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Re: Family Name: Ma

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Posted by Yip-wang Law on May 31, 1999 at 05:22:17:

In Reply to: Family Name: Ma posted by Paula Ma on January 11, 1999 at 12:33:05:

: Any clues to the origin of the Ma name would be appreciated.

Ma is the No. 52 surnames among the 504 family names in the Hundred Family Names. With new data from three censuses (by sampling only) during the 1980s, someone figured that Ma ranked No. 18 among 1436 surnames in the whole country and consisted of 1.07598% of the Chinese population.
The founder of the Ma family name was Zhao She, a brave,welknown general of the state of Zhao during the Period of the Warring States. In 270 BC he defeated the invading army from the state of Qin in a place located in what we now call the He-shun County, Shanxi Province. Because of this meritorious deed in the battles, he was conferred a fief called Ma-fu (located to the north of what we now call Han-dan City, Hebei Province), and was known as the ruler of Ma-fu. After his death, his son Zhao Kuo was also made a general. But he was an arrogant man who was only good at "talking about battles on paper). As a result, he lost 450,000 men in a battle with the Qin army at a place called Chang-ping. His descendants took it as a disgrace to the family and changed their family name to Ma-fu, the name of their ancestor's fief. When the state of Qin finally annexed the state of Zhao, Zhao Xing, a grandson of Zhao She, escaped to Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, and changed his family name into Ma. One branch of his descendants rose into prominence and the Ma family name became propular thereafter.

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