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Kim Family History

Kim Surname Meaning

Korean: written 김 in Chinese characters 金 meaning ‘gold’. This is the only Chinese character for the surname Kim which is the most common Korean surname comprising about 20 percent of the Korean population. According to some sources there are over 600 different Kim clans but only c. 100 have been documented. Kims can be found in virtually every part of Korea. The two largest Kim clans the Kim family of Kimhae and the Kim family of Kyŏngju are descended from semi-mythological characters who lived two thousand years ago. According to legend the Kimhae Kim family founder Kim Suro came in answer to a prayer offered by the nine elders of the ancient Karak Kingdom. In 42 AD these elders met together to pray for a king. In answer to their prayer they were sent a golden box containing six golden eggs. From the first egg emerged King Su-ro Karak's first king. The other five eggs became the five kings of Karak's neighboring kingdom Kaya. The founder of the Kim family of Kyŏngju Kim Al-ji had similar origins. In 65 AD the king of Shilla T’alhae heard a strange sound from a forest near the Shilla capital Kyŏngju. On investigation he found a crowing white rooster standing next to a golden egg. From this egg emerged Al-ji founder of the Kyŏngju Kim family and subsequent king of the Shilla Kingdom. Because Al-ji emerged from a golden egg King T’alhae bestowed upon the child the surname Kim which means ‘gold’. It is estimated that about half of the one hundred or so Kim clans of modern Korea are descended from the Kyŏngju Kim clan. Chinese: Teochew Hokkien and Taiwanese form of the surname 金 meaning ‘gold’ see Jin This surname is found mainly in other parts of Southeast Asia to which Chinese people migrated from Taiwan Fujian province and eastern Guangdong province. Chinese: possibly from Romanization of Chinese names such as 金 (meaning ‘gold’) or 锦 (meaning ‘bright and beautiful’) which were monosyllabic personal names or part of disyllabic personal names of some early Chinese immigrants in the US. Vietnamese: from the Chinese surname 金 see Jin Swiss German: unexplained.

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

Similar surnames: Im, Kil, Ki, Kye, Rim, Kam, Yum, Lim, Kibe, Kihm

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Where is the Kim family from?

You can see how Kim families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Kim family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Kim families were found in USA in 1920. In 1891 there were 21 Kim families living in Hampshire. This was about 72% of all the recorded Kim's in United Kingdom. Hampshire had the highest population of Kim families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Kim surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Kim ancestors do for a living?

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

View Census Data for Kim | 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
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What Kim family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 22,000 census records available for the last name Kim. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Kim 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 43,000 immigration records available for the last name Kim. 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.

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Draft Cards

There are 9,000 military records available for the last name Kim. For the veterans among your Kim ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Kim lifespan?

Between 1948 and 2004, in the United States, Kim life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1959, and highest in 1971. The average life expectancy for Kim in 1948 was 40, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Kim

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