King Family History & Genealogy

Updated Apr 16, 2015

Find King records

Find birth, death, marriage, military, and other King records at Ancestry.com.

Search for King records

Latest King photos

These photos were uploaded by members of the King community on AncientFaces.

King Surname History

The name King has been around for a long time. Known as Conroy in Ireland and given the name King after Conroy immigrants came to the USA. The King family has a lot of branches. The main roots come from Ray, Roy, and Rex, as well as Shaw which all mean King in different languages. In the Irish city of Gelway the surname of King or Conroy was quite common, and it predates back before the Norman Invasion of England and back to the middle-ages. 


One of the first to settle in North America was Rufus King, and he was one of the founding fathers who signed the Decloration of Independance. Many others followed over time from England, Scotland, and Ireland to seek religious freedom, to find a new career, to get away from war and conflict, or just to get a fresh new start in a new nation.


One popular branch of the King family married into the McCoy family in Pike County Kentucky. Mary (McCoy) Farley had married a Joseph King and had a son James Patrick McCoy King. They moved to Saint Louis Missouri to avoid the Hatfield McCoy feud. The McCoy genes have a rare genetic disorder called Von Hipple Landau diease that causes tiny tumors to grow on the brain and organs of the body. It leads to anger problems and mental illnesses when they grow on the brain, and it might have been a factor in the feud. There is also a genetic disorder in the King DNA that causes mostly boys to be born and very rarely a girl to be born, so the King name is passed on a lot because mostly boys are born. The so called "King's Curse" of having all boys or mostly boys has lead to the King name being spread around the world.


Some of the Kings are related to the Norman Kings of England, they were overthrown by the Saxon Kings and took the King name after marrying into the King family. This allowed a Galt or French ancestry into that branch of the King family. Some of the Kings married nobels from Germany were the name Koeing is used, the German word for King. When they immigrated to the USA, the name was translated into King. Having the surname of King, does not mean one is of royal ancestry, it was a surname given to men who acted like a King, or served a King or royal family, or who earned a title of King in a tournement as a Knight or part of the Crusades, or who looked like a King and thus named. The King name is very common and tracing a King ancestry can be confusing as people have the same first, middle, and last names but are different people. You will find geneology boards with people asking for information on realtives in the King family by name, and most go unanswered and some are answered and they have the same names but different birth dates and dates of deaths.


Some of the Kings in the USA hid from Census takers by giving out only initals, and sometimes the wrong letter initial for the first name because they took a 'nick name' to hide from family members or other people. They would also give the wrong age, sometimes and older age, sometimes a younger age. In Saint Louis there was a Census that was burned in a fire, and it was 1890 when a lot of Kings moved to Saint Louis. So that branch is next to impossible to trace back past a certain date. Plus a lot of people had their names legally changed to King so it sounded better.

King Discussion

Write a comment
Marie Smith I am looking for any info on this man he was my greatgrandfather.her are the stories i have.his wifes name on census records is A Mary or Mary there children were that i know of Alonzo,Mary,Dallas ,Joseph.I have read stories that said he had hung some men during the civil war.his occupation was listed as police officer and stage coach driver.any info please contact me at catfishking8@juno.com..thank you

Name: Blunt W King ,
Residence: Wayne County, North Carolina
Enlistment Date: 11 September 1863
Distinguished Service: DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
State Served: North Carolina
Unit Numbers: 5
Service Record: Confined at Point Lookout, MD
Enlisted as a Private on 11 September 1863
Enlisted in Company B, 1st Light Artillery Regiment North Carolina on 11 September 1863.
POW on 12 March 1865 at Goldsboro, NC
Took Oath of Allegiance on 28 June 1865
Released on 28 June 1865
Nov 12, 2004 · Reply
Vivian Smith AS a five year old daughter and the last of six children born to Zebulon Dewitt King, Sr. and Mildred Lee EArp King, I remember those "old cotton fields back home". Ours was on a small farm that dad and my brothers worked. All of us helped in the fields to hoe weeds from the "king crop", cotton. I had a little hoe, just like the big ones, but to fit my size. I enjoyed being in the field with my Uncle Sam and Aunt Mary King and their children. It was the day when family really meant family. We shared dinner (which people call lunch, now). And then if it was blackberry season, June or July, we would gather up our little "king syrup" buckets and go down to the pasture brier thickets. The plump wild blackberries would be picked with care as to not prick fingers. Uncle Sam was fun to go "blackberry pickin'" with, as he told lots and lots of funny true stories of the family. Sometimes I wished he was my daddy as he always had a laugh. But God knew what he was doing. My father was quiet, yet sure. He was a hard taskmaster while cutting pulpwood and loading it with my brothers, Uncle Sam, and a few hired hands to make a living.

