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

Penny Family History

Penny Name Meaning

English:: from Middle English peni peny ‘penny’ (Old English pening penig) 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 ancient 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. This surname is also found in Ireland. Compare Halfpenny Farthing Grote and Shilling . alternatively a variant of Penning or Penn .

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

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

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 Penny family from?

You can see how Penny families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Penny family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Penny families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1840 there were 93 Penny families living in New York. This was about 38% of all the recorded Penny's in USA. New York had the highest population of Penny families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Penny surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Penny ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Penny. 18% of Penny men worked as a Laborer and 9% of Penny women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Penny were Clerk and Stenographer. .

View Census Data for Penny | 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
  • Farmer
  • Salesman
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Housewife
  • Maid
  • Housekeeper
  • Stenographer
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Penny family records will you find?

Census Records

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 US census records for Penny

Passenger Lists

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 Cards

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

Discover More

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

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Penny family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Penny last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial