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Origin and popularity of the name HE

Origin

He : 1: Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 何 which meant ‘ask’ or ‘what?’ in ancient Chinese: (i) from the surname Han (韓) the name of a state during the Warring States period. In 230 BC the state of Han was annihilated by the state of Qin. Some of the descendants of Han Wang An (韓王安 'An King of Han') the last king of Han fled to the area around the Yangtze and Huai (淮) rivers where the surname Han (韓) had a similar pronunciation to that of the Chinese character He (何) in the local dialects so they adopted the surname He (何) as a surname.(ii) from one of the 'Nine Sogdian Surnames’ in Chinese also known as ‘nine surnames of Zhaowu’ because their ancestors came from Zhaowu an ancient city in present-day Gansu province in northwestern China. During the Sui and Tang dynasties (581–987 AD) there were nine Sogdian states in Central Asia one of which was called He (何) in Chinese. Between 649 and 655 AD these states submitted to Emperor Gaozong of Tang (628–683 AD). The people from this state and their descendants acquired the surname He.(iii) from the name of He Miao (何苗) who changed his original surname Zhu (朱) to He (何) during the Western Han dynasty (206 BC–25 AD). (iv) For some families this surname is traced back to Suo Ming (鎖銘) the son of an ambassador (Suo Nan 鎖南) from Tibet in the 12th century AD. Suo Ming was appointed to a post in Hezhou (in present-day Gansu province) and endowed with the surname He by Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzhang founder of the Ming dynasty) in 1371 AD.(v) a surname of the Tuyuhun (吐谷渾) ethnic group originating in the Wudai Period (907–960 AD).2: Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 賀 meaning ‘celebrate congratulate’ in Chinese: (i) a semantic variant of Qing (慶) (see Qing 1). In the Eastern Han dynasty (25– 220 AD) a descendant of the Qing family Qing Chun (慶純) a well-known official changed his surname to He (賀) which has the same meaning as Qing (meaning ‘celebrate’) because his surname Qing happened to be the personal name of Liu Qing (刘慶) the father of Emperor An of Han (94–125 AD) which was a taboo that Qing Chun wanted to avoid. (ii) shortened form of disyllabic surnames such as He Lan (賀蘭) He Lai (賀賴) He Dun (賀敦) which were surnames from the Xianbei ethnic group shortened to He through cultural fusion with the Han people during South and North Dynasties (420–589 AD). This surname is common in Henan province.3: Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 和 meaning ‘peace’ in Chinese: (i) for some families this surname is traced back to Xi He (羲和) an official in charge of astronomy during the reign of the legendary Emperor Yao (c. 24th century BC). His descendants He Zhong (和仲) and He Shu (和叔) took his personal name He (和) as their surname. (ii) for other families it is traced back to Bian He (卞和) a person from the state of Chu (楚) during the Spring and Autumn period (770 BC–476 BC) who discovered a gem known as He-shi Bi (和氏璧). (iii) from Su He (素和) a disyllabic surname from the Xianbei ethnic group.4: Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 赫: (i) said to be traced back to a legendary king He Xu Shi (赫胥氏). (ii) adopted as a Han Chinese surname by minority ethnic groups in China.5: Chinese: alternative Mandarin form of the surname 黑 see Hei 1.6: Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 許 possibly based on its Hakka or Hokkien pronunciation see Xu 2.7: Chinese: Teochew form of the surname 夏 see Xia.8: Vietnamese (Hề): from the Chinese surname 奚 see Xi 1.

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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
FANBI : The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain, ©2021, University of the West of England

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 8,825 individuals with the name HE on Geneanet.

 

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    faobi1
    (834 individuals)
    patblu
    (218 individuals)
    trondstrandhaug
    (149 individuals)
    dlefralliec
    (148 individuals)

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    Variants of name HE

    HEZ