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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Korean (Ch{ou}n): there are three Chinese characters for the surname Ch{ou}n.
  2. Some sources number the clans which use the most common character as high as 178, but only seventeen have been documented. All of these descend from a common ancestor, Ch{ou}n S{ou}p. The founding king of the Kogury{ou} kingdom (37 bc–ad 668) had three sons, the youngest of whom went south and established what would later become one of Kogury{ou}’s rival kingdoms, Paekche. This son took with him ten servants, one of whom was Ch{ou}n S{ou}p.
  3. Five clans use the second most common Chinese character for their surname. These clans descended from different ancestors, at least two of whom migrated to Korea from China.
  4. The clan which uses the least common character, the Mun’gy{ou}ng Ch{ou}n, descends from an ancestor named Ch{ou}n Yu-g{ou}m. Ch{ou}n Yu-g{ou}m was a minister sent from China to visit the Kory{ou} court in the mid 14th century. He decided to stay in Korea and married the elder sister of a famous Kory{ou} general, Ch’oe Y{ou}ng. When the Kory{ou} kingdom fell to the Chos{ou}n kingdom in 1392, Ch{ou}n abandoned his government post and retired to the countryside to pass the remainder of his years in peaceful obscurity.
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