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Wang Family History

Wang Name Meaning

Chinese : from a character meaning ‘prince’. There are numerous unrelated Wang clans, descendants of various princes of the Shang (1766–1122 bc) and Zhou (1122–221 bc) dynasties, including in particular descendants of the Shang dynasty prince Bi Gan and descendants of Bi Gonggao, 15th son of the virtuous duke Wen Wang, who was granted the state of Wei (a different state of Wei than that granted the eighth son; compare Sun). Chinese : from the name of a state or area called Wang. From ancient times through the Xia (2205–1766 bc) and Shang (1766–1122 bc) dynasties there existed a state of Wang. Later, during the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 bc), there also existed an area named Wang in the state of Lu. Some descendants of the ruling class of both areas took the place name Wang as their surname. Korean: there is one Chinese character for the surname Wang. Some sources indicate that there are fifteen Wang clans, but only two can be identified: the Kaesong Wang clan and the Chenam Wang clan. The Kaesong Wang clan, which originated in China, ruled the Korean peninsula for almost five hundred years as the ruling dynasty of the Koryo period (918–1392). There are some indications that the Kaesong Wang clan was present in the ancient Choson Kingdom (?194 bc). When the Chonju Yi clan seized power in 1392 and established the Choson kingdom, many of the members of the Kaesong 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 Kaesong Wang clan. 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 by a meadow or a descriptive nickname for someone with noticeable cheeks (for example, round or rosy). Jewish (Ashkenazic): either a borrowing of the German name (see 4), or else a regional name for a Jew from Hungary (compare Russian Vengria ‘Hungary’). Scandinavian: variant spelling of Vang 1.

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

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 the 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 the 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 US 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
  • Waiter
  • Laborer
  • Cook

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
  • Clerk
  • Waitress
  • Bookkeeper
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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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