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Best Family History

Best Surname Meaning

English and northern Irish: nickname from Middle English best(e) (Old English betst) ‘best finest (person)’. English northern Irish and French: nickname from Middle English best(e) Old French beste ‘beast animal’ (especially those used for food or work) applied either as a metonymic occupational name for someone who looked after beasts such as a herdsman or as a nickname for someone thought to resemble an animal. Compare English Bester English: from a Middle English adverbial expression of the Best but the meaning is unknown. German: from a short form of the personal name Sebastian . Dutch (also De Best): nickname for ‘the best’ as a superlative for good prime senior or possibly indicating a family relationship (someone from a senior generation).

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

Similar surnames: Bast, Belt, Beck, Beste, Bean, Bess, West, Test, Bost, Bolt

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Best family from?

You can see how Best families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Best family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Best families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 1,228 Best families living in Yorkshire. This was about 16% of all the recorded Best's in United Kingdom. Yorkshire had the highest population of Best families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Best surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Best 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 Best. 8% of Best men worked as a General Labourer and 68% of Best women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Best were Bricklayer and Housewife. .

View Census Data for Best | 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
  • Incapacitated
  • Farmer
  • Bricklayer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Best family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 342,000 census records available for the last name Best. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Best census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Best

Passenger Lists

There are 37,000 immigration records available for the last name Best. 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 Best immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 72,000 military records available for the last name Best. For the veterans among your Best ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Best military records

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What is the average Best lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Best life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Best in 1942 was 36, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Best

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