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Black Family History

Black Name Meaning

English and Scottish: chiefly from Middle English blak(e) ‘black’ (Old English blæc blaca) a nickname given from the earliest times to a swarthy or dark-haired man. However Middle English blac also meant ‘pale wan’ a reflex of Old English blāc ‘pale white’ with a shortened vowel. Compare Blatch and Blick . With rare exceptions it is impossible to disambiguate these antithetical senses in Middle English surnames. The same difficulty arises with Blake and Block . Scottish: in Gaelic-speaking areas this name was adopted as a translation of the epithet dubh ‘dark black-(haired)’ or of various other names based on Gaelic dubh ‘black’ see Duff . Americanized form (translation into English) of various European surnames directly or indirectly derived from the adjective meaning ‘black dark’ for example German and Jewish Schwarz and Slavic surnames beginning with Čern- Chern- (see Chern and Cherne ) Chorn- Crn- or Czern-. Swedish: nickname from black ‘pale’. Americanized form of Danish Blak: nickname from blak ‘pale’. Native American: translation into English and shortening of a personal name composed of a word meaning ‘black’ such as Lakota Sioux Četaŋ Sapa ‘Black Hawk’ (see Blackhawk ).

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


Similar surnames: Back, Blick, Blake, Block, Slack, Blank, Clack, Beck, Flack, Brack

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Where is the Black family from?

You can see how Black families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Black family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Black families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 2,432 Black families living in Ontario. This was about 49% of all the recorded Black's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Black families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Black surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Black ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Black. 33% of Black men worked as a Farmer and 11% of Black women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Black were Clerk and Student. .

View Census Data for Black | 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 1921

  • Farmer
    33%
  • Labourer
    8%
  • Laborer
    5%
  • Clerk
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Teacher
    11%
  • Housekeeper
    10%
  • Income
    9%
  • Student
    9%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Black family records will you find?

Census Records

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

Search Canadian census records for Black

Passenger Lists

There are 247,000 immigration records available for the last name Black. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Black immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 224,000 military records available for the last name Black. For the veterans among your Black ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Black military records

You've only scratched the surface of Black family history

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What is the average Black lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Black life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Black in 1940 was 33, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Black

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