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Wang Family History

Wang Name Meaning

Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 王 meaning ‘king’ or ‘royal’: (i) in some families the surname is traced back to Crown Prince Jin son of King Ling of Zhou (died 545 BC) of the Eastern Zhou dynasty. Jin incurred his father's displeasure (for criticizing plans to divert the Gu and Luo rivers) and was disinherited. His descendants adopted the surname Wang (王) in commemoration of his royal status. (ii) in other cases the name is traced back to Tian He (died around 384 BC) who usurped the throne of the state of Qi in 391 BC. After the annihilation of Qi by the state of Qin in 221 BC some descendants of nobles of Qi adopted the surname Wang (王) in memory of the royal status of their ancestors. (iii) the surname is also borne by descendants of royal families in certain other states for example Wei during the Warring States Period (475–221 BC). (iv) in other families the surname is traced back to Bi Gan who was murdered by his nephew Zhou last king of the Shan dynasty (1600–1046 BC). Descendants of Bi Gan also adopted the surname Wang (王). (v) the surname has also been adopted by some families of minority ethnic groups for example the Ke Yi (可頤) families of the Xianbei ethnic group. (vi) in some families this surname is traced back to ancestors who either were endowed with it by an emperor or changed their original surname claiming royal status. Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 汪 a word applied to water and meaning both ‘deep’ and ‘puddle’ in ancient Chinese: (i) shortened form of Wang Mang (汪芒) also called Wang Wang (汪罔) the name of a state in present-day Wukang in Zhejiang province. After the extinction of this state at an uncertain date its inhabitants fled to other places and the surname was shortened to Wang (汪). (ii) for some families the surname is traced back to the royal family of the state of Lu (1024 BC–256 BC) during the Warring States Period. The 21st ruler of the state of Lu the Duke Cheng of Lu endowed one of his sons (Man) with lands in Wang (in present-day Shandong province) where they adopted the surname Wang. (iii) from the name of Wang Chuxiu (汪處休). In the earlier Song Dynasty (960–1127 AD) in Quanzhou in Fujian province Weng Qiandu had six sons and gave different surnames to each of them. His sixth son Weng Chuxiu was given the surname Wang. He and his brothers all became important officials known as ‘the Six Laureates’. Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 黃 see Huang Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 弘 see Hong Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 袁 possibly based on its Teochew or Hakka pronunciations see Yuan Korean: written 왕 in Chinese characters 王 meaning ‘king’. This is the only Chinese character for the surname Wang. Some sources indicate that there are fifteen Wang clans but only two can be identified: the Kaesŏng Wang clan and the Chenam Wang clan. The Kaesŏng Wang clan which originated in China ruled the Korean peninsula for almost five hundred years as the ruling dynasty of the Koryŏ period (918–1392). There are some indications that the Kaesŏng Wang clan was present in the ancient Chosŏn Kingdom (c. 194 BC). When the Chŏnju Yi clan seized power in 1392 and established the Chosŏn kingdom many of the members of the Kaesŏng Wang clan changed their names and went into hiding to avoid being persecuted by the new ruling dynasty. The Chenam Wang clan is also of Chinese origin. The Chenam Wang clan is much smaller than the Kaesŏng Wang clan.7: Southeast Asian (Hmong): variant of Vang 8: German and Dutch: from Middle German wang Middle Dutch waenge literally ‘cheek’ but also in southern German having the transferred sense ‘grassy slope’ or ‘field of grass’. It was thus either a topographic name for someone who lived on sloping grassland or a descriptive nickname for someone with noticeable cheeks (for example round or rosy).9: Jewish (Ashkenazic): either a borrowing of the German name (see 8 above) or else a habitational name for a Jew from Hungary (compare Russian Vengria ‘Hungary’).10: Norwegian and Danish; Swedish (Wång): variant of Vang 3 or Vång (see Vang ).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022


Similar surnames: Yang, Pang, Kang, Tang, Fang, Lang, Zang, Sang, Weng, Wan

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Where is the Wang family from?

You can see how Wang families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Wang family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Wang families were found in USA in 1920. In 1840 there was 1 Wang family living in New York. This was about 50% of all the recorded Wang's in USA. New York and 1 other state had the highest population of Wang families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Wang surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Wang ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Wang. 12% of Wang men worked as a Farmer and 11% of Wang women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Wang were Cook and Bookkeeper. .

View Census Data for Wang | 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
    12%
  • Waiter
    10%
  • Laborer
    10%
  • Cook
    8%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Maid
    11%
  • Clerk
    10%
  • Waitress
    8%
  • Bookkeeper
    8%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Wang family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 12,000 census records available for the last name Wang. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Wang census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

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Passenger Lists

There are 26,000 immigration records available for the last name Wang. 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 Cards

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

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What is the average Wang lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Wang life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Wang in 1944 was 28, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Wang

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