Penny Family History

14-Day Free Trial


Penny Name Meaning

English (also present in Ireland): from Middle English peni, peny ‘penny’, applied as a nickname, possibly for a person of some substance or for a tenant who paid a rent of one penny. This was the common Germanic unit of value when money was still an unusual phenomenon. It was the only unit of coinage in England until the early 14th century, when the groat and the gold noble were introduced, and was a silver coin of considerable value. There is some evidence that the word was used in Old English times as a byname.

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

Similar surnames: Penn, Denny, Perry, Pinn, Hendy, Fenn, Penney, Penne, Penna, Benn

Ready to discover your family story?

Simply start with yourself and we'll do the searching for you.


Penny Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Penny name?

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

Explore the full experience here
  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


Your own DNA-based ethnicity estimate will differ from what you see here. To get your personalized ethnicity estimate, order an AncestryDNA® kit.order an AncestryDNA® kit.

Order a DNA Kit Today

Penny Family Origin

Where is the Penny family from?

Penny Family Occupations

What did your Penny ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, Farmer, Keeping House and Laborer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Penny. The most common Penny occupation in the USA was Farmer. 37% of Penny's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Penny family was Farming.

View Census data for Penny | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Keeping House

  • Laborer

  • Farming


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

Penny Historical Records

What Penny family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 171,000 census records available for the last name Penny. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Penny 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 Penny

Passenger List

There are 17,000 immigration records available for the last name Penny. 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 Penny immigration records

Draft Card

There are 17,000 military records available for the last name Penny. For the veterans among your Penny ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Penny military records

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

Penny Life Expectancy

What is the average Penny lifespan?

Between 1943 and 2004, in the United States, Penny life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1958, and highest in 1985. The average life expectancy for Penny in 1943 was 48, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Penny

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

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in your family tree

Famous ancestors img
Look up another name