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King Family History
Family spelling variants include Kinge, Kings.
There are approximately 713,475 King family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the King names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections.
It is estimated that the largest group of King family members live USA with 492,285 (69%), England with 84,142 (11.2%), Australia with 43,243 (6.1%), South Africa with 31,396 (4.4%), Ireland with 7,841 (1.1%), New Zealand with 6,956 (1%), Scotland with 6,753 (0.9%) and Wales with 3,488 (0.5%) members.
An English relationship name from the Middle English personal name King, from Old English nickname from the vocabulary word cyning, cyng ‘king’, perhaps acquired by someone with kingly qualities or as a pageant name by someone who had acted the part of a king or had been chosen ‘king’ of an event such as a tournament or in some folk ritual such as King of the May or King of Misrule.
In other cases it may actually have referred to someone who served in the king’s household.
Early bearers of the surname include: Geoffrey King, 1177 in Pipe Rolls (Cambs); Wuluricus, Gaufridus le King, 1182–1200 in Bury Saint Edmunds Kalendar (Suffolk); Henry called le King, about 1280 in Salt Manuscripts (Staffs); Johannes King, 1377 in Poll Tax (Kirby Bellars, Leics); ohannes Kyng, 1377 in Poll Tax (Walton, WR Yorks); Johannes Kyng’, 1377 in Poll Tax (Tormohan, Devon); Willelmus Kyng, 1381 in Poll Tax (Crockerhill, Hants); Christian King, 1540 in IGI (Saint Lawrence Pountney, London); Thomas King, 1551 in IGI (Parkham, Devon); Edwarde Kinge, 1565 in IGI (Didsbury, Lancs); Margerie Kinge, 1583 in IGI (Lichfield, Staffs).
In 1891 census, there were 63,751 occurrences in England and Wales and a further 4,509 occurrences in Scotland.
In 1881, the surname was widespread and particularly frequent in the southern county of Kent. It was a top county for the surname with 3,501 occurrences.
In 1881, Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by King in the UK. The most common King occupation was Agricultural Labourer and a less common occupation for the King family was Coal Miner.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Kent
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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