The surname Zhong first appeared in northeast Fengyang of Anhui province and later flourished in Yingchuan of Henan province.
The origins of the surname Zhong can be traced directly back to State Song founded by Wei Ziqi in the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-256BC), who was the descendant of the sage king Shangtang. After Wei Ziqi died his younger brother Wei Zhongyan took over the control of Song and brought it to prosperity. Since the ancestor of the Zhong-surnamed once was conferred in Zhongli (now northeast Fengyang of Anhui province) his offspring took the name of the place as their surname and developed into two branches with one having the compound surname Zhongli and the other the surname Zhong.
In addition, people of the surname Zi, who have the same ancestor as the Zhong-surnamed, also changed their surname Zi into Zhong after the perish of their state. Also, Zhongshi (title for court musicians specialized in the instrument bell in Zhou Dynasty), who lost their occupation they inherited for generations in the Spring and Autumn Period, went into exile and decided to assume their official title also pronounced Zhong as their surname.
Historical records in other documents also say that the surname Zhong originated from the surname Ying and was changed into Zhong by people surnamed Zhongli; that Yue Yinzhong, King Zhao of State Chu, was first conferred in Zhongwu and his descendants were called Zhong etc.
Among the above branches of the surname Zhong those who took the name of the place where they were conferred were the majority in the thousands of years of history. Yingchuan where they lived is regarded as the distinguished place for the surname Zhong.
By People's Daily Online