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Shan Family History

Shan Name Meaning

Chinese : from the place name Shan. Cheng Wang, the second king (1115–1079 bc) of the Zhou dynasty, granted to a son the area of Shan, and the son’s descendants adopted the place name as their surname. Chinese : from a word meaning ‘mountain’. The legendary emperor Shen Nong (2734–2697 bc) was supposedly born on Lie Mountain, the name of which he gave to one of his sons. One of the descendants of that son adopted the word for ‘mountain’, shan, as his surname. Another source of the name was an official post that existed during the Zhou dynasty (1122–221 bc) called the Mountain Master, which carried the responsibilities of overseeing mountains and forests. Again, the word for ‘mountain’, shan, was adopted as a surname. Indian (Gujarat): Hindu (Vania) name of unknown meaning. Reduced form of northern Irish and Scottish McShane. Variant of English Shann.

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

Similar surnames: Han, Shen, Shah, Shao, Shaw, Zhan, Shang, Sham, Shand, Sha

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Where is the Shan family from?

You can see how Shan families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Shan family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Shan families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1840 there were 2 Shan families living in Alabama. This was about 29% of all the recorded Shan's in the USA. Alabama and 1 other state had the highest population of Shan families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Shan surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Shan ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Shan. 40% of Shan men worked as a Farmer and 60% of Shan women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Shan were Laborer and No Occupantion.

View Census data for Shan | 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.

Canada shown, United States data unavailable

Top Male Occupations in 1921

  • Farmer
  • Labourer
  • Student
  • Laborer

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Stenographer
  • No Occupantion
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Shan family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 17,000 census records available for the last name Shan. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Shan census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Shan

Passenger Lists

There are 6,000 immigration records available for the last name Shan. 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 Shan immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 5,000 military records available for the last name Shan. For the veterans among your Shan ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Shan military records

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

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What is the average Shan lifespan?

Between 1966 and 2004, in the United States, Shan life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1966, and highest in 1969. The average life expectancy for Shan in 1966 was 25, and 77 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Shan

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