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Pay Family History

Pay Name Meaning

English (mainly Kent): nickname from Middle English pe, pa ‘peacock’ (see Peacock). English: from an early medieval personal name, apparently masculine, but of uncertain origin; perhaps derived from 1, or, as Reaney suggests, a survival of Old English Pæga. French: habitational name from places called Le Pay, in Indre, Rhône, and Vendée. This may also be a variant of pays ‘region’, ‘country’, used to denote a local person. Irish (County Kilkenny): apparently from the Old English female personal name Pega, taken to Ireland (Kilkenny) by English settlers. Peakirk in Northamptonshire, England, is named for St. Pega (died c. 719), who reputedly founded a cell there.

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


Similar surnames: Hay, May, Ray, Gay, Day, Say, Fay, Kay, Bay, Pray

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 Pay family from?

You can see how Pay families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Pay family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Pay families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1840 there were 7 Pay families living in New York. This was about 88% of all the recorded Pay's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Pay families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Pay surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Pay ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Pay. 23% of Pay men worked as a Laborer and 13% of Pay women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Pay were Farming and Clerk.

View Census data for Pay | 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
    23%
  • Farmer
    19%
  • Truck Driver
    6%
  • Farming
    5%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Stenographer
    13%
  • Waitress
    10%
  • Teacher
    10%
  • Clerk
    8%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Pay family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 31,000 census records available for the last name Pay. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Pay census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Pay

Passenger Lists

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

Draft Cards

There are 31,000 military records available for the last name Pay. For the veterans among your Pay ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Pay military records

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

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What is the average Pay lifespan?

Between 1952 and 2004, in the United States, Pay life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1974, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Pay in 1952 was 46, and 81 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Pay

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