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Karl Family History

Karl Name Meaning

German: from the German personal name Karl from Old High German karl ‘man husband freeman’. The popularity of this name and its cognates in central and northern Europe was greatly enhanced by its status as a royal and imperial name; in particular it was bestowed in honor of the Frankish emperor Charlemagne (about 742–814; Latin name Carolus Magnus). This surname is also found in some other European countries e.g. in France (mainly Alsace and Lorraine) Czechia and Croatia but is relatively rare there. See also Carl and Charles .

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

Similar surnames: Carl, Karp, Kerl, Kall, Kari, Kara, Karol, Kaul, Karel, Kark

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Where is the Karl family from?

You can see how Karl families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Karl family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Karl families were found in USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 5 Karl families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 63% of all the recorded Karl's in USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Karl families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Karl surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Karl ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Karl. 12% of Karl men worked as a Farmer and 12% of Karl women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Karl were Machinist and Teacher. .

View Census Data for Karl | 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
  • Machinist

Top Female Occupations In 1940

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

What Karl family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 32,000 census records available for the last name Karl. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Karl census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Karl

Passenger Lists

There are 12,000 immigration records available for the last name Karl. 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 Karl immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 18,000 military records available for the last name Karl. For the veterans among your Karl ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Karl lifespan?

Between 1947 and 2004, in the United States, Karl life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1947, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Karl in 1947 was 34, and 77 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Karl

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