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Polk Family History

Polk Name Meaning

Scottish: reduced form of Pollock. German (of Slavic origin): from an altered pet form of the Slavic personal name Boleslav, composed of the elements bole ‘great’, ‘large’ + slav ‘glory’. This name was a favorite during the Middle Ages among the gentry class in Silesia. German: ethnic name for a Pole (see Polak).

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

Similar surnames: Pol, Volk, Polt, Polka, Poll, Polak, Palm, Polek, Olk, Sock

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Where is the Polk family from?

You can see how Polk families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Polk family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Polk families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 45 Polk families living in Tennessee. This was about 21% of all the recorded Polk's in the USA. Tennessee had the highest population of Polk families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Polk surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Polk ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Polk. 22% of Polk men worked as a Laborer and 13% of Polk women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Polk were Farm Laborer and Teacher.

View Census data for Polk | 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
  • Farm Laborer

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
  • Laundress
  • Cook
  • Teacher
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Polk family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 82,000 census records available for the last name Polk. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Polk census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Polk

Passenger Lists

There are 4,000 immigration records available for the last name Polk. 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 Polk immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 25,000 military records available for the last name Polk. For the veterans among your Polk ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Polk military records

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

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What is the average Polk lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Polk life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1951, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Polk in 1941 was 44, and 71 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Polk

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