Bess Family History

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Bess Name Meaning

English: unexplained. Apparently a metronymic from the female personal name Bess, pet form of Elizabeth. German: short form of Betz. In some cases it is probably an altered spelling of French Besse.

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

Similar surnames: Boss, Best, Buss, Ness, Gess, Ress, Hess, Wess, Bass, Beas

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Bess Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Bess name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Bess. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


  • Benin/Togo


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Bess Family Origin

Where is the Bess family from?

Bess Family Occupations

What did your Bess ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, the most common Bess occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer. 10% of Bess's were Agricultural Labourers. Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Baker were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Bess. A less common occupation for the Bess family was Commercial Traveller For Brewery.

View Census data for Bess | Data not to scale

  • Agricultural Labourer

  • Labourer

  • Baker

  • Commercial Traveller For Brewery


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Bess ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Bess Historical Records

What Bess family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 51,000 census records available for the last name Bess. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Bess census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Bess

Passenger List

There are 2,000 immigration records available for the last name Bess. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Bess immigration records

Draft Card

There are 7,000 military records available for the last name Bess. For the veterans among your Bess ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Bess military records

You've only scratched the surface of Bess family history.

Bess Life Expectancy

What is the average Bess lifespan?

Between 1943 and 2004, in the United States, Bess life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1943, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Bess in 1943 was 19, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bess

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Bess ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Bess Family Ancestors

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