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Ryan Family History

Ryan Surname Meaning

Irish: shortened form of O'Ryan an Anglicized form of Ó Riaghain (modern Irish Ó Riain) ‘descendant of Riaghan’ a personal name probably based on the word ‘king’. Ryan is one of the commonest surnames in Ireland though there has been considerable confusion with Regan . Irish: shortened from Mulryan (Ó Maoilriaghain). Irish: from Ó Ruaidhín or Ó Ruadháin ‘descendant of the little red one’ more usually Anglicized Rowan . Americanized form of German Rein . Norwegian: habitational name from the farm name Ryan in Trøndelag of obscure origin.

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


Similar surnames: Cryan, Yan, Rhyan, Bryan, Gean, Ryon, Ryans, Ronan, Bean, Ryant

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Ryan family from?

You can see how Ryan families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Ryan family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Ryan families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 1,976 Ryan families living in Ontario. This was about 46% of all the recorded Ryan's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Ryan families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Ryan surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Ryan ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Housekeeper were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Ryan. 24% of Ryan men worked as a Farmer and 11% of Ryan women worked as a Housekeeper. Some less common occupations for Americans named Ryan were Clerk and Student. .

View Census Data for Ryan | 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
    24%
  • Labourer
    10%
  • Laborer
    7%
  • Clerk
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Housekeeper
    11%
  • Stenographer
    11%
  • Clerk
    8%
  • Student
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Ryan family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Ryan. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Ryan census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Ryan

Passenger Lists

There are 250,000 immigration records available for the last name Ryan. 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 Cards

There are 212,000 military records available for the last name Ryan. For the veterans among your Ryan ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Ryan lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Ryan life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Ryan in 1940 was 62, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Ryan

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