4 major sources of Yu family name

There are an estimated 1.4 million people surnamed Yu in China. They are ranked 119th in terms of population. Yu accounts for about 0.12 percent of the total population.


There are an estimated 1.4 million people surnamed Yu in China. They are ranked 119th in terms of population. Yu accounts for about 0.12 percent of the total population.

There are generally four major sources of Yu as a family name. One is derived from a skillful doctor named Yu Fu who served the Yellow Emperor in primitive times. His story was recorded in "Historical Record." His offspring then took Yu as a surname. 

A second big branch of Yu can be traced back to the royal families of Chu Kingdom and Zheng Kingdom in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). 

There was a Yu Tribe in Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), whose descendants were also surnamed Yu. 

And there are Yus in ethnic groups like Man, Yi, Tujia, Hui, Korean as a result of close communication and exchanges with the Han people. 

The Yu families mainly dwelled in Shanxi, Henan, Hebei and Hubei provinces before Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618), and migrated southward massively later. Today, most Yus are found in Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. The Yus in those three provinces make up for 70 percent of the total population surnamed Yu. 

Yu Boya, a renowned musician in the Spring and Autumn Period, is one of the celebrities from the Yu family. Skillful as he was in music, Yu regretted that nobody actually understood his music well. 

One day, when he played music alone on a boat, Yu found a woodcutter standing still at the riverbank. The woodcutter, Zhong Ziqi, said that he was attracted by Yu's music, and heard high mountains and flowing water in the melodies

Yu was thrilled that he finally found somebody who could understand his music. Zhong seemed to understand whatever was in Yu's mind when he improvised. After Zhong died, Yu broke his guqing and never played music again. 



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