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Re: The Origin of WEN surname.

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Posted by Poh Sing on June 09, 2000 at 11:33:56:

In Reply to: Chinese surname Oen, Boen, Oon or Wen??? posted by Fien Lesmana on August 24, 1997 at 20:38:18:

I am also researching the surname of my mother (WEN). The following information is what I got from Chung Yoon-Ngan .
I hope it is of help to you. the Chinese character for WEN is .

Chinese surname No.321 Wen
Wen means : lukewarm; gentle.
Surname Wen is about 2600 years old.

Abstract: Surname Wen was originated in an area which was called the
Tai4 Yuan2 Prefecture during the Qin2 Dynasty (221BC to 207BC).
The present day location of Tai4 Yuan2 Prefecture
is in Tai4 Yuan2 county in Shanxi province China.

In 1115BC Ji Song4 was crowned as King Cheng2 (reigned 1115BC to 1078BC), the
second King of the Zhou Dynasty (1134BC to 256BC). In 1106BC King Cheng2
delegated authority to his younger brother named Tang2 Shu Yu2 to be the ruler
of a district which he named it as Tang2. Later King Cheng2 discovered that
there was already in existence a State by that name of Tang2 in Tang2 Zhou
(present day Zheng4 Yang2 county in Henan province). In order to avoid the
confusion over the two States with the same name King Cheng2 renamed it as the
State of Jin4 (present day Yi4 Cheng2 county in Shanxi province). King Cheng2
also bestowed upon his brother the title of Hou2 (Marsquis) which was
inheritable. Tang2 Shu Yu2 was known as Jin4 Hou2.

Years later Jin4 Hou2 appointed one of his sons to administer a place called
Wen in the district of He2 Nei2 (present day Wen Xian4 in Henan province). It
was renamed as the State of Wen. The land in Wen was very suitable for growing

In 770BC Ji Yi2 Jiu4 was crowned as King Ping2 who reigned for fifty years
and died in 720BC. His grandson Lin2 became the new King who was known as
King Huan2. Just at this time Luoyang, the capital, exprienced a shortage of
flour due to the short supply of wheat from Wen. The reason behind this
scarcity was due to the fact that all the wheat grown in Wen during that year
had been stolen by the State of Zheng4 (present day Xin Zheng4 city in Henan
province). The perpetrator was Ji Wu4 Sheng, the ruler of Zheng4. Ji Wu4 Sheng
did the plundering because he wanted to show the world that he dared to defied
the centre authority.

The people of Di2 were the non-Han4 Chinese who lived in the northern part
of China. They were the semi-nomadic tribe who overran northern China. They
intended to expand their domain into the agricultural land in the south.
In 650BC the Di2 people conquered and annexed the State of Wen. Some members of
the Wen Royal Court fled to the West hoping to revive the Wen Royal Court. But
unfortunately they failed to do so. Instead they adopted WEN as their surnames
in remembrance of their extinct State.

CHUNG Yoon-Ngan

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