History of your Surname
Get access to Gavin family records.Start a 14-Day Free Trial

Gavin Family History

Gavin Surname Meaning

Irish: shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Gábháin or Ó Gáibhín both of which are derived from diminutives of gábhadh ‘want’ or ‘danger’ (the second being the more likely meaning here). Scottish and northern English: from the personal name Gavin Scottish form of English Gawain and French Gauvain . The name was introduced into English from French versions of the Arthurian romances where this name was borne by one of the knights of the Round Table brother of Galahad and Mordred and a nephew of Arthur. It has been taken to be an adaptation of the Welsh name Gwalchmei perhaps ‘hawk of the plain’. Scottish: shortened form of McGavin which is believed to be an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Gobhann ‘son of the smith’. Spanish: Castilianized form of Aragonese Gabín a habitational name from Gabín a place in Huesca province Aragon. French: variant of Galvin or Gauvain cognates of 2 above. Alternatively perhaps a nickname related to Old Occitan gavina ‘seagull’. Americanized form of Polish Gawin .

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

Similar surnames: Savin, Lavin, Galvin, Cain, Main, Hain, Glavin, Garvin, Garin, Govan

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Gavin family from?

You can see how Gavin families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Gavin family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Gavin families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 318 Gavin families living in Lancashire. This was about 42% of all the recorded Gavin's in United Kingdom. Lancashire had the highest population of Gavin families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Gavin surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Gavin 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 Gavin. 33% of Gavin men worked as a General Labourer and 70% of Gavin women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Gavin were Baker and Incapacitated. .

View Census Data for Gavin | 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
  • Old Age Pensioner
  • Baker

Top Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Gavin family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 89,000 census records available for the last name Gavin. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Gavin census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Gavin

Passenger Lists

There are 15,000 immigration records available for the last name Gavin. 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 Gavin immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 15,000 military records available for the last name Gavin. For the veterans among your Gavin ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Gavin military records

You've only scratched the surface of Gavin family history

Discover More

What is the average Gavin lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Gavin life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for Gavin in 1941 was 41, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Gavin

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Gavin family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Gavin last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial