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Origin and popularity of the name YUAN

Origin

Yuan : Chinese:: 1: Mandarin form of the surname 袁 meaning ‘(of dress) long’ in ancient Chinese: from the personal name of Bo Yuan (伯爰) style name of Zhu who was a descendant of Hu Gong Man (Duke Hu of Chen head of the state of Chen). In ancient Chinese the characters 爰 轅 and 袁 were used interchangeably. Descendants of Bo Yuan adopted 袁 (Yuan) as their surname.2: Mandarin form of the surname 元 meaning ‘head’ or ‘beginning’ in ancient Chinese: (i) from the personal name of Yuan Xian (元銑) an official in the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). (ii) from the placename Yuan (元) the name of a fief located in Gaoping in Shanxi province which was granted to Yuan prince of the state of Wei during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (iii) from the placename Yuan (元) the name of a fief located in present-day Hebei province which was granted to Yuan Xuan (元晅) an official in the state of Wey (衛) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (iv) from the Tuoba (拓跋) Hegu (紇骨) and Shiyun (是雲) families from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China who adopted 元 as their surname during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534 AD).3: Mandarin form of the surname 苑 often referring to imperial gardens in ancient Chinese: (i) from the placename Yuan (苑) the name of a state (located in Xinzheng in Henan province) during the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). (ii) from the personal name of Yuan He Ji (苑何忌) an official in the state of Qi (located mainly in present-day Shandong province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC).4: Mandarin form of the surname 原 meaning ‘open land’ in Chinese: from Yuan (原) the name of a state (located in Jiyuan in Henan province) granted to Yuan Bo (原伯) (the Earl of Yuan) the 16th son of King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC). After it was annexed by the state of Jin (located in present-day Shanxi province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) people from the state adopted Yuan (原) the name of the state as their surname. Moreover after the annihilation of the state of Yuan (原) the state became a fief in the state of Jin which were then granted to Xian Zhen also known as Yuan Zhen. His descendants also inherited Yuan (原) the name of the fief as their surname.5: Mandarin form of the surname 源 meaning ‘source origin’ in Chinese: surname from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China said to be traced back to Tu-Fa Po-Qiang (403–479 AD) also known as Yuan He (源賀) who was originally prince of the state of Southern Liang (397–414 AD) but later fled to Northern Wei after the toppling of Southern Liang. He was later endowed with the new surname Yuan (源) by the then emperor (Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei) because it was said that he shared the same ‘origin’ with the emperor. His descendants then inherited his new surname Yuan (源).

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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

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 688 individuals with the name YUAN on Geneanet.

 

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    chine11
    (102 individuals)
    hdvmolen001
    (42 individuals)
    nmoussette
    (38 individuals)
    arnoldhoevers
    (34 individuals)

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