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Shelby Family History

Shelby Name Meaning

English (Essex and Middlesex): probably a variant of Selby .

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


Similar surnames: Selby, Hemby, Bielby, Welby, Smeby, Melby, Shell, Shepley, Shelley

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 Shelby family from?

You can see how Shelby families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Shelby family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Shelby families were found in USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 27 Shelby families living in Tennessee. This was about 23% of all the recorded Shelby's in USA. Tennessee had the highest population of Shelby families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Shelby surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Shelby ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Shelby. 22% of Shelby men worked as a Laborer and 11% of Shelby women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Shelby were Farm Laborer and Housewife. .

View Census Data for Shelby | 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
    22%
  • Farmer
    21%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Farm Laborer
    4%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Maid
    11%
  • Cook
    8%
  • Housekeeper
    7%
  • Housewife
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Shelby family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 44,000 census records available for the last name Shelby. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Shelby census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Shelby

Passenger Lists

There are 2,000 immigration records available for the last name Shelby. 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 Shelby immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 13,000 military records available for the last name Shelby. For the veterans among your Shelby ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Shelby military records

You've only scratched the surface of Shelby family history

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What is the average Shelby lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Shelby life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Shelby in 1944 was 28, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Shelby

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