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West Family History

West Name Meaning

English and German: from Middle English, Middle High German west ‘west’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived to the west of a settlement, or a regional name for someone who had migrated from further west.

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


Similar surnames: Wuest, Oest, Wert, Best, Went, Geist, Gest, Wehr, Fest, Welt

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the West family from?

You can see how West families moved over time by selecting different census years. The West family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most West families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 437 West families living in New York. This was about 15% of all the recorded West's in the USA. New York had the highest population of West families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the West surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your West ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named West. 16% of West men worked as a Farmer and 7% of West women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named West were Truck Driver and Teacher.

View Census data for West | 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

  • Farmer
    16%
  • Laborer
    16%
  • Salesman
    4%
  • Truck Driver
    3%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
    7%
  • Housekeeper
    7%
  • Housewife
    6%
  • Teacher
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What West family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name West. Like a window into their day-to-day life, West census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for West

Passenger Lists

There are 116,000 immigration records available for the last name West. 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 West immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 359,000 military records available for the last name West. For the veterans among your West ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all West military records

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

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What is the average West lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, West life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for West in 1940 was 46, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for West

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