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Black Family History

Black Name Meaning

Scottish and English: from Middle English blak(e) ‘black’ (Old English blæc, blaca), a nickname given from the earliest times to a swarthy or dark-haired man. Scottish and English: from Old English blac ‘pale’, ‘fair’, i.e. precisely the opposite meaning to 1, and a variant of Blake 2. Blake and Black are found more or less interchangeably in several surnames and place names. English: variant of Blanc as a Norman name. The pronunciation of the nasalized vowel gave considerable difficulty to English speakers, and its quality was often ignored. Scottish and Irish: translation of various names from Gaelic dubh ‘black’ (see Duff). Danish and Swedish: generally, probably the English and Scottish name, but in some cases perhaps a variant spelling of Blak, a nickname from blak ‘black’. In some cases, a translation of various names meaning ‘black’, for example German and Jewish Schwarz.

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

Similar surnames: Back, Blick, Blake, Block, Slack, Blank, Clack, Beck, Flack, Brack

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 Black family from?

You can see how Black families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Black family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Black families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 1,147 Black families living in Lancashire. This was about 16% of all the recorded Black's in United Kingdom. Lancashire had the highest population of Black families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Black surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Black ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Black. 9% of Black men worked as a General Labourer and 66% of Black women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Black were Builders Labourer and Private Means. .

View Census Data for Black | 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 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Incapacitated
  • Farmer
  • Builders Labourer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Housewife
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Private Means
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Black family records will you find?

Census Records

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

Search Australian census records for Black

Passenger Lists

There are 247,000 immigration records available for the last name Black. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Black immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 224,000 military records available for the last name Black. For the veterans among your Black ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Black military records

You've only scratched the surface of Black family history

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What is the average Black lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Black life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Black in 1940 was 33, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Black

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