Chinese surname history: Meng

People surnamed Meng are the descendents of the family name Ji and the character "Meng" originated from the seniority in one family. In ancient China, the characters "Meng", "Zhong", "Shu" and "Ji" were used to denote the first, second, third and fourth eldest sons in a family.

"Meng", used to call the eldest son, has the meaning of "the eldest". The origin of the family name Meng can be traced back to Qingfu of one distinguished family of the State of Lu and Meng Zhi of one distinguished family of the State of Wei, both in the Spring and Autumn Period (772-481 B.C.). They were both descendents of the surname Ji.

After the founding of the Western Zhou (11 cent.-771 B.C.), the Duke of Zhou, son of King Wen of Zhou and younger brother of King Wu of Zhou, was granted Lu as his feudatory and established the State of Lu. Later after internal unrests broke out in the State of Lu, Qingfu, son of the Dukr Xiang of Lu took power but was exiled and escaped to the State of Ju. The offspring of Qingfu returned to the State of Lu after the situation there stabilized and were given the title of "minister" and the hereditary post of minister of works of the State of Lu and the surname Meng or Mengsun was conferred on them.

The other branch of the surname Meng were from the State of Wei in the Spring and Autumn Period (772-481 B.C.). The State of Wei was established by Kang Shu, a younger brother of the King Wu of Zhou, who was also of Ji family. According to historical records, Duke Ling of Wei had an elder brother Meng Zhi and the children of Meng Zhi thus took Meng as their family name. It is also recorded on the pedigree of Meng families that Duke Ling of Wei had a son called Gong Meng, whose offspring later picked Gongmeng as their surname, and then Meng for short.

Since North Song Dynasty (960-1127), as the status of Mencius (372-289 B.C.) was improved, the families of Meng started to expanded in population and mainly lived in then "Pingchang" and "Wuwei".

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---