Your last name may feel like simply something you were given at birth, but it really means so much more. Surnames were originally given to people so they could be separated into clans and groups, and over time, as more people were born, those names became more common.
Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most common surnames in the world. The Chang family name has been around for generations, and we’ll tell you about its history, meaning, and some of the most famous people to bear that name.
Chang Family Name History
According to Ancestry.com, the Chang family name has been around since the 27th century BC. The name, which means “lasting forever,” is said to have been started by Chang Xian and Chang Yi during the reign of Huang Di, aka the ‘Yellow Emperor.’ The name continued to exist in the culture through the reign of emperor Zhao Heng during the Northern Song dynasty.
Over the years, there have been variations of the name around the globe. Among them are Zhong, Zhuang, Jiang, Chen, Zang, and Zeng, among others. Currently, this is the 87th most common surname in China, based on data from 2007. Even back in 1982, it was the 94th most common surname.
Chang History in the United States
Over the years, the Chang family name has been found all over the world, including in the UK, Canada, Scotland, and the USA. The name has been in America since at least 1841. According to Ancestry.com records, in 1880, there were 93 Chang families living in California alone. Chang surnames were also found in Utah, Arizona, Georgia, New York, and other states.
Of the people with the last name Chang in the USA, records show that many of them worked as laborers and teachers going back to 1940. Back then, 12% of Chang men worked as laborers, and 19% of Chang women worked as teachers. Other lesser-known occupations included stenographer and proprietor. Many also worked as salesmen and cooks.
There are also records about the average lifespan of people with the surname Chang in America. According to records spanning from 1941-2004, the Chang life expectancy was at its lowest in 1954 and at its highest in 1960. The average life expectancy is typically between 41 and 75.
Chang Last Name Fun Facts
Below are some interesting facts about the Chang family name that you may not know, especially about people with the name in the United States.
Chang is a common last name even in the United States, where it holds the place of the 391st most common surname. The name appeared almost 82,000 times in the 2010 census. It’s so common that if you were to survey 100,000 people, 27.78% would have the last name Chang.
Race and Ethnic Origin
The Chang name is spread around the world, but if you were to look only in the United States, you’d find that 88% belongs to those who are “non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander only.” The next largest group is “non-Hispanic of two or more races” at 4.18%. Then, 3.71% belong to those who are “Hispanic origin”, 2.37% are non-Hispanic white only,” and it goes down from there.
The pronunciation of this surname has changed over the years. Since the time of Middle Chinese, the name is pronounced as “Dzyang” in the native language.
Famous People with the Name Chang
While you may know people in your life with the Chang family name, there have been many other notable people with this last name over the years. Here are just a few:
- Deserts Chang – A musician who started composing when she was 13 years old. She has released four albums and won many awards.
- Eileen Chang – A writer born in 1920. She was a well-known writer of feminist literature.
- Franklin Chang-Díaz – Former NASA astronaut and mechanical engineer.
- Jeff Chang – Taiwanese singer known for having several songs at the top of the charts.
- Jung Chang – Chinese-British writer best known for the wildly successful book Wild Swans.
- Michael Te-Pei Chang – An American tennis player and the youngest man to win a singles major.
- Stanley Chang – Democratic member of the Hawaii State Senate.
- Tseng Chang – Chinese actor who starred in the movies 2012 and Agent Cody Banks.
- Edmond E-min Chang – United States federal district judge appointed by President Obama.
- Phil Chang – A Taiwanese television presenter, singer-songwriter, and actor. Responsible for over 20 studio albums.
As you can see, the Chang family name has been around for generations. It’s a strong name with a storied history, and it should be celebrated. The next time you meet someone with this surname, let them know that you know all about them!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Linaimages/Shutterstock.com.