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Yi Family History

Yi Name Meaning

Korean: the second most common surname in Korea, comprising about 16 percent of the total population. It is found in every part of the country. There are three Chinese characters for the surname Yi, but two of the three are quite rare, and one of these is not found outside North Korea. Although some sources indicate that there are as many as 546 different clans, only about 100 have been documented. The founder of the oldest clan, the Kyongju Yi, was named Yi Al–p’yong and lived in ad 32. He was one of the six original governors of pre-Shilla Korea. Aside from a few other Yi families that originated from the Kyongju Yi clan, most of the other 100 or so clans were formed at the end of the Koryo or beginning of the Choson periods. Some Korean Yi families trace their origins back to China. The founder of the Choson Kingdom, or Yi Dynasty, Yi Song-gye, was a member of the Yi clan from Chonju. This clan ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1910. Chinese : from an area named Yi, probably from Yi county in Hebei province.

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

Similar surnames: Yu, Ki, Ji, Im, Li, Chi, Qi, Yin, In, Lu

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Where is the Yi family from?

You can see how Yi families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Yi family name was found in the USA, and Canada between 1880 and 1920. The most Yi families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1880 there were 10 Yi families living in California. This was about 83% of all the recorded Yi's in the USA. California had the highest population of Yi families in 1880.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Yi surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Yi ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Laborer was the top reported job for people in the CA named Yi. .

View Census data for Yi | 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

  • Laborer
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What Yi family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1,000 census records available for the last name Yi. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Yi census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Yi

Passenger Lists

There are 5,000 immigration records available for the last name Yi. 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 2,000 military records available for the last name Yi. For the veterans among your Yi ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Yi lifespan?

Between 1973 and 2004, in the United States, Yi life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1974, and highest in 1973. The average life expectancy for Yi in 1973 was 80, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Yi

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