Jay Name Meaning

English and French: nickname from Middle English, Old French jay(e), gai ‘jay’ (the bird), probably referring to an idle chatterer or a showy person, although the jay was also noted for its thieving habits.

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

Similar surnames: Gay, May, Fay, Ray, Say, Kay, Pay, Hay, Joy, Bay

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Jay Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Jay name?

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


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


  • European Jewish


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Jay Family Origin

Where is the Jay family from?

Jay Family Occupations

What did your Jay ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, a less common occupation for the Jay family was Laborer. The most common Jay occupation in Canada was Farmer. 30% of Jay's were Farmers. Farmer, Going To School and Farmer'S Son were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Jay.

View Census data for Jay | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Going To School

  • Farmer'S Son

  • Laborer


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

Jay Historical Records

What Jay family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 138,000 census records available for the last name Jay. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Jay census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1881 Canadian census records for Jay

Passenger List

There are 12,000 immigration records available for the last name Jay. 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 Card

There are 21,000 military records available for the last name Jay. For the veterans among your Jay 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 Jay family history.

Jay Life Expectancy

What is the average Jay lifespan?

Between 1946 and 2004, in the United States, Jay life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1950, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Jay in 1946 was 45, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Jay

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

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