Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > KO

Origin and popularity of the name KO


Ko : 1: Chinese: alternative Mandarin form of the surname 柯 see Ke 1.2: Chinese: variant Mandarin Romanization of the surname 葛 see Ge 1.3: Chinese: Cantonese form and alternative Mandarin Romanization of the surname 戈 see Ge 2.4: Chinese: Cantonese form of the surnames 高 and 郜 see Gao 1 and 2.5: Chinese: variant Mandarin Romanization of the surnames 郭 國 and 過 see Guo 1-3.6: Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 許 possibly based on their Teochew Hokkien or Taiwanese pronunciation. See Xu 2.7: Chinese: variant Romanization of the surnames 古 顧 and 辜. See Gu 1-3.8: Korean: written 고 in Chinese characters 高 meaning ‘high’. This is the only Chinese character for the surname Ko. There are ten different Ko clans but they are all descended from the Ko clan of Cheju Island. There is no historical information regarding the founder of this clan but there is a legend which tells of three men who appeared from a cave on the north side of Cheju Island's Halla Mountain. These three men were the founders of the Yang clan the Pu clan and the Ko clan the latter being named Ko Ŭl-la (高 乙那). Some days after the three men emerged from the cave a box was washed up on the shore of the island. In the box were three women horses cows and agricultural seed. From these beginnings the three established Cheju Island's T’amnaguk kingdom and ruled peacefully. Ko is a common surname found throughout the Korean peninsula. Approximately ten percent of Cheju Island's present-day population consists of members of the Ko family. Compare Goe 1.9: Burmese: from a form of address for a young man akin to English ‘mister’ used as part of the male name proper; its literal meaning is ‘elder brother’. See also Koko. — Note: Since Burmese do not have hereditary surnames this name was registered as such only after immigration of its bearers to the US.10: Hungarian (Kő): from kő ‘stone’ a word from the ancient Finno-Ugric word stock of Hungarian (cognate with Finnish kivi Estonian keve) hence a topographic name for someone who lived on stony ground or by a notable outcrop of rock or alternatively a metonymic occupational name for a mason or stonecutter.


Source : DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press
FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England

Subject to the Terms and Conditions of Ancestry

Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 1,727 individuals with the name KO on Geneanet.


Most found places for the name KO:

    This last name in the family trees

    See below the Geneanet members' family trees which contain the last name KO

    (151 individuals)
    (100 individuals)
    (31 individuals)
    (27 individuals)

    Search another name

    Search 9 billion individuals

    Search 9 billion individuals

    Search the name of your ancestors and your family in a database of 9 billion indexed individuals on Geneanet.

    Search KO

    Start your family tree

    Start your family tree

    Create your family tree and take advantage of valuable tips to help you search your ancestors.

    Start your family tree