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

An Family History

An Surname Meaning

Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 安 meaning ‘peace safe’ or ‘calm’ in Chinese: (i) borne by descendants of immigrants from an ancient state called An Xi (安息) also known as the Parthian Empire (located in present-day northeastern Iran). Traditional accounts record that the legendary emperor Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ (c. 27th century BC) had a grandson named An who moved to the far west to establish An Xi losing contact with the Middle Kingdom. In 147 AD An Shigao (安世高) prince of the Parthian Empire (An Xi) came to China to preach Buddhism. Later some immigrants from the Parthian Empire (An Xi) adopted their tribal name An as their surname. (ii) adopted as a surname by the An Chi (安遲) family from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534 AD). (iii) from one of the ‘Nine Sogdian Surnames’ also known as ‘Nine Surnames of Zhaowu’ because their ancestors came from Zhaowu an ancient city in present-day Gansu province in northwestern China. During the Sui and Tang dynasties (581–987 AD) there were nine Sogdian states in Central Asia one of which was called An (安) in Chinese. Between 649 and 655 AD these states submitted to Emperor Gaozong of Tang (628–83 AD). (iv) possibly from An (安) the name of an ancient fief (located in Shanxi province). Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 晏 see Yan 5. Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 洪 see Hong Korean: written 안 in Chinese characters 安 meaning ‘peace’. This is the only Chinese character for the surname An. Some sources indicate that there are 109 An clans but only six can be documented. All had one common founding ancestor named Yi Wŏn (李 瑗) who migrated from Tang China to the Shilla Kingdom in 807 AD. Yi had three sons who helped the Shilla king Kyŏngmun (861–75) to repel Japanese invaders. As a token of royal appreciation these three sons were enfeoffed with land and granted the surname An (安). It is now quite a common Korean surname and can be found throughout the peninsula. Compare Ahn Vietnamese: from the Chinese surname 安 (see 1 above). Vietnamese (Ân): from the Chinese surname 殷 (see Yin ).

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

Similar surnames: Han, Tan, Pan, Yan, Fan, Gan, Wang, In, Ban, 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 An family from?

You can see how An families moved over time by selecting different census years. The An family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1841 and 1920. The most An families were found in USA in 1920. In 1891 there were 2 An families living in London. This was about 29% of all the recorded An's in United Kingdom. London and 1 other county had the highest population of An families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the An surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your An ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named An. 50% of An men worked as a Labourer and 75% of An women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named An were General Labourer and Domestic Duties Unpaid. .

View Census Data for An | 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 1939

  • Labourer
  • General Labourer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Cook
  • Domestic Duties Unpaid
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What An family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 18,000 census records available for the last name An. Like a window into their day-to-day life, An census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for An

Passenger Lists

There are 10,000 immigration records available for the last name An. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all An immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 5,000 military records available for the last name An. For the veterans among your An ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all An military records

You've only scratched the surface of An family history

Discover More

What is the average An lifespan?

Between 1975 and 2004, in the United States, An life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1981, and highest in 1980. The average life expectancy for An in 1975 was 61, and 81 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for An

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the An family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the An last name

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