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Ralph Family History

Ralph Name Meaning

English: from Anglo-Norman and Middle English Raulf Ralf an Old French form of ancient Germanic Radulf (from rād ‘counsel advice’ + wulf ‘wolf’) hence the usual latinization of the name as Radulfus. Ralph was a common personal name among the Normans and from the mid 13th century among the native English. Almost 7% of men in the late 14th century were named Ralph. It was pronounced in a variety of ways giving rise to a large number of different surnames. Ralf could be shortened to Raff hence the surname Raff and possibly Raffel . Raulf was sometimes shortened to Raul giving us Rall and Rawlin (see Rawling ). It also appears as Rauf which was often shortened to Rau hence the surnames Rawe and Rawkin (‘young Ralph’) as well as Haw Hawkins Daw and Dawkins derived from rhyming pet forms. In late Middle English the diphthong -au- was sometimes simplified to long -a- later pronounced ‘ay’ as in modern English day which accounts for Rafe. This pronunciation of the personal name Ralph is still occasionally found in modern times. Ralph is a learned spelling of Ralf that became common in the 16th century. In Anglo-Norman and Middle English usage the rarer personal name Rolf was sometimes confused with Ralf which explains why Ralf is an alternative source for Rolf Rowe Dow and their derivatives.

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

Similar surnames: Rath, Rampe, Rasch, Ranch, Rash, Balch, Rach, Delph, Rapp, Rauch

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Where is the Ralph family from?

You can see how Ralph families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Ralph family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Ralph families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1891 there were 794 Ralph families living in London. This was about 16% of all the recorded Ralph's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Ralph families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Ralph surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Ralph 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 Ralph. 9% of Ralph men worked as a General Labourer and 69% of Ralph women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Ralph were Gardener and Housewife. .

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*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
  • Bricklayer
  • Builders Labourer
  • Gardener

Top Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Ralph family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 158,000 census records available for the last name Ralph. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Ralph 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 16,000 immigration records available for the last name Ralph. 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 21,000 military records available for the last name Ralph. For the veterans among your Ralph ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Ralph lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Ralph life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Ralph in 1941 was 36, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Ralph

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