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Shaw Family History

Shaw Name Meaning

English: topographic name for someone who lived by a copse or thicket, Middle English s(c)hage, s(c)hawe (Old English sceaga), or a habitational name from any of the numerous minor places named with this word. The English surname was also established in Ireland in the 17th century. Scottish and Irish: adopted as an English form of any of various Gaelic surnames derived from the personal name Sitheach ‘wolf’. Americanized form of some like-sounding Ashkenazic Jewish surname. Chinese : variant of Shao.

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


Similar surnames: Haw, Shan, Shad, Sas, Sham, Hew, Shao, Shean, Shah, Thaw

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

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Shaw family from?

You can see how Shaw families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Shaw family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Shaw families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1891 there were 13,585 Shaw families living in Yorkshire. This was about 28% of all the recorded Shaw's in the UK. Yorkshire had the highest population of Shaw families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Shaw surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Shaw 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 Shaw. 6% of Shaw men worked as a General Labourer and 63% of Shaw women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Shaw were Bricklayer and Private Means.

View Census data for Shaw | 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
    6%
  • Incapacitated
    2%
  • Builders Labourer
    2%
  • Bricklayer
    2%

Top Female Occupations in 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
    63%
  • Unpaid Domestic
    2%
  • Housewife
    2%
  • Private Means
    2%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Shaw family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Shaw. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Shaw census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Shaw

Passenger Lists

There are 195,000 immigration records available for the last name Shaw. 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 Shaw immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 216,000 military records available for the last name Shaw. For the veterans among your Shaw ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Shaw military records

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

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What is the average Shaw lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Shaw life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for Shaw in 1940 was 45, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Shaw

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