Humanities › History & Culture King Surname Meaning and Origin Share Flipboard Email Print 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 February 03, 2019 King generally comes from the Old English cyning, originally meaning "tribal leader." This nickname was commonly bestowed on a man who carried himself like royalty, or who played the part of the king in a medieval pageant. Occasionally, the King surname was used by a man who served in a royal household. King is the 35th most popular surname in the United States and the 36th most common surname in England. Surname Origin: English Alternate Surname Spellings: KINGE Famous People with the KING Surname: Dr. Martin Luther King - American civil rights leaderStephen King - popular American author, best known for his horror booksB.B. King - American blues guitar legend Genealogy Resources for the Surname KING: 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their MeaningsSmith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census? King Genealogy of Colonial VirginiaA Web site dedicated to using DNA to prove/disprove that the parents of Thomas King (1714-1798) of Louisa County, Va. were William Alfred King (1685-1779) and Sophia Burgess of Stafford County, Va. King Family Genealogy ForumSearch this popular genealogy forum for the King surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own King query. FamilySearch - KING GenealogyFind records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the King surname and its variations. KING Surname & Family Mailing ListsRootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the King surname. Cousin Connect - KING Genealogy QueriesRead or post genealogy queries for the surname King, and sign up for free notification when new King queries are added. DistantCousin.com - KING Genealogy & Family HistoryFree databases and genealogy links for the last name King. ----------------------- References: Surname Meanings & Origins Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967. Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005. Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004. Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989. Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003. Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.