According to historic materials, there was a person named Xun Shi living during the reign of Huang Di (Yellow Emperor), who was clever and a deft craftsman making hats for governmental officials. As his family expanded, Xun surname was formed.
However, there is another way of accounting for the formation of surname Xun. The 17th son of Wen emperor of Zhou Dynasty was the Marquis of state Xun and his offspring adopted the title of state as their surname. But they used another Chinese character with the same pronunciation but different character components. Surname Xun originated from Henei, today's southwest part of Wuzhi, central China's Henan province, and they mainly lived there.
Surname Xun boasts many historical celebrities, such as the thinker and educationist Xun Zi at the last years of the Warring period; Cao Cao��s advisor Xun You in Three Kingdoms period; historian Xun Yue, expert on Confucian classics Xun Shuang and satrap of Guangling Xun Xian at the lasts years of Eastern Han Dynasty; high-ranking official Xun Xu in Western Jin Dynasty; scholar Xun Jianfu in Tang Dynasty, famous person Xun Yanzhou in Ming Dynasty as well as well-known Peking Opera perform of "Xun style" Xun Huishen.
By People's Daily Online