Gale Family History

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Gale Name Meaning

English: nickname for a cheerful or boisterous person, from Middle English ga(i)le ‘jovial’, ‘rowdy’, from Old English gal ‘light’, ‘pleasant’, ‘merry’, which was reinforced in Middle English by Old French gail. Compare Gail 2. English: from a Germanic personal name introduced into England from France by the Normans in the form Gal(on). Two originally distinct names have fallen together in this form: one was a short form of compound names with the first element gail ‘cheerful’, ‘joyous’. Compare Gaillard, the other was a byname from the element walh ‘stranger’, ‘foreigner’. English: metonymic occupational name for a jailer, topographic name for someone who lived near the local jail, or nickname for a jailbird, from Old Northern French gaiole ‘jail’ (Late Latin caveola, a diminutive of classical Latin cavea ‘cage’). Portuguese: from galé ‘galleon’, ‘war ship’, presumably a metonymic occupational name for a shipwright or a mariner. Slovenian: from a pet form of the personal name Gal (Latin Gallus), formed with the suffix -e, usually denoting a young person.

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

Similar surnames: Hale, Wale, Gal, Sale, Dale, Gade, Galle, Gage, Gall, Game

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Gale Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Gale name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Gale. 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


  • European Jewish


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


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Gale Family Origin

Where is the Gale family from?

Gale Family Occupations

What did your Gale ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, a less common occupation for the Gale family was Carpenter. Agricultural Labourer, Farmer and Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Gale. The most common Gale occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer. 5% of Gale's were Agricultural Labourers.

View Census data for Gale | Data not to scale

  • Agricultural Labourer

  • Farmer

  • Labourer

  • Carpenter


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

Gale Historical Records

What Gale family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 298,000 census records available for the last name Gale. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Gale 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 Gale

Passenger List

There are 27,000 immigration records available for the last name Gale. 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 Gale immigration records

Draft Card

There are 32,000 military records available for the last name Gale. For the veterans among your Gale 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 Gale family history.

Gale Life Expectancy

What is the average Gale lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Gale life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 1951. The average life expectancy for Gale in 1941 was 36, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Gale

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Gale 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 Gale Family Ancestors

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