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

Will Family History

Will Name Meaning

Scottish and northern English: from the medieval personal name Will, a short form of William, or from some other medieval personal names with this first element, for example Wilbert or Willard. English: topographic name for someone who lived by a spring or stream, Middle English wille (from wiell(a), West Saxon form of Old English well(a) ‘spring’). The surname is found predominantly in the south and southwestern parts of the country. German: from a short form of any of the various Germanic personal names beginning with wil ‘will’, ‘desire’.

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


Similar surnames: Gill, Hill, Wall, Mill, Well, Bill, Wild, Dill, Wilk, Wills

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 Will family from?

You can see how Will families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Will family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Will families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 46 Will families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 39% of all the recorded Will's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Will families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Will surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Will ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Will. 16% of Will men worked as a Farmer and 10% of Will women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Will were Clerk and Clerk.

View Census data for Will | 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
    13%
  • Salesman
    6%
  • Clerk
    5%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Housewife
    10%
  • Housekeeper
    10%
  • Teacher
    6%
  • Clerk
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Will family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 98,000 census records available for the last name Will. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Will census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Will

Passenger Lists

There are 17,000 immigration records available for the last name Will. 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 Will immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 23,000 military records available for the last name Will. For the veterans among your Will ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Will military records

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

Discover More

What is the average Will lifespan?

Between 1943 and 2004, in the United States, Will life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1961, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Will in 1943 was 54, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Will

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Will family tree

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