Welsh: Anglicized form of Welsh ap Herry ‘son of Herry’, a variant of Harry (see Harris). English: topographic name for someone who lived near a pear tree, Middle English per(r)ie (Old English pyrige, a derivative of pere ‘pear’). This surname and a number of variants have been established in Ireland since the 17th century.


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You can see how Perry families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Perry family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Perry families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 579 Perry families living in New York. This was about 19% of all the recorded Perry's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Perry families in 1840.

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Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Perry surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Perry. 18% of Perry men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Perry women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Perry were Truck Driver and Teacher.

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*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.


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Census Records

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

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Passenger Lists

There are 120,000 immigration records available for the last name Perry. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Perry immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 230,000 military records available for the last name Perry. For the veterans among your Perry ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Perry military records

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Perry life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Perry in 1940 was 42, and 73 in 2004.

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View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Perry


An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Perry 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.