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Jay Family History

Jay Surname Meaning

English and French: nickname from Middle English jai jei Old French jay(e) gai ‘jay’ (the bird) probably referring to an idle chatterer a showy person or a simpleton although the jay was also noted for its thieving habits. English: from the unrecorded Middle English personal names Jay or Gee which may have been pet forms of several names beginning with J- such as Jack James and Jeffery (Geoffrey). See Jason and Jesson . Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 謝 see Xie

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

Similar surnames: Gay, May, Fay, Ray, Say, Kay, Pay, Hay, Joy, Bay

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Where is the Jay family from?

You can see how Jay families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Jay family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Jay families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1891 there were 540 Jay families living in London. This was about 19% of all the recorded Jay's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Jay families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Jay surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Jay 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 Jay. 9% of Jay men worked as a General Labourer and 71% of Jay women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Jay were Farm Labourer and Private Means. .

View Census Data for Jay | 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
  • Bricklayer
  • Gardener
  • Farm Labourer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Jay family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 138,000 census records available for the last name Jay. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Jay census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Jay

Passenger Lists

There are 12,000 immigration records available for the last name Jay. 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 Jay immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 21,000 military records available for the last name Jay. For the veterans among your Jay ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Jay military records

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What is the average Jay lifespan?

Between 1946 and 2004, in the United States, Jay life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1950, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Jay in 1946 was 45, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Jay

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