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Wilson Family History

Wilson Name Meaning

English, Scottish, and northern Irish: patronymic from the personal name Will, a very common medieval short form of William.

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


Similar surnames: Tilson, Gilson, Ritson, Hilson, Watson, Sisson, Wilmot, Dillon

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 Wilson family from?

You can see how Wilson families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Wilson family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Wilson families were found in USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 1,358 Wilson families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 14% of all the recorded Wilson's in USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Wilson families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Wilson surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Wilson ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Wilson. 16% of Wilson men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Wilson women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Wilson were Truck Driver and Teacher. .

View Census Data for Wilson | 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
    16%
  • Farmer
    15%
  • Salesman
    4%
  • Truck Driver
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Maid
    8%
  • Housewife
    6%
  • Housekeeper
    6%
  • Teacher
    5%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Wilson family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 6 million census records available for the last name Wilson. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Wilson census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Wilson

Passenger Lists

There are 728,000 immigration records available for the last name Wilson. 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 Wilson immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 929,000 military records available for the last name Wilson. For the veterans among your Wilson ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Wilson military records

You've only scratched the surface of Wilson family history

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What is the average Wilson lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Wilson life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Wilson in 1940 was 41, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Wilson

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