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

Cai Family History

Cai Surname Meaning

Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 蔡 originally referring to ‘the tortoise used in ancient rituals of divination’ in Chinese: from the placename Cai (蔡) a fief (originally located in Shangcai in Henan province) which was granted to Du also known as Cai Shu (蔡叔) son of the virtuous King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC). Later Cai Shu plotted rebellions and was eventually sent into exile. But his son Hu also known as Cai Zhong (蔡仲) was a revered man and was granted the fief of Cai (蔡) which later became a state during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). After it was annexed by the state of Chu in 447 BC the name of the state was adopted as a surname. Catalan (Girona and Alicante; Caí): possibly from the Biblical personal name Caín ‘Cain’. Spanish: unexplained. Italian (Tuscany): from old Tuscan cai ‘house’ applied as a topographic name a habitational name from any place called with this word. Vietnamese (Cái): from the Chinese surname 盖 see Gai

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

Similar surnames: Cao, Lai, Bai, Cui, Dai, Qi, Hao, Hai, Chai, Cain

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 Cai family from?

You can see how Cai families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Cai family name was found in the USA, Canada, and Scotland between 1851 and 1920. The most Cai families were found in USA in 1920. In 1851 there was 1 Cai family living in Aberdeenshire. This was 100% of all the recorded Cai's in Scotland. Aberdeenshire had the highest population of Cai families in 1851.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Cai surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Cai ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, Unpaid Domestic Duties was the top reported job for people in the United Kingdom named Cai. 100% of Cai women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. .

View Census Data for Cai | 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 Female Occupations In 1939

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

What Cai family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 649 census records available for the last name Cai. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Cai census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Cai

Passenger Lists

There are 327 immigration records available for the last name Cai. 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 Cai immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 100 military records available for the last name Cai. For the veterans among your Cai ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Cai military records

You've only scratched the surface of Cai family history

Discover More

What is the average Cai lifespan?

Between 1978 and 2004, in the United States, Cai life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1993, and highest in 1988. The average life expectancy for Cai in 1978 was 86, and 77 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Cai

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Cai family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Cai last name

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