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Gale Family History

Gale Name Meaning

English: nickname for a cheerful or boisterous person, from Middle English ga(i)le ‘jovial’, ‘rowdy’, from Old English gal ‘light’, ‘pleasant’, ‘merry’, which was reinforced in Middle English by Old French gail. Compare Gail 2. English: from a Germanic personal name introduced into England from France by the Normans in the form Gal(on). Two originally distinct names have fallen together in this form: one was a short form of compound names with the first element gail ‘cheerful’, ‘joyous’. Compare Gaillard, the other was a byname from the element walh ‘stranger’, ‘foreigner’. English: metonymic occupational name for a jailer, topographic name for someone who lived near the local jail, or nickname for a jailbird, from Old Northern French gaiole ‘jail’ (Late Latin caveola, a diminutive of classical Latin cavea ‘cage’). Portuguese: from galé ‘galleon’, ‘war ship’, presumably a metonymic occupational name for a shipwright or a mariner. Slovenian: from a pet form of the personal name Gal (Latin Gallus), formed with the suffix -e, usually denoting a young person.

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

Similar surnames: Hale, Wale, Gal, Sale, Dale, Gade, Galle, Gage, Gall, Game

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Where is the Gale family from?

You can see how Gale families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Gale family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Gale families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1840 there were 141 Gale families living in New York. This was about 26% of all the recorded Gale's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Gale families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Gale surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Gale ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Gale. 16% of Gale men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Gale women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Gale were Clerk and Stenographer.

View Census data for Gale | 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
  • Farmer
  • Salesman
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations in 1940

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

What Gale family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 298,000 census records available for the last name Gale. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Gale census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Gale

Passenger Lists

There are 27,000 immigration records available for the last name Gale. 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.

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Draft Cards

There are 32,000 military records available for the last name Gale. For the veterans among your Gale ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Gale lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Gale life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 1951. The average life expectancy for Gale in 1941 was 36, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Gale

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