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Ko Family History

Ko Name Meaning

Chinese : Min (Taiwanese) form of Ke. Chinese : Cantonese variant of Gao. Chinese : variant of Ge 1. Chinese : variant of Ge 2. Korean: there is only one Chinese character for the surname Ko. There are ten different Ko clans, but they are all descended from the Ko clan of Cheju Island. There is no historical information regarding the founder of this clan, but there is a legend which tells of three men who appeared from a cave on the north side of Cheju Island’s Halla Mountain. These three men were the founders of the Yang clan, the Pu clan, and the Ko clan, the latter being named Ko Ul-la. Some days after the three men emerged from the cave, a box was washed up on the shore of the island. In the box were three women, horses, cows, and agricultural seed. From these beginnings, the three established Cheju Island’s T’amnaguk kingdom and ruled peacefully. Ko is a common surname found throughout the Korean peninsula. Approximately ten percent of Cheju Island’s present-day population consists of members of the Ko family. Hungarian (Ko): from ko ‘stone’, a word from the ancient Finno-Ugric word stock of Hungarian (cognate with Finnish kivi, Estonian keve), hence a topographic name for someone who lived on stony ground or by a notable outcrop of rock, or alternatively a metonymic occupational name for a mason or stonecutter.

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

Similar surnames: Ku, To, So, Ki, Ho, Mo, No, Kwon, Kon, Kos

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Where is the Ko family from?

You can see how Ko families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Ko family name was found in the USA, Canada, and Scotland between 1851 and 1920. The most Ko families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1880 there were 41 Ko families living in California. This was about 85% of all the recorded Ko's in the USA. California had the highest population of Ko families in 1880.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Ko surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Ko ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Sales Girl were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Ko. 28% of Ko men worked as a Laborer.

View Census data for Ko | 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

  • Laborer
  • Waiter
  • Cook
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Sales Girl
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Ko family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 11,000 census records available for the last name Ko. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Ko census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Ko

Passenger Lists

There are 9,000 immigration records available for the last name Ko. 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 Ko immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 14,000 military records available for the last name Ko. For the veterans among your Ko ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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

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What is the average Ko lifespan?

Between 1963 and 2004, in the United States, Ko life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1972, and highest in 1967. The average life expectancy for Ko in 1963 was 75, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Ko

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