Picking cotton when it matured was another family task. Dad hired a few hands to help do this also. My small burlap over-the-shoulder bag was just right for me at five years old to pull the fluffy cotton from the bushes covering a large field beside our house. AS an honest person, dad expected his hired help to be honest, too. One man put rocks in his bag and filled it with cotton. Daddy weighed each bag and paid out according to how many pounds of cotton each person picked since this was how he got paid when he went to sell it at the local cotton gin(as best I can remember). Dad knew right quick something did not add up with this particular bag of cotton. He emptied it out and found the rocks. At the end of the day, he paid the man, but stated he did not need him anymore. He only paid fair wages for a fair day's work. And he meant it!

Those days were special, hot, no air conditioning; floor fans circulated the hot air and ice tea kept us cool as did ice cold water or washing off in the galvanized tub with cool water from the well. The big tub was more like my swimming pool. Mom always cooked enough dinners for all to be well fed. And homemade biscuits were the best! Lots of potatoes, either stewed or mashed with milk and creamy with butter added, oh how she could keep us nourished!

The best thing about our little farm was the love we felt our parents had for each other. Mom's love overflowed to anyone she met. Then my older brothers finished high school and went away to college, 500 miles away. At the same time,I began first grade. And dad started to rent our fields out to his brother-in-law, a larger machined farmer. We missed the family toiling together at times. But we made many trips to visit my brothers. This was the beginning of lots of changes. My brothers, all four, were dad's helpers in the field and in the pulpwood business. He concentrated on hiring two others to help in cutting and hauling pulpwood until I was in high school. It was then he had to go back to public work after all these years. But somehow, he always found work to support his household.

Work ethics, social gatherings such as church and family reunions, and caretaking when one of us became ill; these are the best memories.

My brothers are: Z.D.King, Jr. Donald Ray King Kenneth Nelson King

Larry Olin King, Sr.

My sister is: Donna Marie King Smothers

My name is: Vivian Christine King Lowery Smith


We grew up in Indian Trail, NC near present day Hemby Bridge, NC, located in Union County, NC. Our town seat is Monroe, NC.
Sep 11, 2007 · Reply
EdwinC. King Willis King, borh to James and Sarah King in Edgefield County, S.c. in 1792 was the first of his family that is known to have lived in Georgia. The 1790 census of Edgefield include James, his wife, and two males under 16. These two were no doubt Willis' older brothers as he was not born untill 1792. No other info is available for these older brothers. Willis married Nancy Williams in Bulloch County, Ga. on 30 Dec.,1813. Nancy was the daughter of David Williams RS, and Mary James and the g-dau. of William WIlliams, RS. She was the niece of Garrett and Seth Williams, both RS.In 1820 Willis and Nancy are livimg in the new county of Irwin in Georgia.Irwin County Georgia was divided into several smaller counties and in 1830 Willis and Nancy, likely without actually moving,are in Lowndes County.Willis is thought to be the only person known to have lived in what is now Brooks County to be listed on the 1820 census of Irwin County,and the the 1830 census of Lowndes. They raise a large family in Lowndes before Willis died on Tuesday, 27 January,1857. Willis left a large estate of several thousand acres and seventy-five slaves.He had become rich in the cattle business by letting hs many cows graze freely in the vast open wiregrass acres undwer the tall yellow pines. In 1858, Hickory Head, where Willis and Nancy lived was set- off again, this time into Brooks County. William Harden, in his, "A History of Savannah and South Georgia",in his short bio of James Groover, indicates that Willis King and Henry Melton are the earliest settlers in that region.James King, Willis' son, acquired several thousand acres of his father's holdings near the present Grooverville. His sons, Willis and John H., both lived on large farms near Grooverville. John sons, Willis and Raymond also raised families near Grooverville. Willis is buried in the King Family Cemetery which is located a few yards east of Livingston Road about 1/4 mile north of the intersection of Livingston Road and Ramsey Road, and near Hichory Head.John H. and his son Willis are buried in the Grooverville Cemetery. Raymond is buried in the Olive Baptist Church Cemetery in Jefferson County, Fl.
Nov 29, 2008 · Reply
Erlene Best Rufus Paul King passed away on June 7, 2005 following a long battle with cancer. He was born November 16, 1938 in Abilene, TX to Rufus C. Burleson "Burl" King and Ozelle Alvern Read King. He was a graduate of Abilene High School in 1957, and a graduate of Rice University in 1961.

Rufus is preceded in death by his parents Burl and Ozelle King, and his brother, Boyd. He is survived by his precious wife of 42 years, Johnnie Loraine Mills King; daughter Jennifer King Stockstill, her husband Clifford Allen Stockstill and their sons Caleb Allen and Cade Burleson Stockstill; son Geoffrey Paul King, his wife Catherine Cooper King and their son Cooper Paul King all of Houston; son Jonathan Burl King, his wife, Alison Leard King and their daughter Clare Addison King of Midland, TX. He is, also, survived by his mother-in-law, Frances Mills, and several brothers and sisters-in-law.

He was a member of the Abilene High School '54, '55, '56 football teams, which achieved three consecutive State Championships. In 1999, The Dallas Morning News named those teams "Team of the Century." Rufus was twice selected All District 1AAAA, and All State. While at Rice, Rufus was selected All-Conference Guard, Eastman Kodak All-American, and All-Southwest Academic Team. He played in the Hula Bowl and All-American Bowl in Buffalo, NY. In 1982, he was inducted into the Rice University Athletic Hall of Fame. At the end of the Southwest Conference Era, Rufus was honored as "All-Time All-Southwest Conference Guard." He served on the Board of Directors of the "R" Association and was a former president. Rufus was a member of Houston's First Baptist Church for 48 years having served on the Board of Deacons and as Chairman.

Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from six until eight o'clock in the evening on Friday, the 10th of June 2005 in the Library of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive. The Memorial Service will be held at three o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday, the 11th of June 2005 in the Worship Center of Houston's First Baptist Church, 7401 Katy Frwy, with Rev. Gregg Matte, Dr. John Bisagno, and Dr. Charles Poor officiating. A reception will follow at the church. Deacons of First Baptist Church will be honorary pallbearers.

Remembrances may be sent in Rufus' name to Houston's First Baptist Church, 7401 Katy Frwy. Houston, TX 77024, or to Rice University "R" Association, P.O. Box 1892, Attn: Bobby May, Dept of Athletics, MS 546, Houston, TX 77251-1892. Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home Houston, Texas 713.789.3005

Obituary from Abilene Reporter News
Feb 11, 2011 · Reply

King Country of Origin, Nationality, & Ethnicity

The King country of origin is known as the United Kingdom or UK now. There are three main branches of the King family, one in England, one in Ireland, and one in Scotland. Those of Irish, Scottish, or Scotch-Irish origin may have red hair or carry the red hair gene. Others have black or brown hair, and in some rare cases have blond/blonde hair.  The Nationality and Ethnicity of King traces back to the United Kingdom and England, Scotland, and Ireland. Some of the King family married into different nationalities and ethnicities but the original family is traced back to the UK.

King Meaning & Etymology

The meaning of the last name of King means a ruler, a leader, or one who served a king or royal family. In some Christian meaning it means "anointed one" as in one anointed by God that serves God and reports directly to God and Jesus Christ (The Christ, or The Anointed One who is KIng of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Hosts of Hosts) rather than use the title Christ, the words Ray, Roy, Rex, Shaw, Conroy, King were used instead. These titles became surnames. It should be known that Christ is a title, and the last name of Jesus was not Christ but Christ is used. That Jesus Christ is considered The Christ, like God is considered The God or The Lord, the one above all others most high that Kings report to and are given power by God. That men were given a title of Christ, Lord, etc, but it was considered blasphomy so the titles of King were used instead to avoid offending God.

King Life Expectancy

According to our database of 178,815 people with the last name King that have a birth and death date listed:

Life Expectancy

69.3
years

King Family Tree

Find King records

Find birth, death, marriage, military, and other King records at Ancestry.com.

Search for King records

Famous People named King

Stephen King, the best selling author of horror books, had his father leave his family and he cannot trace his heritage back to the other Kings. He can only trace his mother's side of the family, Pilsberry.

Gerald Ford, Vice President and later President was born a King and adopted and his name changed from Leslie Lynch King, Jr. He is considered one of the first of the King famiily to hold the title of President.

Click here to add your own famous Kings.

Most Common King First Names

According to our database of 285,368 people with the last name King that have a first name listed, these are the most common first names:

  • John 3.3%
  • William 3.1%
  • James 2.8%
  • Mary 2.2%
  • Robert 1.9%
  • Charles 1.7%
  • George 1.6%
  • Thomas 1.3%
  • Joseph 0.9%
  • Edward 0.8%
  • Margaret 0.8%
  • Henry 0.7%
  • Richard 0.7%
  • David 0.7%
  • Elizabeth 0.6%
  • King 0.6%
  • Walter 0.6%
  • Arthur 0.6%
  • Frank 0.5%
  • Dorothy 0.5%
  • Helen 0.5%
  • Albert 0.5%
  • Michael 0.5%
  • Donald 0.5%
  • Willie 0.4%
  • Ruth 0.4%
  • Harold 0.4%
  • Harry 0.4%
  • Paul 0.4%
  • J 0.4%
  • Annie 0.4%
  • Alice 0.4%
  • Kenneth 0.4%
  • Anna 0.4%
  • Raymond 0.4%
  • Samuel 0.4%
  • Clarence 0.4%
  • Roy 0.3%
  • Sarah 0.3%
  • Alfred 0.3%
  • Ernest 0.3%
  • Florence 0.3%
  • Catherine 0.3%
  • Frederick 0.3%
  • Frances 0.3%
  • Mildred 0.3%
  • Francis 0.3%
  • Ethel 0.3%
  • Betty 0.3%
  • Jack 0.3%

King Pronunciation & Spelling Variations

King may be spelled as Koeing, Kong, Kang, Corwyn, Conroy, depending on what language is used. It is also possible to be mispelled and mistranslated as different words.

Find King records

Find birth, death, marriage, military, and other King records at Ancestry.com.

Search for King records