May Name Meaning

English, French, Danish, Dutch, and German: from a short form of the personal name Matthias (see Matthew) or any of its many cognates, for example Norman French Maheu. English, French, Dutch, and German: from a nickname or personal name taken from the month of May (Middle English, Old French mai, Middle High German meie, from Latin Maius (mensis), from Maia, a minor Roman goddess of fertility). This name was sometimes bestowed on someone born or baptized in the month of May; it was also used to refer to someone of a sunny disposition, or who had some anecdotal connection with the month of May, such as owing a feudal obligation then. English: nickname from Middle English may ‘young man or woman’. Irish (Connacht and Midlands): when not of English origin (see 1–3 above), this is an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Miadhaigh ‘descendant of Miadhach’, a personal name or byname meaning ‘honorable’, ‘proud’. French: habitational name from any of various places called May or Le May. Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from Mayen, a place in western Germany. Americanized spelling of cognates of 1 in various European languages, for example Swedish Ma(i)j. Chinese : possibly a variant of Mei 1, although this spelling occurs more often for the given name than for the surname.

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

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May Family Origin

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May Family Occupations

What did your May ancestors do for a living?

Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your May ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

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  • Farmer

    38%
  • Laborer

    8%
  • Keeping House

    6%
  • Farming

    4%

In 1880, the most common May occupation in the USA was Farmer. 38% of May's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the May family was Farming. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by May.

Source: Census data for May | Data not to scale

May Historical Records

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May Life Expectancy

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An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your May ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

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United States

Between 1941 and 2004, May life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for May in 1941 was 35, and 75 in 2004.

Source: Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for May

Famous May Family

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Amelia Earhart1897 - 1939 (41)
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Nikola Tesla1856 - 1943 (86)
Ansel Easton Adams1902 - 1984 (82)
Amelia Earhart1897 - 1939 (41)
Grace Kelly1929 - 1982 (52)
Nikola Tesla1856 - 1943 (86)
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