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Otter Family History

Otter Name Meaning

English German Dutch and Jewish (Ashkenazic): metonymic occupational name for an otter hunter or a nickname for someone supposedly resembling an otter from Middle English Middle High German oter Middle Dutch otter German Otter ‘otter’. The Jewish surname can be artificial. German: from an ancient Germanic personal name formed with ōd ‘possession’ + hāri ‘army’. English: from the Old Norse personal name Óttarr (from ótti ‘fear dread’) which could be Anglicized in Old English as Ohthere.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022


Similar surnames: Oster, Cotter, Notter, Potter, Zotter, Etter, Rotter, Stier, Lotter

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Otter family from?

You can see how Otter families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Otter family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Otter families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1840 there were 5 Otter families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 25% of all the recorded Otter's in USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Otter families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Otter surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Otter ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Seamstress were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Otter. 23% of Otter men worked as a Farmer and 13% of Otter women worked as a Seamstress. Some less common occupations for Americans named Otter were Clerk and Saleslady. .

View Census Data for Otter | 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
    23%
  • Laborer
    21%
  • Salesman
    9%
  • Clerk
    7%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Seamstress
    13%
  • Teacher
    13%
  • Maid
    9%
  • Saleslady
    9%
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What Otter family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 24,000 census records available for the last name Otter. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Otter census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Otter

Passenger Lists

There are 3,000 immigration records available for the last name Otter. 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 Otter immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 5,000 military records available for the last name Otter. For the veterans among your Otter ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Otter military records

You've only scratched the surface of Otter family history

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What is the average Otter lifespan?

Between 1956 and 2004, in the United States, Otter life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1956, and highest in 1997. The average life expectancy for Otter in 1956 was 54, and 68 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Otter

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