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Wu Family History

Wu Name Meaning

Chinese:: Mandarin form of the surname 吳 meaning ‘big large’ in ancient Chinese: (i) from Wu (吳) the name of a state (located in present-day Jiangsu province) which was granted to Tai Bo the first son of King Tai of Zhou (died c. 1146 BC). After it was annexed by the state of Yue in 473 BC people from the state adopted 吳 (Wu) as their surname. (ii) from the placename Yu (虞) (located in present-day Shanxi province). Because Yu (虞) had a similar pronunciation to that of Wu (吳) in ancient Chinese some people acquired Wu (吳) instead of Yu (虞) as their surname. Mandarin form of the surname 伍 meaning ‘five’ in Chinese: (i) from the personal name of Wu Xu (伍胥) an official during the reign of the legendary Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ (c. 27th century BC). (ii) from the personal name of Wu Can (伍參) an official in the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Mandarin form of the surname 武 meaning ‘military’ or ‘martial arts’ in Chinese: (i) from Wu Luo (武羅) which is said to be either the name of an official or that of an ancient state (in present-day Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) during the Xia dynasty (2070–1600 BC). (ii) from the personal name of Wu Ding (武丁) (died 1192 BC) king of the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). (iii) from the personal name of Ji Wu (姬武) son of King Ping of Zhou (died 720 BC). (iv) from Wu (武) the posthumous title of the Duke Wu of Song (ruler of the state of Song reigned 765–748 BC). Mandarin form of the surname 巫 meaning ‘wizard witch’ in Chinese: (i) from the personal name of Wu Peng (巫彭) a doctor during the reign of the legendary Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ (c. 27th century BC). (ii) from the personal name of Wu Xian (巫鹹) and Wu Xian (巫賢) officials during the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). (iii) from the occupational term Wu (巫) denoting soothsayers astrologists doctors or wizards in ancient China. Mandarin or Cantonese form of the surname 鄔: (i) from the placename Wu (鄔) a fief (in present-day Henan province) which was given to Qiu Yan the fourth son of Lu Zhong (said to be a descendant of the legendary Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ c. 27th century BC). (ii) from Wu (鄔) the name of a fief (located in present-day Shanxi province) which was granted to Wu Zang (鄔臧) an official in the state of Jin (located in present-day Shanxi province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Mandarin form of the surname 毋 meaning ‘no’ in ancient Chinese: (i) said to be borne by the descendants of Wu Ju (毋句) said to be the inventor of the sounding stone (or Qing) a musical instrument in ancient China. (ii) borne by the descendants of the royal families in the state of Song during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (iii) shortened form of compound Chinese surname Wu-Qiu (毋邱) the name of a fief in the state of Qi granted to a brother of King Xuan of Qi (ruler of the state of Qi died 301 BC) during Warring States Period (475– 221 BC). (iv) a surname from minority ethnic groups in ancient southwestern China.7: Mandarin form of the surname 烏 meaning ‘black’ in Chinese: (i) said to be from the first element of Wu Niao (烏鳥 literally meaning ‘black bird’) the name of a legendary official post prior to the Xia dynasty (2070–1600 BC). (ii) from the first element of the placename Wu Cheng (烏程) (located in present-day Zhejiang province) inhabited by the descendants of Gou Jian (died 465 BC) ruler of the state of Yue. (iii) shortened form of Wu-Huan (烏桓) a surname derived from the name of an ethnic group in northern China. (iv) adopted as a Han Chinese surname by the Wu Shi Lan (烏石蘭) family from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534 AD) and by other minority ethnic groups in ancient northern China.8: Mandarin form of the surname 午 meaning ‘noon’ in Chinese: from Wu (午) personal name of Zi Geng (died 552 BC) prince of the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC).9: Mandarin form of the surname 仵 meaning ‘to be equal’ to or ‘to violate’ in ancient Chinese: borne by some descendants of the nobles in the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) possibly adopted in place of other Chinese surnames.10: Mandarin form of the surname 吾 meaning 'I' in ancient Chinese: from the second element of Kun Wu (昆吾) the name of a descendant of the legendary Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ (c. 27th century BC). Kun Wu was said to excel at making cermatics and bronze vessels and establish a state (said to be located in present-day Henan province) also named Kun Wu during the Xia dynasty (2070–1600 BC).1 Cantonese form of the surname 胡 see Hu 1 Hokkien form of the Chinese surname 余 see Yu

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


Similar surnames: Lu, Yu, Xu, Fu, Gu, Hu, Qu, Su, Du, Bu

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Where is the Wu family from?

You can see how Wu families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Wu family name was found in the USA, and the UK between 1880 and 1920. The most Wu families were found in USA in 1920. In 1880 there were 7 Wu families living in California. This was 100% of all the recorded Wu's in USA. California had the highest population of Wu families in 1880.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Wu surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Wu ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Cook was the top reported job for people in the USA named Wu. 25% of Wu men worked as a Cook. .

View Census Data for Wu | 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

  • Cook
    25%
  • Proprietor
    14%
  • Clerk
    14%
  • Restaurateur
    11%
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What Wu family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 2,000 census records available for the last name Wu. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Wu census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

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Passenger Lists

There are 15,000 immigration records available for the last name Wu. 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 2,000 military records available for the last name Wu. For the veterans among your Wu ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Wu lifespan?

Between 1953 and 2004, in the United States, Wu life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1953, and highest in 1965. The average life expectancy for Wu in 1953 was 37, and 77 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Wu

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