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Shan Family History

Shan Name Meaning

Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 單: (i) from the placename Shan (單) the name of a fief (located in Mengjin in present-day Henan province) granted to Zhen the youngest son of King Cheng of Zhou (reigned 1042–1021 BC). (ii) borne by the A Shan (阿單) Ke Shan (可單) and He Shan (紇單) families from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China. They shortened their original surnames to 單 during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534 AD). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 山 meaning ‘mountain’ in Chinese: (i) from Shan Shi (山師) (literally meaning ‘mountain officer’) the title of an official post in charge of mountains and forests during the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). People adopted part of the title 山 as their surname. (ii) from Shu Shan Ran (叔山冉) an official in the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Some of his descendants inherited 山 part of his name as their surname. (iii) borne by the Tu Nan (吐難) family from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China who changed their original surname to 山 during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534 AD). Indian (Gujarat): Vania name of unexplained etymology. English: unexplained.

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


Similar surnames: Han, Shen, Shah, Shao, Shaw, Zhan, Shang, Sham, Shand, Sha

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Shan family from?

You can see how Shan families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Shan family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Shan families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1891 there were 179 Shan families living in Lancashire. This was about 27% of all the recorded Shan's in United Kingdom. Lancashire had the highest population of Shan families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Shan surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Shan ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, Cowman and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Shan. 60% of Shan men worked as a Cowman and 76% of Shan women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Shan were House Painter and Confectioner. .

View Census Data for Shan | 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

  • Cowman
    60%
  • House Painter
    40%

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
    76%
  • Domestic Duties
    8%
  • Private Means
    8%
  • Confectioner
    5%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Shan family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 17,000 census records available for the last name Shan. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Shan census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Shan

Passenger Lists

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

Draft Cards

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

View all Shan military records

You've only scratched the surface of Shan family history

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What is the average Shan lifespan?

Between 1966 and 2004, in the United States, Shan life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1966, and highest in 1969. The average life expectancy for Shan in 1966 was 25, and 77 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Shan

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