Xu Name Meaning

Chinese : from the name of the ancient state of Xu. The model emperor Yu (2205–2198 bc) granted this state to one of his retainers. The retainer’s family governed the state from this time on until the Western Zhou dynasty (1122–771 bc), when the Xu prince of the time believed it to be God’s will that he should oppose the Zhou dynasty, on account of a prophecy associated with a red bow and arrow that he pulled out of a river. The Zhou king, Mu Wang, was far away to the west in the Kunlun mountains, but raced back to confront and defeat the Xu prince (see Chao 1). Mu Wang then granted the state of Xu to the defeated prince’s son, giving him the ‘style name’ of Xu. Descendants of this new ruler eventually adopted Xu as their surname. Chinese : this name goes back as far as the 23rd century bc. According to tradition, there existed a philosopher named Xu You, who was offered succession to the throne by the model emperor Yao. Having heard this proposal, Xu You washed his ears in a river to rid them of such defilement. The main stock of this name probably came later, however, when Wu Wang, the first king (1122–1116 bc) of the Zhou dynasty, granted the area of Xu in present-day Henan province to Wen Shu, a descendant of Bo Yi, adviser to the model emperor Shun (who coincidentally accepted the offer of power which Xu You had declined). The descendants of Wen Shu eventually adopted the name of the area of Xu as their surname.

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


Similar surnames: Lu, Wu, Hu, Yu, Gu, Du, Fu, Qu, Su, Xue

Ready to discover your family story?

Simply start with yourself and we'll do the searching for you.

NEW

Xu Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Xu name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Xu. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

Explore the full experience here
  • China

    65%

  • Korea & Northern China

    30%

  • England & Wales

    2%

  • Southeast Asia—Dai (Tai)

    1%

  • Ireland & Scotland

    1%

Your own DNA-based ethnicity estimate will differ from what you see here. To get your personalized ethnicity estimate, order an AncestryDNA® kit.order an AncestryDNA® kit.

Order a DNA Kit Today

Xu Family Origin

Where is the Xu family from?

Family Insights Distribution Map

Xu Family Occupations

What did your Xu ancestors do for a living?

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

View Census data for Xu

Xu Historical Records

What Xu family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 354 census records available for the last name Xu. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Xu census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Xu

Passenger List

There are 173 immigration records available for the last name Xu. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Xu immigration records

Draft Card

There are 12 military records available for the last name Xu. For the veterans among your Xu ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Xu military records

You've only scratched the surface of Xu family history.

Xu Life Expectancy

What is the average Xu lifespan?

Between 1986 and 2004, in the United States, Xu life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1989, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Xu in 1986 was 71, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Xu

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Xu 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.

Famous Xu Family Ancestors

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in your family tree

Famous ancestors img
Look up another name