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Wei Family History

Wei Name Meaning

Chinese:: Mandarin form of the surname 魏 a term referring to ‘the buildings at either side of the gates of the royal palace’ in ancient Chinese: (i) from Wei (魏) originally the name of a fief (located in Ruicheng in Shanxi province) granted to Bi Wan an official in the state of Jin. In 403 BC the state of Jin was split into three one of which was the state of Wei (魏) established by Wei Huan Zi (魏桓子). After this state was annexed by the state of Qin in 225 BC its name was adopted by some people as a surname. (ii) adopted in place of the surname Mi (羋) by Wei Ran (魏冉) an official who lived in the state of Qin during the Warring States period (475–221 BC). (iii) borne by descendants of Wei Liao Weng (魏了翁) a scholar during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279 AD) who changed his original name Gao (高) to his uncle's surname Wei (魏). Mandarin form of the surname 危 meaning ‘danger’ or ‘towering’ in Chinese: (i) from the second element of the placename San Wei (三危) (located in Gansu province) to which people from an ancient state called San Miao (located in present-day Hunan Hubei and Jiangxi province) are said to have migrated during the reign of the legendary Emperor Shun (c. 23rd century BC). (ii) borne by descendants of Wei Su (危素) a scholar during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD) who changed his original surname Huang to Wei (危). Mandarin form of the surname 韋 meaning ‘leather’ in ancient Chinese: (i) from the second element of the placename Shi Wei (豕韋) the name of an ancient state (located in Henan province) said to have originally been granted to Yuan Zhe by Shao Kang the sixth king of the Xia dynasty (2070–1600 BC). (ii) possibly from Wei (韋) as a title of an official in charge of the manufacture of leather goods. (iii) traced back to the Wei (韋) family in the ancient state of Shu Le (located in present-day Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region) during the Western Han dynasty (206 BC–25 AD). (iv) said to be borne by descendants of Han Xin (韓信) a revered official in the early Western Han dynasty (206 BC–25 AD) who was killed on the orders of Empress Lü (wife of Emperor Gaozu of Han). His descendants fled to southern Canton (present-day Guangdong province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) and simplified their surname Han (韓) to Wei (韋) in order to avoid persecution. (v) borne by descendants of Huan Yan Fan who was endowed with the surname Wei (韋) by Emperor Zhongzong of Tang (656–710 AD) as a token of appreciation. Mandarin form of the surname 衛 meaning ‘defend guard’ in Chinese: (i) from Wei/Wey (衛) the name of a state (located in Henan province) granted to Kang Shu also known as Wey Kang Shu (衛康叔 Kang Shu of Wey) the 9th son of King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC). After it was annexed by the state of Qin during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) it was adopted as the surname by its original inhabitants. (ii) traced back to the Wei (衛) family from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China. Mandarin form of the surname 位 meaning ‘position’ in Chinese: said to be traced back to Wei Shi (位侍) the name of a king of Yutian (also known as Kingdom of Khotan an ancient Buddhist kingdom located in present-day Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region). Mandarin form of the surname 尉 (also pronounced as Yu in Mandarin see Yu 12) the name of the official title of prison wardens in ancient China said to be borne by the descendants of prison wardens in ancient China.7: Mandarin form of the surname 隗 (also pronounced as Kui in Mandarin): (i) a surname from the state of Di (possibly located in Shanxi province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (ii) a surname from the Tangut ethnic group in ancient northwestern China.

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


Similar surnames: Wen, Fei, Mei, Pei, Qi, Bai, Sui, Cui, Lei, Wai

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Where is the Wei family from?

You can see how Wei families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Wei family name was found in the USA, Canada, and Scotland between 1871 and 1920. The most Wei families were found in USA in 1920. In 1871 there were 2 Wei families living in Ayrshire. This was 100% of all the recorded Wei's in Scotland. Ayrshire had the highest population of Wei families in 1871.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Wei surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Wei ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Cook was the top reported job for people in the USA named Wei. 67% of Wei men worked as a Cook. .

View Census Data for Wei | 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, England data unavailable

Top Male Occupations In 1940

  • Cook
    67%
  • Laborer
    34%
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What Wei family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 3,000 census records available for the last name Wei. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Wei 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 2,000 immigration records available for the last name Wei. 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 6,000 military records available for the last name Wei. For the veterans among your Wei ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Wei lifespan?

Between 1965 and 2004, in the United States, Wei life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1972, and highest in 1986. The average life expectancy for Wei in 1965 was 53, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Wei

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