elder lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Elder life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1990. The average life expectancy for Elder in 1940 was 61, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Elder

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Elder family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial