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Jefferson Family History

Jefferson Name Meaning

English (northern): patronymic from the Middle English personal name Geffrey or Jeffray (see Jeffrey ) + -son. In the late medieval period Geffreyson was increasingly pronounced Jeffrason with shortening of the diphthong to a simple vowel which was later commonly altered to Gefferson and Jefferson with metathesis of -r- and this shortened vowel. In North America this surname became especially common among African Americans (see 2 below). African American: from the personal name Jefferson (or Thomas Jefferson) adopted in honor of Thomas Jefferson the 3rd president of the US; or adoption of the surname in 1 above in most cases probably for the same reason.

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


Similar surnames: Jefferies, Leverson, Emberson, Enderson, Jefferys, Emerson, Peterson

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Where is the Jefferson family from?

You can see how Jefferson families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Jefferson family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Jefferson families were found in USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 42 Jefferson families living in Virginia. This was about 17% of all the recorded Jefferson's in USA. Virginia had the highest population of Jefferson families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Jefferson surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Jefferson ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Jefferson. 29% of Jefferson men worked as a Laborer and 18% of Jefferson women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Jefferson were Porter and Laborer. .

View Census Data for Jefferson | 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
    29%
  • Farmer
    18%
  • Farm Laborer
    4%
  • Porter
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Maid
    18%
  • Cook
    11%
  • Laundress
    8%
  • Laborer
    7%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Jefferson family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 216,000 census records available for the last name Jefferson. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Jefferson census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

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Passenger Lists

There are 14,000 immigration records available for the last name Jefferson. 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 45,000 military records available for the last name Jefferson. For the veterans among your Jefferson ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Jefferson lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Jefferson life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1940, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for Jefferson in 1940 was 24, and 68 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Jefferson

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