Read Family History

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Read Name Meaning

nickname for a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion, from Middle English re(a)d ‘red’. topographic name for someone who lived in a clearing, from an unattested Old English ried, r¯d ‘woodland clearing’. habitational name from various places: Read in Lancashire, the name of which is a contracted form of Old English r?gheafod, from r?ge ‘female roe deer’, ‘she-goat’ + heafod ‘head(land)’; Rede in Suffolk, so called from Old English hreod ‘reeds’; or Reed in Hertfordshire, so called from an Old English ryhð ‘brushwood’.

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

Similar surnames: Reid, Mead, Real, Head, Hoad, Peak, Great, Rad, Nead, Eade

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Read Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Read name?

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


  • Norway


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


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Read Family Origin

Where is the Read family from?

Read Family Occupations

What did your Read ancestors do for a living?

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

View Census data for Read | Data not to scale

  • Agricultural Labourer

  • Farmer

  • Labourer

  • Carpenter


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

Read Historical Records

What Read family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 585,000 census records available for the last name Read. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Read 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 Read

Passenger List

There are 54,000 immigration records available for the last name Read. 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 Read immigration records

Draft Card

There are 65,000 military records available for the last name Read. For the veterans among your Read 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 Read family history.

Read Life Expectancy

What is the average Read lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Read life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Read in 1942 was 29, and 78 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Read

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

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