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

Potter Family History

Potter Name Meaning

English, Dutch, and North German (Pötter): occupational name for a maker of drinking and storage vessels, from an agent derivative of Middle English, Middle Low German pot. In the Middle Ages the term covered workers in metal as well as earthenware and clay.

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


Similar surnames: Porter, Petter, Otter, Rotter, Zotter, Cotter, Pott, Kolter, Matter

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 Potter family from?

You can see how Potter families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Potter family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Potter families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 632 Potter families living in New York. This was about 30% of all the recorded Potter's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Potter families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Potter surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Potter ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Potter. 14% of Potter men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Potter women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Potter were Truck Driver and Stenographer.

View Census data for Potter | 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
    14%
  • Farmer
    13%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Truck Driver
    4%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Housewife
    8%
  • Housekeeper
    6%
  • Teacher
    6%
  • Stenographer
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Potter family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 759,000 census records available for the last name Potter. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Potter census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Potter

Passenger Lists

There are 146,000 immigration records available for the last name Potter. 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 Potter immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 112,000 military records available for the last name Potter. For the veterans among your Potter ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Potter military records

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

Discover More

What is the average Potter lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Potter life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Potter in 1941 was 42, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Potter

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Potter family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial