Allison Family History

Surname Origin

The Allison family descended from a clan among the Dalriadan kingdom of the Scotland west coast, according to House of Names.  

Allison’s were first found in the former county of Lanarkshire in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland.  This area is now divided into the city of Glasgow and Lanarkshire.  The 1300 territories in this area were acquired before 1300 from their family seat at Loupe.  Click to learn more about the family history.

Allison Family History

Initially, I always check the site to see what information they have. Two million historical documents on the Allison family gives me much to start with.  It seems with 529k birth, marriage, and death certificates, there’s at least a few Allison ancestors in the Ancestry database to get started on.



According to the House of Names, Allison is derived from “Ellis” meaning the son of “Ellis”.  The website gives a lot of great information on the origins of this surname and their activity before migrating over to America.

Between 1840 and 1920, the Allison family name was found in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Scotland

Allison Population in 1840

By 1840, Pennsylvania had the highest population of Allison families.  There were 153 Allison families living in Pennsylvania accounting for about 22% of all recorded Allison’s in America.

Allison Population in 1880

The year 1880 showed the most Allison families living in the United States.  By 1880, there were 1,589 Allison families living in Pennsylvania accounting for about 13% of all recorded Allison’s in America.

Allison Population in 1920

There were 798 Allison families living in Pennsylvania accounting for about 10% of all recorded Allison’s in America in 1920.

Pennsylvania had the highest population of Allison’s in the United States in all three years.



In the late 1800s, Allison families held a small variety of different jobs between the United States, Canada, and England.

In the United States, 40% of Allison’s were Farmers with Farming being an additional 4%.  Farming, Laborer and Keeping House were reportedly the top 3 jobs worked by Allison families.

Allison Occupations in the United States

In Canada, 32% of Allison’s were Farmers.  The rest of the Allison families were still in school apparently.

Allison Occupations in Canada

In England, 5% of Allison’s were Farmers.  Labourer was a less common job among Allison families.  The top 3 reported jobs for Allison families were Farmer, Coal Miner, and Agricultural Labourer.

Allison Occupations in England


Life Expectancy

Early on, life expectancy for Allison’s was just above that of the general population but it dropped down below the general population for about 50 years before coming back up and matching it.

The Allison life expectancy between 1940 and 2004 was at its lowest point in 1945 and highest in 2003.

Allison Life Expectancy

The average life span for the Allison’s was 45 in 1940 and 74 in 2004, as was the general population.


Family Members I’ve Found So Far

I obviously still have a lot of work to do in order to fill this family out and discover my roots. I will be working on that in the weeks and months ahead.

Have you found any Allison’s in your family tree yet?  Did they come from Scotland?  When did they come to America?  Why did they come to America? I have so many questions!

As always, I will come back and update this page as I learn more about the Allison family.

Happy Searching!

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