History of your Surname
Get access to Penn family records.Start a 14-Day Free Trial

Penn Family History

Penn Surname Meaning

English: habitational name from either of two places called Penn (in Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire) both of which are named with Brittonic penn ‘head’ often used in hill-names. English: topographic name or metonymic occupational name from Middle English pen(n) ‘enclosure animal pen fold’ (Old English penn) for someone who lived by or worked at a fold. Examples of this surname are formally difficult to distinguish from those in 1 above. English: from a pet form of the female personal name Pernel see Parnell . English: variant of Pinn . Cornish: shortened form of Penna . South German: unexplained.7: Germanized form of Sorbian P'eń: from Lower Sorbian p'eń ‘tree stump trunk’ probably a nickname for a short stocky person.8: Breton (mainly Finistère; also Le Penn): variant of Pen and in North America (also) an altered form of this.9: Americanized form of some similar (like-sounding) Jewish surname.10: In some cases probably also an Americanized form of Slovenian Pen .1 Americanized form of the Chinese surname 彭 see Peng

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022


Similar surnames: Penk, Pinn, Henn, Penna, Benn, Bean, Genn, Fenn, Penne, Penny

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Penn family from?

You can see how Penn families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Penn family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Penn families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 32 Penn families living in Ontario. This was about 46% of all the recorded Penn's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Penn families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Penn surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Penn ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Labourer was the top reported job for people in the Canada named Penn. 32% of Penn men worked as a Labourer. .

View Census Data for Penn | 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

  • Labourer
    32%
  • Farmer
    23%
  • Carpenter
    10%
  • Teamster
    10%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Penn family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 142,000 census records available for the last name Penn. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Penn census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Penn

Passenger Lists

There are 15,000 immigration records available for the last name Penn. 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 Penn immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 38,000 military records available for the last name Penn. For the veterans among your Penn ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Penn military records

You've only scratched the surface of Penn family history

Discover More

What is the average Penn lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Penn life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Penn in 1942 was 25, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Penn

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Penn family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Penn last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial