History of your Surname
Get access to Mo family records.Start a 14-Day Free Trial

Mo Family History

Mo Surname Meaning

Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 莫 meaning ‘nothing; nonexistent’ in Chinese: (i) from the placename Mo (鄚) the name of a fief (located in Renqiu in present-day Hebei province) in the state of Zhao during the Warring States period (475–221 BC). This fief may be identical with the city of Mo built by the legendary king Zhuanxu (traditional dates: 2514–2437 BC). When the name of the fiefdom was adopted as a surname the Chinese character 鄚 was simplified as 莫 and adopted as a surname. (ii) from Mo Ao (莫敖) said to be the name of an official position in the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) approximately equivalent to ‘deputy prime minister’. Descendants of people who were appointed to this position adopted 莫 (Mo) as their surname. However it is said that Mo Ao (莫敖) was also the name of an official in the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) whose descendants inherited 莫 as their surname. (iii) shortened form of Xing Mo (刑莫) Mo Na Lou (莫那婁) and Mo Duo Lou (莫多婁) surnames from the Xianbei ethnic group in ancient northern China during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534 AD). (iv) simplified form of another ancient Chinese surname 幕 (Mu in Mandarin pinyin) said to be borne by descendants of Yu Mu ancestor of the legendary Emperor Shun (c. 23rd century BC). They settled mainly in Julu and Jiangling in Hubei province. Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 墨 meaning ‘ink’ in Chinese: (i) from the personal name of Mo Ru (墨如) said to be the teacher of Yu the first emperor of the Xia dynasty (2070–1600 BC). (ii) shortened form of the compound surname Mo-Tai (墨台 or 墨胎) the surname of the royal family of an ancient state called Gu Zhu (located in present-day Hebei province) during the late Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). (iii) it is also said that the surname is borne by descendants of Mo Tai (墨台) a prince of the state of Song (located in present-day Shangqiu in Henan province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Chinese: Cantonese Teochew Hokkien and Taiwanese form of the surname 毛 see Mao Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 牟 see Mou Chinese: Cantonese form of the surnames 武 and 巫 see Wu 3 and Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 茅 see Mao Also Cantonese form of the surname 冒 see Mao 7: Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 慕 see Mu 8: Burmese: variant of Moe 5.9: Amerindian (Guatemala): Mayan name from mo ‘macaw’ a kind of parrot. Compare Moo .10: Norwegian: variant of Moe 1 Portuguese and Galician: habitational name from any of the places called Mó or A Mó in Portugal and Galicia (Spain) from Latin molam ‘millstone’ referring to a great stone.

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

Similar surnames: Bo, Mao, Mu, Ma, Mou, Ko, To, Mok, So, Qi

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 Mo family from?

You can see how Mo families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Mo family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1841 and 1920. The most Mo families were found in USA in 1920. In 1911 there were 7 Mo families living in British Columbia. This was about 88% of all the recorded Mo's in Canada. British Columbia had the highest population of Mo families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Mo surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Mo ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Proprietor and School Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Mo. 20% of Mo men worked as a Proprietor and 34% of Mo women worked as a School Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Mo were Attendant and Saleslady. .

View Census Data for Mo | 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
  • Salesman
  • Manager
  • Attendant

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • School Teacher
  • Housekeeper
  • Saleslady
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Mo family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 25,000 census records available for the last name Mo. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Mo census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Mo

Passenger Lists

There are 6,000 immigration records available for the last name Mo. 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 Mo immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name Mo. For the veterans among your Mo ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Mo military records

You've only scratched the surface of Mo family history

Discover More

What is the average Mo lifespan?

Between 1959 and 2004, in the United States, Mo life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1959, and highest in 1970. The average life expectancy for Mo in 1959 was 42, and 65 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Mo

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Mo family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Mo last name

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