Peter Family History

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Peter Name Meaning

English, Scottish, German, Dutch, etc.: from the personal name Peter (Greek Petros, from petra ‘rock’, ‘stone’). The name was popular throughout Christian Europe in the Middle Ages, having been bestowed by Christ as a byname on the apostle Simon bar Jonah, the brother of Andrew. The name was chosen by Christ for its symbolic significance (John 1:42, Matt. 16:18); St. Peter is regarded as the founding head of the Christian Church in view of Christ’s saying, ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church’. In Christian Germany in the early Middle Ages this was the most frequent personal name of non-Germanic origin until the 14th century. This surname has also absorbed many cognates in other languages, for example Czech Petr, Hungarian Péter. It has also been adopted as a surname by Ashkenazic Jews.

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

Similar surnames: Petek, Peters, Petter, Pester, Pete, Peer, Deter, Peper, Petr, Reder

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Peter Family Origin

Where is the Peter family from?

Peter Family Occupations

What did your Peter ancestors do for a living?

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

View Census data for Peter | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Carpenter


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

Peter Historical Records

What Peter family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 155,000 census records available for the last name Peter. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Peter 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 Peter

Passenger List

There are 57,000 immigration records available for the last name Peter. 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 Peter immigration records

Draft Card

There are 33,000 military records available for the last name Peter. For the veterans among your Peter ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Peter military records

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

Peter Life Expectancy

What is the average Peter lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Peter life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Peter in 1944 was 25, and 82 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Peter

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

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