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Brown Family History

Brown Name Meaning

English Scottish and Irish: generally a nickname referring to the color of the hair or complexion Middle English br(o)un from Old English brūn or Old French brun. This word is occasionally found in Old French Middle English and Old Norse as a personal name or byname (Middle English personal name Brun Broun ancient Germanic Bruno Old English Brūn or possibly Old Norse Brúnn or Brúni). Brun- was also an ancient Germanic name-forming element. Some instances of Old English Brūn as a personal name may therefore be short forms of compound names such as Brūngar Brūnwine etc. As a Scottish and Irish name it sometimes represents a translation of Gaelic Donn (see below). Brown (including in the senses below) is the fourth most frequent surname in the US. It is also very common among African Americans and Native Americans (see also 5 below). Irish and Scottish: adopted for Ó Duinn (see Dunn ) or for any of the many Irish and Scottish Gaelic names containing the element donn ‘brown-haired’ (also meaning ‘chieftain’) for example Donahue . Irish: phonetic Anglicization of Mac an Bhreitheamhnaigh; see Breheny . Americanized form (translation into English or assimilation) of various European surnames meaning ‘brown’ or derived from a word meaning ‘brown’ including the like-sounding German and Jewish surname Braun which is by far most common among them Jewish Bron and Slovenian Erjavec . Native American: translation into English and shortening of a personal name composed of a word meaning ‘brown’. In many cases however this surname was chosen because it is a one of the most common English surnames in North America (see 1 above).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Brow, Crown, Brun, Bruin, Braun, Bjorn, Brin, Lown, Rohn, Biron

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Where is the Brown family from?

You can see how Brown families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Brown family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Brown families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 25,966 Brown families living in London. This was about 15% of all the recorded Brown's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Brown families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Brown surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Brown 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 Brown. 6% of Brown men worked as a General Labourer and 62% of Brown women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Brown were Incapacitated and Incapacitated. .

View Census Data for Brown | 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
  • Builders Labourer
  • Bricklayer
  • Incapacitated

Top Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Brown family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 9 million census records available for the last name Brown. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Brown census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

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Passenger Lists

There are 1 million immigration records available for the last name Brown. 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.

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Draft Cards

There are 1 million military records available for the last name Brown. For the veterans among your Brown ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Brown lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Brown life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Brown in 1940 was 40, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Brown

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