History of your Surname
Get access to Paley family records.Start a free trial

Paley Family History

Paley Name Meaning

English (mainly Yorkshire): from a lost or unidentified place in Lancashire or Yorkshire apparently named with Old English lēah ‘woodland clearing’ as the final element. Compare Paley Green in Giggleswick (Yorkshire) where the surname is recorded in 1379 but this may have been named from the surname. English: perhaps from a presumed Middle English male personal name Palli (Old Danish Palli from páll ‘pole’). Jewish (from Belarus) Belorussian and Ukrainian: occupational name for a distiller derived from an East Slavic word meaning ‘to burn’ (Russian palit Ukrainian palyty). English: sometimes a variant of Pawley .

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


Similar surnames: Caley, Padley, Pawley, Palen, Pyle, Paler, Pacey, Sales, Pasley

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Paley family from?

You can see how Paley families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Paley family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Paley families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1840 there were 2 Paley families living in Alabama. This was 100% of all the recorded Paley's in USA. Alabama had the highest population of Paley families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Paley surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Paley ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Paley. 15% of Paley men worked as a Laborer and 12% of Paley women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Paley were Proprietor and Stenographer. .

View Census Data for Paley | 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
    15%
  • Salesman
    14%
  • Clerk
    9%
  • Proprietor
    8%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Housewife
    12%
  • Clerk
    12%
  • Bookkeeper
    10%
  • Stenographer
    10%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Paley family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 26,000 census records available for the last name Paley. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Paley census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Paley

Passenger Lists

There are 5,000 immigration records available for the last name Paley. 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 Paley immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 2,000 military records available for the last name Paley. For the veterans among your Paley ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Paley military records

You've only scratched the surface of Paley family history

Discover More

What is the average Paley lifespan?

Between 1953 and 2004, in the United States, Paley life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1953, and highest in 1995. The average life expectancy for Paley in 1953 was 43, and 82 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Paley

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Paley family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial