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Nelson Family History

Nelson Name Meaning

English: patronymic from the personal name Nell or Nele either of which might be a pet form of Elias or less commonly of Niel (from Latin Nigellus). See also Neal . Americanized form of Swedish Nilsson and also of the Danish Norwegian and North German cognates Nielsen and Nilsen (compare Nelsen ). Compare also Neilson and Nielson .

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

Similar surnames: Kelson, Belson, Neilson, Elson, Melson, Nilson, Nelon, Yelton, Merson

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Where is the Nelson family from?

You can see how Nelson families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Nelson family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Nelson families were found in USA in 1920. In 1891 there were 3,073 Nelson families living in Lancashire. This was about 24% of all the recorded Nelson's in United Kingdom. Lancashire had the highest population of Nelson families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Nelson surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

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

View Census Data for Nelson | 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
  • Farmer
  • Incapacitated

Top Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Nelson family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 2 million census records available for the last name Nelson. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Nelson census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Nelson

Passenger Lists

There are 287,000 immigration records available for the last name Nelson. 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 Nelson immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 379,000 military records available for the last name Nelson. For the veterans among your Nelson 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 Nelson family history

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What is the average Nelson lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Nelson life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Nelson in 1940 was 36, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Nelson

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