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Ismail Family History

Ismail Name Meaning

Muslim: from an Arabic personal name, ’Isma?il, name of a Prophet (Biblical Ishmael), son of Ibrahim (Abraham). Ibrahim left his second wife Hajar (Hagar) and their small son Ismail in the wilderness outside Mecca with only a short supply of food and water. Allah took pity on them and caused the well of Zamzam to spurt up in that desolate place, which saved their lives. Later, Ibrahim sought out his son Ismail, and together they built the Ka‘ba in Mecca, towards which all Muslims turn when praying. Arabs believe that Ismail was the founder of the Arab peoples, and for this reason Arabs are sometimes referred to as Ishmaelites. The term Ismaeli is of much more recent origin; it refers to a sect of Shiite Muslims headed by the Aga Khan, who claim descent from the Fatimid dynasty that ruled Egypt and North Africa from 909 to 1171. They take their name from Isma?il al-?Siddiq (699–765), son of the sixth Shiite imam, because they believe that the divine spirit passed to him and not to his brother Musa.

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

Similar surnames: Smail, Israel, Osman, Saul, Ismael, Asmar, Jamal, Isham, Island, Iwai

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Where is the Ismail family from?

You can see how Ismail families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Ismail family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1861 and 1920. The most Ismail families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1911 there were 5 Ismail families living in Quebec. This was 100% of all the recorded Ismail's in Canada. Quebec had the highest population of Ismail families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Ismail surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Ismail ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer was the top reported job for people in the US named Ismail. 60% of Ismail men worked as a Laborer.

View Census data for Ismail | 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.

United States shown, Canada data unavailable

Top Male Occupations in 1940

  • Laborer
  • Common Laborer
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What Ismail family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1,000 census records available for the last name Ismail. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Ismail census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Ismail

Passenger Lists

There are 4,000 immigration records available for the last name Ismail. 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.

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Draft Cards

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name Ismail. For the veterans among your Ismail ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Ismail lifespan?

Between 1964 and 2004, in the United States, Ismail life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1988, and highest in 1974. The average life expectancy for Ismail in 1964 was 72, and 50 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Ismail

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