Lay Name Meaning

English: variant of Lee. Scottish: reduced variant of McClay. French: habitational name from places so named in Loire, Meurthe-et-Moselle, and Pyrénées-Atlantique. German: habitational name from places so named, in the Rhineland near Koblenz and in Bavaria, named with lay(h), a word meaning ‘stone’, ‘rock’, ‘slate’.

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

Similar surnames: Ley, Hay, Nay, Ray, Say, May, Way, Fay, Kay, Pay

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Lay Family Origin

Where is the Lay family from?

Lay Family Occupations

What did your Lay ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the UK named Lay. 3% of Lay men worked as a General Labourer and 56% of Lay women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Lay were Bricklayer and Domestic Servant

View Census data for Lay | Data not to scale

Top Male Occupations in 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Builders Labourer
  • Incapacitated
  • Bricklayer

Top Female Occupations in 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
  • Domestic Servant

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Lay Historical Records

What Lay family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 131,000 census records available for the last name Lay. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Lay 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 Lay

Passenger List

There are 17,000 immigration records available for the last name Lay. 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 Lay immigration records

Draft Card

There are 28,000 military records available for the last name Lay. For the veterans among your Lay ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Lay military records

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

Lay Life Expectancy

What is the average Lay lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Lay life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1952, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Lay in 1941 was 26, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Lay

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

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