The many varied stories of the Xues
It is estimated that there are about 7.2 million people surnamed Xue in China, ranking it the 35th in terms of population. The number of Xue accounts for about 0.53 percent of the population.
There are generally four sources of Xue as a family name. A major branch is derived from the Rens, whose ancestor was the youngest son of the Yellow Emperor.
Xizhong from the family invented vehicles. He was appointed by Yu the Great to administrate vehicle-related issues and granted the land named Xue. His descendants then took Xue as their surname.
Another big source of Xues in China came from the family of Gui, sharing a blood tie with Lord Mengchang of the Qi Kingdom in the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).
The father of Lord Mengchang was granted the fief of Xue by the King of Qi. Some of his offspring surnamed themselves as Xue.
There were also people who changed their surnames into Xue for different reasons. A toy-boy of Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in the Chinese history, changed his name from Feng Xiaobao to Xue Huaiyi, which contributed to an important branch of the Xues today.
There are also Xues in minorities like the Mongolian and Manchu in China.
The Xues derived from Shandong Province expanded to Hubei, Hunan, Henan, Hebei, Shanxi and Jiangxu provinces.
The population grew quickly by the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) and scattered nationwide. “Shu Xue,” or Xues in Sichuan, was a prominent branch of the Xues that originated from Xue Yong, who served Liu Bei in the Shu Kingdom at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220).
The Xues in Hedong (southwest Shanxi Province) became another prominent branch with Xue Daoheng of the family serving as a minister in the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618).
Xue Juzheng, a minister and historian in Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127) brought his family a prominence as a clan as well.
The celebrities of the Xue population also include Xue Tao, a female poet in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).
Xue Susu was a talented female entertainer in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and Xue Fucheng, a diplomat in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Xue Susu was said to be good at poetry, calligraphy, painting, music, chess and embroidery. Her painting of “Orchid and Rock” is kept by the Shanghai Museum.