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Wise Family History

Wise Name Meaning

English: nickname for a wise or learned person, or in some cases a nickname for someone suspected of being acquainted with the occult arts, from Middle English wise ‘wise’ (Old English wis). This name has also absorbed Dutch Wijs, a nickname meaning ‘wise’, and possibly cognates in other languages. Americanized form of German and Jewish Weiss ‘white’.

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

Similar surnames: Wish, Wire, Wiese, Wile, Wiss, Fish, Rise, Vise, West, Dise

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Where is the Wise family from?

You can see how Wise families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Wise family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Wise families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 223 Wise families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 23% of all the recorded Wise's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Wise families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Wise surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Wise ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Wise. 16% of Wise men worked as a Laborer and 6% of Wise women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Wise were Truck Driver and Teacher.

View Census data for Wise | 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
  • Farmer
  • Salesman
  • Truck Driver

Top Female Occupations in 1940

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

What Wise family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 434,000 census records available for the last name Wise. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Wise census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Wise

Passenger Lists

There are 33,000 immigration records available for the last name Wise. 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 Wise immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 75,000 military records available for the last name Wise. For the veterans among your Wise ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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

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What is the average Wise lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Wise life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Wise in 1940 was 29, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Wise

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