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Liu Family History

Liu Name Meaning

Chinese:: Mandarin form of the surname 劉 referring to a ‘type of axe used as a weapon’ or meaning ‘kill’ in ancient Chinese: (i) from Liu (劉) the name of an ancient state (located in Tang County in Hebei province). After this state was annexed during the reign of King Xuan of Zhou (reigned 827–782 BC) some people from it adopted 劉 as their surname. Liu Bang (劉邦) (256–195 BC) the founder of the Western Han dynasty (202 BC - 25 AD) is said to have been a descendant of one of these people. (ii) from the names of two other Western Han nobles Lou Jing and Xiang Bochan who were given the surname Liu (劉) by Liu Bang (Emperor Gaozu of Han 256–195 BC). In addition one of Liu Bang's daughters was said to be sent to marry Modu Chanyu (died 174 BC) the then chief of the Huns after the campaign at Baideng in 200 BC and some of their descendants later inherited Liu (劉) as their surname. (iii) from the placename Liu (劉) the name of a fief (located in Yanshi in present-day Henan province) granted to the son of Wang Ji a noble who lived during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou (reigned 1042–1021 BC). Mandarin form of the surname 柳 meaning ‘willow’ in Chinese: (i) from the first element of the placename Liu Xia (柳下) the name of a fief (located in Shandong province) in the state of Lu granted to Zhan Qin also known as Liu Xia Hui (柳下惠) (720–621 BC) a revered judicial official in the state of Lu. (ii) from the placename Liu (柳) the name of a fief (located in Xihua in Henan province) granted to Xiong Xin (died 205 BC) a grandson of King Huai of Chu (ruler of the state of Chu died 296 BC). Mandarin form of the surname 留 meaning ‘stay’ in Chinese: (i) from placename Liu (留) the name of an ancient fief (possibly located in present-day Henan province) which was said to be granted to one of the sons of the legendary Emperor Yao (c. 24th century BC). (ii) from another placename Liu (留) the name of a fief (located in present-day Jiangsu province) granted to an official in the state of Song during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (iii) adopted in place of the original surname Liu (劉) by the descendants of Liu Dan (433–459 AD) who was murdered due to rebellion against his brother Emperor Xiaowu of Song (died 464 AD). His descendants were then ordered to change their surname to Liu (留). Cantonese form of the surname 廖 see Liao .

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


Similar surnames: Lu, Qiu, Li, Lou, Niu, Fu, Lau, You, Qin, Yin

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Where is the Liu family from?

You can see how Liu families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Liu family name was found in the USA, and Canada between 1880 and 1920. The most Liu families were found in USA in 1920. In 1911 there was 1 Liu family living in British Columbia. This was 100% of all the recorded Liu's in Canada. British Columbia had the highest population of Liu families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Liu surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Liu ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Proprietor and Packer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Liu. 20% of Liu men worked as a Proprietor and 30% of Liu women worked as a Packer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Liu were Clerk and Teacher. .

View Census Data for Liu | 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.

United States shown, Canada data unavailable

Top Male Occupations In 1940

  • Proprietor
    20%
  • Laborer
    20%
  • Bookkeeper
    15%
  • Clerk
    15%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Packer
    30%
  • Saleswoman
    30%
  • Helper
    20%
  • Teacher
    20%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Liu family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 6,000 census records available for the last name Liu. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Liu census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Liu

Passenger Lists

There are 17,000 immigration records available for the last name Liu. 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.

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Draft Cards

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

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What is the average Liu lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Liu life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1971. The average life expectancy for Liu in 1942 was 30, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Liu

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