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Kern Family History

Kern Name Meaning

Irish: reduced form of McCarron. German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Middle High German kerne ‘kernel’, ‘seed’, ‘pip’; Middle Dutch kern(e), keerne; German Kern or Yiddish kern ‘grain’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a farmer, or a nickname for a small person. As a Jewish surname, it is mainly ornamental. English: probably a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hand mills, from Old English cweorn ‘hand mill’, or a habitational name for someone from Kern in the Isle of Wight, named from this word.

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

Similar surnames: Korn, Ken, Kirn, Kerr, Corn, Hearn, Bern, Kearn, Kerl, Kort

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Where is the Kern family from?

You can see how Kern families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Kern family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Kern families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 101 Kern families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 53% of all the recorded Kern's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Kern families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Kern surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Kern ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Kern. 12% of Kern men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Kern women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Kern were Clerk and Teacher.

View Census data for Kern | 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
  • Stenographer
  • Clerk
  • Teacher
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Kern family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 132,000 census records available for the last name Kern. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Kern census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Kern

Passenger Lists

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

Draft Cards

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

View all Kern military records

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

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What is the average Kern lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Kern life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1946, and highest in 1991. The average life expectancy for Kern in 1941 was 41, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Kern

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