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

Han Family History

Han Name Meaning

Chinese: Mandarin pronunciation of the surname 韓: (i) it is said that the surname is borne by descendants of Han Liu (韓流) a grandson of the legendary Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ (c. 27th century BC). (ii) shortened form of Han Yuan (韓原) the name of a fief (possibly present-day Hejin in Shanxi province or Hancheng in Shaanxi province) granted to Bi Wan also known as Han Wan (韓萬) or Han Wuzi (韓武子) a politician in the state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC). His descendants inherited the name of the fief as their surname. (iii) from Han (韓) the name of a state during the Warring States Period (475–221 BC). The state was established in 403 BC and annexed by the state of Qin in 230 BC. Descendants of nobles from this state inherited it as their surname. (iv) From the Chu Da Han (出大汗) family of the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China who adopted the surname Han (韓) during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534 AD). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 寒 meaning ‘cold’ in Chinese: (i) said to be traced back to Han Ai (寒哀) the name of an official during the reign of the legendary emperor Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ (c. 27th century BC). (ii) from Han (寒) the name of an ancient state (located in Shandong province) during the Xia dynasty (2070–1600 BC). (iii) adopted in place of the homophonous Chinese surname Han (韓) by some people who changed their original surname Han (韓) to Han (寒) in order to avoid feud. Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 杭 see Hang Korean: written 한 in Chinese characters 韓. There are actually two Chinese characters for the surname Han. However one of these characters meaning ‘China’ is very rare (only two households with this surname appeared in a recent census) so only the other will be considered here. Some records indicate that there are 131 clans of the Han family but only one – the Han family of Ch’ŏngju can be documented. Some sources name Han Ran as the founding ancestor of the Han family. Han Ran is recognized as one of the men who assisted the first Koryŏ king Wang Kŏn in setting up the Koryŏ kingdom in 918. More recent scholarship however postulates that the Ch’ŏngju Han clan's founding ancestor was U-P’yŏng one of three sons of the fortieth generation descendant of Kija the founder of the ancient Chosŏn kingdom (died 194 BC). The other two sons U-sŏng and U-Kyŏng founded the Ki clan and the Sŏngan clans respectively. Compare Hahn 5. Vietnamese (Hàn): from the Chinese surname 韓 see 1 above. Vietnamese (Hán): written 汉 in Chinese of unexplained etymology.7: Burmese: from a personal name usually forming part of a compound name from han ‘appearance’. — Note: Since Burmese do not have hereditary surnames this name was registered as such only after immigration of its bearers to the US.8: Turkish: ornamental name or nickname from the title han ‘sovereign khan’ (see Khan ).9: Dutch: from a short form of the personal name Johan(nes) (see John ).10: French (Lorraine): probably a cognate of Dutch name in 9 above.1 Czech and Slovak (Hán): from a short form of the German personal name Johann(es) (see John ).1 Jewish: variant of Hahn .

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


Similar surnames: Tan, Pan, Yan, Shan, An, Ham, Fan, Gan, Kan, Man

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 Han family from?

You can see how Han families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Han family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Han families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 55 Han families living in Ontario. This was about 37% of all the recorded Han's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Han families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Han surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Han ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Labourer and Clerk were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Han. 26% of Han men worked as a Labourer and 60% of Han women worked as a Clerk. Some less common occupations for Americans named Han were Laundry and Cook. .

View Census Data for Han | 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
    26%
  • Farmer
    26%
  • Cook
    15%
  • Laundry
    12%

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Clerk
    60%
  • Cook
    40%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Han family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 24,000 census records available for the last name Han. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Han census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Han

Passenger Lists

There are 12,000 immigration records available for the last name Han. 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 Han immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 12,000 military records available for the last name Han. For the veterans among your Han ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Han military records

You've only scratched the surface of Han family history

Discover More

What is the average Han lifespan?

Between 1958 and 2004, in the United States, Han life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1960, and highest in 1975. The average life expectancy for Han in 1958 was 65, and 71 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Han

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Han family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Han last name

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