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King Family History

King Name Meaning

English and Scottish: nickname from Middle English king, Old English cyning ‘king’ (originally merely a tribal leader, from Old English cyn(n) ‘tribe’, ‘race’ + the Germanic suffix -ing). The word was already used as a byname before the Norman Conquest, and the nickname was common in the Middle Ages, being used to refer to someone who conducted himself in a kingly manner, or one who had played the part of a king in a pageant, or one who had won the title in a tournament. In other cases it may actually have referred to someone who served in the king’s household. The American surname has absorbed several European cognates and equivalents with the same meaning, for example German König (see Koenig), Swiss German Küng, French Leroy. It is also found as an Ashkenazic Jewish surname, of ornamental origin. Chinese : variant of Jin 1. Chinese , , , : see Jing.

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

Similar surnames: Kind, Ing, Kong, Kinn, Kin, Ling, Ring, Kang, Ying, Bing

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the King family from?

You can see how King families moved over time by selecting different census years. The King family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most King families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 936 King families living in New York. This was about 17% of all the recorded King's in the USA. New York had the highest population of King families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the King surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your King ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named King. Some less common occupations for Americans named King were Truck Driver and Teacher. .

View Census Data for King | 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

  • Laborer
  • Farmer
  • Salesman
  • Truck Driver

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
  • Housewife
  • Housekeeper
  • Teacher
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What King family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 3 million census records available for the last name King. Like a window into their day-to-day life, King census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for King

Passenger Lists

There are 344,000 immigration records available for the last name King. 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 King immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 537,000 military records available for the last name King. For the veterans among your King ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all King military records

What is the average King lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, King life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for King in 1940 was 37, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for King

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