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Willis Family History

Willis Name Meaning

English: patronymic from the personal name Will.

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


Similar surnames: Willits, Wills, Tillis, Lillis, Millis, Willms, Willison, Wilkes

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 Willis family from?

You can see how Willis families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Willis family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Willis families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 603 Willis families living in Ontario. This was about 51% of all the recorded Willis's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Willis families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Willis surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Willis ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Willis. 31% of Willis men worked as a Farmer and 12% of Willis women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Willis were Carpenter and Operator.

View Census data for Willis | 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
    31%
  • Labourer
    13%
  • Laborer
    7%
  • Carpenter
    4%

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Stenographer
    12%
  • Housekeeper
    12%
  • Clerk
    11%
  • Operator
    8%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Willis family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 801,000 census records available for the last name Willis. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Willis census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Willis

Passenger Lists

There are 60,000 immigration records available for the last name Willis. 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 Willis immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 124,000 military records available for the last name Willis. For the veterans among your Willis ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Willis military records

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

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What is the average Willis lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Willis life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for Willis in 1940 was 39, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Willis

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