Kim Name Meaning

Korean: there is one Chinese character for the surname Kim. Kim 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 about 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 Kyongju, 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 Kyongju, 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, Kyongju. On investigation he found a crowing white rooster standing next to a golden egg. From this egg emerged Al-ji, founder of the Kyongju 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 Kyongju Kim clan. Swiss German: unexplained.

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


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

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Kim Family Origin

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Kim Family Occupations

What did your Kim ancestors do for a living?

Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Kim ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

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  • Dressmaker

    25%
  • Gardner Dom Servant

    25%
  • Mercantile Clerk Metal

    25%
  • Stone Dyker

    25%

In 1881, Dressmaker, Gardner Dom Servant and Mercantile Clerk Metal were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Kim. The most common Kim occupation in the UK was Dressmaker. 25% of Kim's were Dressmakers. A less common occupation for the Kim family was Stone Dyker.

Source: Census data for Kim | Data not to scale

Kim Historical Records

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Census records can give you a fascinating window into the day-to-day lives of your Kim ancestors - like hours worked per week, level of education, veteran status, employers, and more.

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Kim Life Expectancy

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An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Kim ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

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United States

Between 1948 and 2004, 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.

Source: Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Kim

Famous Kim Family

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