The surname Xiang originated from the surname Ji. According to historical record the son of a high official in state Chu was conferred in Xiangcheng (now Xiangcheng in Henan province) in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC) and set up a small state - Xiang. Later on, state Xiang was annihilated by state Qi from the east. Later generations of state Xiang took the state name as their surname.
Distinguished families of the surname Xiang lived in Liaoxi county (now Lulongdong of Hebei province).
Among Chinese surnames Xiang is not a large one and there are only a handful dignitaries of the surname Xiang. In the Warring States Period there was a general called Xiang Yan. There were Xiang Liang and Xiang Yu in the Qin Dynasty. Xiang Si lived in the Tang Dynasty and Xiang Dezheng in the Song Dynasty was known as an official of integrity who acted on the public's behalf. The Ming Dynasty boasted Xiang Zhong, Secretary of the Board of War, and Xiang Yuanbian, famous collector of paintings and calligraphies. Painter Xiang Shengmo and mathematician Xiang Mingda lived in the Qing Dynasty while the proletarian revolutionist Xiang Ying was a more recent figure.
By People's Daily Online