Shaw Family History

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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

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Shaw Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Shaw name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Shaw. 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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Shaw Family Origin

Where is the Shaw family from?

Shaw Family Occupations

What did your Shaw ancestors do for a living?

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

View Census data for Shaw | Data not to scale

  • Coal Miner

  • Farmer

  • Labourer

  • Agricultural Labourer


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

Shaw Historical Records

What Shaw family records will you find?

Census Record

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 1891 UK census records for Shaw

Passenger List

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 Card

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.

Shaw Life Expectancy

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

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

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