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Origins of the King surname

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What does the name King mean?

The origin of the King surname is English and Scottish, and is thought to stem from the Old English description of a tribal leader 'cyning'. It may not necessarily refer to a King of the realm or someone of royal descent (though it has been believed to have rarely been given to illegitimate offspring of royals), but could also refer to someone who was connected to the King's household or played the part of monarch in a play or pageant. This was particularly related to harvest festivals.

Alternative variations of the name King

King, Kinge, Kings, Kang, Keng

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Where do most Kings live?

In 1921, most Kings lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Kings

How common is your surname?

35th most common surname in the UK

We have 672,000 records for the King surname. The oldest one dates back to 1086.

Who were Kings most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Kings.

What are the most common King first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of King family members

Common jobs for Kings

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Kings in 1921




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


Living On Own Means


Common Male occupations for Kings in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer




Farm Labourer


Coal Miner


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