History of your Surname
Get access to Roy family records.Start a free trial

Roy Family History

Roy Name Meaning

Scottish: nickname for a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion from Gaelic ruadh ‘red’. Compare Reed . English (of Norman origin): from Old French roi ‘king’ used as a nickname (see 3 below) and also as a personal name. Compare Ray French and Walloon: from Old French rey roy ‘king’ (from Latin rex) a nickname for someone who lived in a regal fashion or who had earned the title in some contest of skill or by presiding over festivities. This may also be a habitational name from (Le) Roy the name of several places in various parts of France and in Belgium (Wallonia). Compare Deroy and Leroy . Germanized or Americanized form of Polish Sorbian Czech and Slovenian Roj or Polish and Sorbian Rój: probably a nickname for an irascible quick-tempered man or perhaps a metonymic occupational name for a beekeeper from Lower Sorbian Czech and Slovenian roj Polish and Upper Sorbian rój ‘swarm (of bees)’. Indian (Bengal) and Bangladeshi: variant of Rai .

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

Similar surnames: Ray, Rey, Foy, Goy, Toy, Troy, Roe, Ros, Coy, Rog

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 Roy family from?

You can see how Roy families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Roy family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Roy families were found in Canada in 1911. In 1911 there were 10,677 Roy families living in Quebec. This was about 77% of all the recorded Roy's in Canada. Quebec had the highest population of Roy families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Roy surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Roy ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Cultivateur and Institutrice were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Roy. 25% of Roy men worked as a Cultivateur and 7% of Roy women worked as an Institutrice. Some less common occupations for Americans named Roy were Labourer and Stenographer. .

View Census Data for Roy | 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

  • Cultivateur
  • Journalier
  • Farmer
  • Labourer

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Institutrice
  • Cultivateur
  • Servante
  • Stenographer
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Roy family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 520,000 census records available for the last name Roy. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Roy census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Roy

Passenger Lists

There are 50,000 immigration records available for the last name Roy. 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 Roy immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 54,000 military records available for the last name Roy. For the veterans among your Roy ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Roy military records

You've only scratched the surface of Roy family history

Discover More

What is the average Roy lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Roy life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Roy in 1940 was 62, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Roy

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Roy family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Roy last name

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