Chen Family History

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Chen Name Meaning

Chinese : from name of the region of Chen (in present-day Henan province). After overthrowing the Shang dynasty and becoming the first king of the Zhou dynasty in 1122 bc, Wu Wang searched for a descendant of the great ancient emperors to guard their memory and offer sacrifices, to help retain the ‘Mandate of Heaven’, which was considered essential to remain in power. He found Gui Man, a descendant of the model emperor Shun (2257–2205 bc), and granted him the region of Chen, along with the title Marquis of Chen and one of his daughters in marriage. Gui Man was posthumously named Chen Hugong, and his descendants came to adopt the surname Chen.

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

Similar surnames: Shen, Cheng, Zhen, Che, Chon, Chez, Chan, Achen, Chew, Cain

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Chen Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Chen name?

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

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  • China


  • Korea & Northern China


  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


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Chen Family Origin

Where is the Chen family from?

Chen Family Occupations

What did your Chen ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, Farmer, Laborer and Boot And Shoe Store were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Chen. The most common Chen occupation in the USA was Farmer. 15% of Chen's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Chen family was Brick Maker.

View Census data for Chen | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Boot And Shoe Store

  • Brick Maker


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

Chen Historical Records

What Chen family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 10,000 census records available for the last name Chen. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Chen census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Chen

Passenger List

There are 33,000 immigration records available for the last name Chen. 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 Chen immigration records

Draft Card

There are 13,000 military records available for the last name Chen. For the veterans among your Chen ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Chen military records

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

Chen Life Expectancy

What is the average Chen lifespan?

Between 1945 and 2004, in the United States, Chen life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 1962. The average life expectancy for Chen in 1945 was 40, and 71 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Chen

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Chen 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 Chen Family Ancestors

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