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Origins of the West surname

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What does the name West mean?

West is an English surname with relatively humble origins. It is belived to be a descriptive name, from the Old English word 'West' (which we still use in the same way, as a direction). It would have been given to someone who came from a western area who settled or moved further east, and their descendants. In testament to that usage, it is more prevalent in the eastern counties of England.

Alternative variations of the name West

West, Waist, Weste, Wast, Wist

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Delve deeper into the West family's history

Where do most Wests live?

In 1921, most Wests lived in London.


Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Wests

How common is your surname?

108th most common surname in the UK

We have 301,000 records for the West surname. The oldest one dates back to 1086.

Who were Wests most likely to marry?

Smiths

&

Johnsons

Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Wests.

What are the most common West first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of West family members

Common jobs for Wests

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Wests in 1921
Dressmaker

1,340

Laundress

993

Domestic Servant

747

General Servant Domestic

744

Living On Own Means

622

Common Male occupations for Wests in 1921
Agricultural Labourer

1,608

General Labourer

1,263

Carpenter

982

Farm Labourer

934

Fisherman

875

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We found over 450,000 family trees with the West surname

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