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Chen Family History

Chen Name Meaning

Chinese : from name of the region of Chen (in present-day Henan province). After overthrowing the Shang dynasty and becoming the first king of the Zhou dynasty in 1122 bc, Wu Wang searched for a descendant of the great ancient emperors to guard their memory and offer sacrifices, to help retain the ‘Mandate of Heaven’, which was considered essential to remain in power. He found Gui Man, a descendant of the model emperor Shun (2257–2205 bc), and granted him the region of Chen, along with the title Marquis of Chen and one of his daughters in marriage. Gui Man was posthumously named Chen Hugong, and his descendants came to adopt the surname Chen.

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

Similar surnames: Shen, Cheng, Zhen, Che, Chon, Chez, Chan, Achen, Chew, Cain

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Where is the Chen family from?

You can see how Chen families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Chen family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Chen families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1911 there were 120 Chen families living in British Columbia. This was about 82% of all the recorded Chen's in Canada. British Columbia had the highest population of Chen families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Chen surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Chen ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Labourer was the top reported job for people in the CA named Chen. 38% of Chen men worked as a Labourer.

View Census data for Chen | 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 1921

  • Labourer
  • Cook
  • Laundryman
  • Farmer
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Chen family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 10,000 census records available for the last name Chen. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Chen census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Chen

Passenger Lists

There are 33,000 immigration records available for the last name Chen. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Chen immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 13,000 military records available for the last name Chen. For the veterans among your Chen ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Chen military records

You've only scratched the surface of Chen family history.

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What is the average Chen lifespan?

Between 1945 and 2004, in the United States, Chen life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 1962. The average life expectancy for Chen in 1945 was 40, and 71 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Chen

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