Khan Surname Origin and Meaning

Birth Certificates
Loretta Hostettler/E+/Getty Images

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 Forum
Free message board is focused on descendants of Khan ancestors around the world.

FamilySearch - KHAN Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Khan surname.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Khan Surname Origin and Meaning." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). Khan Surname Origin and Meaning. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "Khan Surname Origin and Meaning." ThoughtCo. (accessed August 8, 2022).