West Family History

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West Name Meaning

English and German: from Middle English, Middle High German west ‘west’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived to the west of a settlement, or a regional name for someone who had migrated from further west.

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

Similar surnames: Wuest, Oest, Wert, Best, Went, Geist, Gest, Wehr, Fest, Welt

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West Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the West name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name West. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Norway


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


Your own DNA-based ethnicity estimate will differ from what you see here. To get your personalized ethnicity estimate, order an AncestryDNA® kit.order an AncestryDNA® kit.

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West Family Origin

Where is the West family from?

West Family Occupations

What did your West ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, a less common occupation for the West family was Going To School. The most common West occupation in Canada was Farmer. 29% of West's were Farmers. Farmer, Laborer and Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by West.

View Census data for West | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Labourer

  • Going To School


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your West ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

West Historical Records

What West family records will you find?

Census Record

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

Search 1881 Canadian census records for West

Passenger List

There are 116,000 immigration records available for the last name West. 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 West immigration records

Draft Card

There are 359,000 military records available for the last name West. For the veterans among your West ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all West military records

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

West Life Expectancy

What is the average West lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, West life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for West in 1940 was 46, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for West

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your West ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous West Family Ancestors

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