Olsen Family History

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Olsen Name Meaning

Danish and Norwegian: patronymic from the personal name Olaf, Olav (Old Norse Óláfr, Ólafr, variant Óleifr, earlier Anleifr, from proto-Scandinavian elements meaning ‘ancestor’ + ‘heir’, ‘descendant’). Olaf has always been one of the most common Scandinavian names; it continued to be popular in the Middle Ages, in part as a result of the fame of St. Olaf, King of Norway, who brought Christianity to his country c.1030. This surname, the second most common in Norway, is also established in England, notably in the Newcastle upon Tyne area. German (Ölsen): habitational name from any of several places so named, in Saxony, Brandenburg, and the Rhineland.

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

Similar surnames: Osen, Olden, Elsen, Lien, Ohlsen, Olen, Glen, Kolden, Pollen, Elden

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Olsen Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Olsen name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Olsen. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Norway


  • Germanic Europe


  • Sweden


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Olsen Family Origin

Where is the Olsen family from?

Olsen Family Occupations

What did your Olsen ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, Farmer, Laborer and Carpenter were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Olsen. The most common Olsen occupation in the USA was Farmer. 44% of Olsen's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Olsen family was Keeping House.

View Census data for Olsen | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Carpenter

  • Keeping House


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

Olsen Historical Records

What Olsen family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 309,000 census records available for the last name Olsen. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Olsen census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Olsen

Passenger List

There are 293,000 immigration records available for the last name Olsen. 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 Olsen immigration records

Draft Card

There are 57,000 military records available for the last name Olsen. For the veterans among your Olsen ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Olsen military records

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

Olsen Life Expectancy

What is the average Olsen lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Olsen life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1943, and highest in 1991. The average life expectancy for Olsen in 1941 was 33, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Olsen

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Olsen 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.

Famous Olsen Family Ancestors

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