History of your Surname
Get access to Ham family records.Start a free trial

Ham Family History

Ham Name Meaning

English (mainly southwestern England): variant spelling of Hamm. French: habitational name from any of the various places in northern France (Ardennes, Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Moselle) named with the Germanic word ham ‘meadow in the bend of a river’, ‘water meadow’, ‘flood plain’. Dutch: variant of Hamme. Korean: there is only one Chinese character for the Ham surname. Some sources report that there are sixty different Ham clans, but only the Kangnung Ham clan can be documented. Although some records have been lost and a few generations are unaccounted for, it is known that the founding ancestor of the Ham clan is Ham Kyu, a Koryo general who fought against the Mongol invaders in the thirteenth century. His ancestor, Ham Hyok, was a Tang Chinese general who stayed in Korea after Tang China helped Shilla unify the peninsula during the seventh century. Another of Ham Hyok’s ancestors, Ham Shin, accompanied Kim Chu-won, the founding ancestor of the Kangnung Kim family, to the Kangnung area, and hence the Ham clan became the Kangnung Ham clan. The first prominent ancestor from Kangnung whose genealogy can be verified is Ham Kyu, the Koryo general. Accordingly, he is regarded as the Kangnung Ham clan’s founding ancestor.

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

Similar surnames: Han, Ha, Nam, Hay, Hamm, Sham, Ram, Kam, Sam, Cham

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 Ham family from?

You can see how Ham families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Ham family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Ham families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 116 Ham families living in New York. This was about 21% of all the recorded Ham's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Ham families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Ham surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Ham ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Housekeeper were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Ham. 23% of Ham men worked as a Farmer and 12% of Ham women worked as a Housekeeper. Some less common occupations for Americans named Ham were Salesman and Maid.

View Census data for Ham | 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 1940

  • Farmer
  • Laborer
  • Farming
  • Salesman

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Housekeeper
  • Housewife
  • Teacher
  • Maid
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Ham family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 162,000 census records available for the last name Ham. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Ham census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Ham

Passenger Lists

There are 17,000 immigration records available for the last name Ham. 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 Ham immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 38,000 military records available for the last name Ham. For the veterans among your Ham ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Ham military records

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

Discover More

What is the average Ham lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Ham life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1949, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Ham in 1944 was 36, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Ham

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Ham family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial