Tan Name Meaning

Chinese : from the name of the state of Tan during the Zhou dynasty. After Wu Wang established the Zhou dynasty in 1122 bc, he enfeoffed the state of Tan to a descendant of the model emperor Yu (2205–2198 bc), with the status of Viscount. Descendants adopted the name of the state Tan as their surname. Chinese : said to be from the name of a certain King Tan of the state of Song, a 36th-generation descendant of its founder (see Song). Chinese : variant of Chen. Chinese : there are two groups of bearers of the character for this surname: one pronounced Tan, and the other Qin (see Qin), although both are represented with the same character. Korean: there are three Chinese characters for this surname; two of them are used by clans that now have only one surviving family each, according to a recent census. Some records indicate that there are 10 clans that use the third character for their surname, but only two can be documented: the Kangüm clan and the Yönan clan. Neither of these clans is very large. Filipino: unexplained.

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

Similar surnames: Han, Tang, Yan, Pan, Gan, An, Man, Fan, Tao, Ban

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Tan Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Tan name?

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

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  • China


  • Philippines


  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


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Tan Family Origin

Where is the Tan family from?

Tan Family Occupations

What did your Tan ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, the most common Tan occupation in the USA was Farmer. 8% of Tan's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Tan family was Servant. Farmer, Laborer and Miner were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Tan.

View Census data for Tan | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Miner

  • Servant


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

Tan Historical Records

What Tan family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 10,000 census records available for the last name Tan. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Tan 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 Tan

Passenger List

There are 14,000 immigration records available for the last name Tan. 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.

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Draft Card

There are 9,000 military records available for the last name Tan. For the veterans among your Tan 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 Tan family history.

Tan Life Expectancy

What is the average Tan lifespan?

Between 1958 and 2004, in the United States, Tan life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1958, and highest in 1964. The average life expectancy for Tan in 1958 was 31, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Tan

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

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