Nelson Family History

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Nelson Name Meaning

English and Scottish: patronymic from the medieval personal name Nel or Neal, Anglo-Scandinavian forms of the Gaelic name Niall (see Neill). This was adopted by the Scandinavians in the form Njal and was introduced into northern England and East Anglia by them, rather than being taken directly from Gaelic. Americanized spelling of the like-sounding Scandinavian names Nilsen, Nielsen, and Nilsson.

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


Similar surnames: Kelson, Belson, Neilson, Elson, Melson, Nilson, Nelon, Yelton, Merson

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Nelson Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Nelson name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Nelson. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales

    42%

  • Ireland & Scotland

    15%

  • Germanic Europe

    9%

  • Norway

    9%

  • Sweden

    8%

Your own DNA-based ethnicity estimate will differ from what you see here. To get your personalized ethnicity estimate, order an AncestryDNA® kit.order an AncestryDNA® kit.

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Nelson Family Origin

Where is the Nelson family from?

Nelson Family Occupations

What did your Nelson ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, Farmer, Coal Miner and Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Nelson. A less common occupation for the Nelson family was Agricultural Labourer. The most common Nelson occupation in the UK was Farmer. 4% of Nelson's were Farmers.

View Census data for Nelson | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

    4%
  • Coal Miner

    4%
  • Labourer

    3%
  • Agricultural Labourer

    2%

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

Nelson Historical Records

What Nelson family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 2 million census records available for the last name Nelson. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Nelson 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 Nelson

Passenger List

There are 287,000 immigration records available for the last name Nelson. 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 Nelson immigration records

Draft Card

There are 379,000 military records available for the last name Nelson. For the veterans among your Nelson ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Nelson military records

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

Nelson Life Expectancy

What is the average Nelson lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Nelson life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Nelson in 1940 was 36, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Nelson

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

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