Penn Family History

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Penn Name Meaning

English: habitational name from various places, for example Penn in Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire, named with the Celtic element pen ‘hill’, which was apparently adopted in Old English. English: metonymic occupational name for an impounder of stray animals, from Middle English, Old English penn ‘(sheep) pen’. English: pet form of Parnell. German: from Sorbian pien ‘tree stump’, probably a nickname for a short stocky person. Americanized form of a like-sounding Jewish surname.

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

Similar surnames: Penk, Pinn, Henn, Penna, Benn, Bean, Genn, Fenn, Penne, Penny

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Penn Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Penn name?

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

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


  • Benin/Togo


  • Germanic Europe


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Penn Family Origin

Where is the Penn family from?

Penn Family Occupations

What did your Penn ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, the most common Penn occupation in the USA was Farmer. 35% of Penn's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Penn family was Farm Laborer. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Penn.

View Census data for Penn | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Farm Laborer


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

Penn Historical Records

What Penn family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 142,000 census records available for the last name Penn. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Penn 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 Penn

Passenger List

There are 15,000 immigration records available for the last name Penn. 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 Penn immigration records

Draft Card

There are 38,000 military records available for the last name Penn. For the veterans among your Penn ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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

Penn Life Expectancy

What is the average Penn lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Penn life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Penn in 1942 was 25, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Penn

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Penn 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 Penn Family Ancestors

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