Humanities › History & Culture Khan Surname Origin and Meaning Share Flipboard Email Print Loretta Hostettler/E+/Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated April 28, 2019 Meaning & Origin The ancient surname Khan is a contracted form of Khagan, from the Turkish khan meaning "chief or ruler." It was originally a hereditary title born by early Mongol leaders, such as the legendary Genghis Khan, but is now widely used as a surname throughout the Muslim world. Khan is an especially common surname in South Asian Muslim families, and is also one of the most common surnames in Pakistan. Surname Origin: Muslim Alternate Surname Spellings: KHANH, KAN, KAUN, CAEN, CAAN, CEANN, XAN (Chinese), HAN (Turkish) Genealogy Resources Common Surname Search Tips Tips and tricks for researching your KHAN ancestors online. KHAN Family Genealogy ForumFree message board is focused on descendants of Khan ancestors around the world. FamilySearch - KHAN GenealogyFind records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Khan surname.