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Purcell Family History

Purcell Name Meaning

English, Welsh, and Irish (of Norman origin): from Old French pourcel ‘piglet’ (Latin porcellus, a diminutive of porcus ‘pig’), hence a metonymic occupational name for a swineherd, or a nickname, perhaps affectionate in tone. This is a common surname in Ireland, having become established there in the 12th century.

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

Similar surnames: Purtill, Burrell, Hurrell, Percell, Durrell, Bursell, Perrell

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Where is the Purcell family from?

You can see how Purcell families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Purcell family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Purcell families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 212 Purcell families living in Nova Scotia. This was about 38% of all the recorded Purcell's in Canada. Nova Scotia had the highest population of Purcell families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Purcell surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Purcell ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Purcell. 23% of Purcell men worked as a Farmer and 18% of Purcell women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Purcell were Laborer and Dressmaker.

View Census data for Purcell | 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
  • Labourer
  • Fisherman
  • Laborer

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Stenographer
  • Housekeeper
  • Income
  • Dressmaker
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Purcell family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 177,000 census records available for the last name Purcell. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Purcell census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Purcell

Passenger Lists

There are 26,000 immigration records available for the last name Purcell. 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 Purcell immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 29,000 military records available for the last name Purcell. For the veterans among your Purcell ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Purcell military records

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

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What is the average Purcell lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Purcell life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Purcell in 1944 was 41, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Purcell

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