History of your Surname
Get access to Wen family records.Start a free trial

Wen Family History

Wen Name Meaning

Chinese:: Mandarin form of the surname 溫 meaning ‘warm’ in Chinese: (i) from Wen (溫) the name of an ancient state during the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). During the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) this state was annexed by the state of Di and the prince of Wen fled to the state of Wey (located around present-day Hebi and Xinxiang in Henan province). His descendants acquired 溫 the name of their original state as their surname. (ii) from the placename Wen (溫) the name of a fief granted to Wen Ji (溫季) an official in the state of Jin (located mainly in present-day Shanxi province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (iii) from the Chi Wen (叱溫) Wen Pen (溫盆) and Wen Gu (溫孤) families of the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China. (iv) from the personal name of Wen Sheng (溫昇) who went into exile and changed his original surname Liu (劉) to Wen 溫 after his father Liu Yicong (劉易從) an official in the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD) suffered persecution and death. Mandarin form of the surname 文 meaning ‘literary writing’ or ‘culture’ in Chinese: (i) from Wen (文) the posthumous title of King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC) father of King Wu of Zhou (c. 1187–1043 BC) who established the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). (ii) adopted in place of another Chinese surname Jing (敬 see Jing ). The latter was part of the name of two royal personages Emperor Gaozu of Later Jin (called Shi Jingtang 石敬瑭 892–942 AD) and Emperor Yizu of Song (called Zhao Jing 趙敬). The latter was the grandfather of Zhao Kuang Ying who established the Northern Song dynasty (927–976 AD). Since it was taboo in ancient China to bear the name of a member of the imperial family people with the surname 敬 (Jing) had to change it to 文 (Wen). (iii) from Wen (文) personal name of Tian Wen also called Meng Chang Jun (Lord Meng Chang) a famous prince of the state of Qi known as one of ‘the four princes’ during the Warring States period (475–221 BC). (iv) from the personal name Wen Zi (文子) a general who lived in the state of Wey during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (v) from the personal name Wen Shu (文叔) also known as Xu Wen Shu (許文叔) founder of the state of Xu (located in present-day Henan province) during the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). Mandarin form of the surname 聞 meaning ‘well-known famous’ in written Chinese: shortened form of the compound surname Wen-Ren (聞人) the title of Shao Zheng Mao a scholar who lived in the state of Lu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) who strongly opposed Confucius’ ideas and who was murdered when Confucius worked as prime minister in the state of Lu. The descendants of Shao Zheng Mao inherited his title 聞人 as their surname. After the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127 AD) some people shortened the surname to 聞.

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

Similar surnames: Wei, Wan, Weng, Ren, Wien, Ben, Ken, Xin, Won, Oen

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Wen family from?

You can see how Wen families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Wen family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Wen families were found in USA in 1920. In 1840 there was 1 Wen family living in Louisiana. This was 100% of all the recorded Wen's in USA. Louisiana had the highest population of Wen families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Wen surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Wen ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Cook and Domestic were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Wen. 20% of Wen men worked as a Cook and 100% of Wen women worked as a Domestic. .

View Census Data for Wen | 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

  • Cook
  • Laborer
  • Farmer
  • Salesman

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Domestic
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Wen family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 5,000 census records available for the last name Wen. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Wen census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Wen

Passenger Lists

There are 2,000 immigration records available for the last name Wen. 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 Wen immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 11,000 military records available for the last name Wen. For the veterans among your Wen ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Wen military records

You've only scratched the surface of Wen family history

Discover More

What is the average Wen lifespan?

Between 1972 and 2004, in the United States, Wen life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1990, and highest in 1989. The average life expectancy for Wen in 1972 was 66, and 71 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Wen

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Wen family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Wen last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial