The Lian: a family of many tribes

There are an estimated 0.19 million people surnamed Lian in China, ranking the 290th in terms of population. Lians account for about 0.012 percent of the population.
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There are an estimated 0.19 million people surnamed Lian in China, ranking the 290th in terms of population. Lians account for about 0.012 percent of the population.

There are generally four major sources of Lian as a family name.There are an estimated 0.19 million people surnamed Lian in China, ranking the 290th in terms of population. Lians account for about 0.012 percent of the population.

There are generally four major sources of Lian as a family name.

The earliest branch derived from orthodox descendants of Emperor Zhuan Xu, one of the five legendary tribal leaders more than 4,000 years ago. Da Lian, surnamed Ying, is a direct grandson of Zhuan Xu. His descendants chose to surname themselves Lian, which contributed to the earliest branch of the Lian. This branch of Lian firstly dwelled in east of the Yellow River within Shanxi Province. 

The second early branch of Lian came from the family of Zi with Fei Lian, a minister in the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) as its ancestor. 

And the third branch originated from the family of Mi, a royal family in the Chu Kingdom during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). 

The offspring of Dou Lian, a respected general of the kingdom, is whom the surname came from. 

There are also Lians in ethnic groups like the Uyghur, Hui, Man, Tujia and Korean as a result of close communication and exchanges with the Han people since the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Lian Po, a famous general in the Zhao Kingdom during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), is a member of the branch derived from Emperor Zhuan Xu. 

In his early years, Lian had a series of victories in wars against the Qi and Wei Kingdom, which made him the commander of Zhao. 

In the Battle of Changping against the Qin Army, Lian stopped the invasion of the Qin by building a series of forts rather than risking his forces engaging in open battle with the strong army led by the famous Qin general, Bai Qi. 

However, the king of Zhao, convinced by provocateurs, wrongly replaced Lian with Zhao Kuo who had no experience in real wars.

Zhao abandoned Lian’s defensive strategy and attacked with full strength, resulting in a crushing defeat. The Zhao Kingdom never returned to prominence.

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