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

Duncan Family History

Duncan Name Meaning

Scottish: from the Older Scots personal name Dunecan itself from the traditional Irish royal name Donnchad(h) derived from donn ‘brown-haired’ + cath ‘battle’. Judging by the Scots form the Scottish Gaelic intermediary seems to have been understood as containing ceann ‘head’ as if the whole name meant ‘brown head’; compare sense In Ireland the name was Anglicized as Donagh or Donaghue. Compare Donahue . Irish: used as an Anglicized equivalent of Gaelic Ó Duinnchinn ‘descendant of Donncheann’ a byname composed of the elements donn ‘brown-haired man’ or ‘chieftain’ + ceann ‘head’.

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

Similar surnames: Dunn, Donnan, Dungan, Dinan, Dunkin, Dugan, Dundas, Dunman, Duggan

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 Duncan family from?

You can see how Duncan families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Duncan family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Duncan families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 921 Duncan families living in London. This was about 19% of all the recorded Duncan's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Duncan families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Duncan surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Duncan 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 Duncan. 9% of Duncan men worked as a General Labourer and 67% of Duncan women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Duncan were Incapacitated and Unpaid Domestic. .

View Census Data for Duncan | 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
  • Gardener
  • Builders Labourer
  • Incapacitated

Top Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Duncan family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 856,000 census records available for the last name Duncan. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Duncan census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Duncan

Passenger Lists

There are 129,000 immigration records available for the last name Duncan. 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 Duncan immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 150,000 military records available for the last name Duncan. For the veterans among your Duncan ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Duncan military records

You've only scratched the surface of Duncan family history

Discover More

What is the average Duncan lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Duncan life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Duncan in 1940 was 39, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Duncan

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Duncan family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Duncan last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial