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Olsen Family History

Olsen Name Meaning

Danish and Norwegian: patronymic from the personal name Olaf, Olav (Old Norse Óláfr, Ólafr, variant Óleifr, earlier Anleifr, from proto-Scandinavian elements meaning ‘ancestor’ + ‘heir’, ‘descendant’). Olaf has always been one of the most common Scandinavian names; it continued to be popular in the Middle Ages, in part as a result of the fame of St. Olaf, King of Norway, who brought Christianity to his country c.1030. This surname, the second most common in Norway, is also established in England, notably in the Newcastle upon Tyne area. German (Ölsen): habitational name from any of several places so named, in Saxony, Brandenburg, and the Rhineland.

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


Similar surnames: Osen, Olden, Elsen, Lien, Ohlsen, Olen, Glen, Kolden, Pollen, Elden

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Olsen family from?

You can see how Olsen families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Olsen family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Olsen families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1911 there were 130 Olsen families living in Alberta. This was about 24% of all the recorded Olsen's in Canada. Alberta had the highest population of Olsen families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Olsen surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Olsen ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Servant were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Olsen. 54% of Olsen men worked as a Farmer and 15% of Olsen women worked as a Servant. Some less common occupations for Americans named Olsen were Fisherman and Saleswoman.

View Census data for Olsen | 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
    54%
  • Labourer
    9%
  • Laborer
    7%
  • Fisherman
    5%

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Servant
    15%
  • Farmer
    13%
  • Stenographer
    8%
  • Saleswoman
    8%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Olsen family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 309,000 census records available for the last name Olsen. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Olsen census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Olsen

Passenger Lists

There are 293,000 immigration records available for the last name Olsen. 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 Olsen immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 57,000 military records available for the last name Olsen. For the veterans among your Olsen ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Olsen military records

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

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What is the average Olsen lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Olsen life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1943, and highest in 1991. The average life expectancy for Olsen in 1941 was 33, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Olsen

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