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周 Genealogy and 周 Family History Information

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  • Zhou Enlai 周恩來, 1st Premier of P. R. China (1898 - 1976)
    Zhou Enlai 周恩来 (Wade-Giles: Chou En-Lai; 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976. Zhou served a...
  • Ly-sze Si Zhou 周 (född Chou) (-775 - d.)
    This profile is cut from King You of Zhou .For a more clearly formatted presentation, go to the page from which the overview was copied and then pasted at ID: I30600* Name: Attila "Scourge of God" the ...
  • Lu Xun 魯迅 (1881 - 1936)
    Chou Shu-jen, known as Lu Hsün, a writer and social critic of such prominence that he became an almost legendary figure.
  • Zhou Xiaochuan 周小川
    Xiaochuan (Chinese: 周小川; pinyin: Zhōu Xiǎochuān) (born January 29, 1948) is a Chinese economist, banker, reformist and bureaucrat. As governor of the People's Bank of China since December 2002, he has ...
  • Zhou Youguang 周有光 (1906 - 2017)
    Zhou Youguang 周有光 was a Chinese economist, banker, linguist, sinologist, publisher, and supercentenarian, known as the "father of Pinyin", a system for the writing of Mandarin Chinese in Roman script, ...

About the 周 surname

周 (Zhou) is now the 10th most common surname in Mainland China, it has been one of the 10 most common surnames in China since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). 周 was the fifth surname in the book 百家姓, a book of Chinese surnames first written in 960 A.D..


  1. 周平王兒子烈封在汝州(今河南省),當地人稱他周家,便以周為姓。
  2. 公元前256年,秦滅東周,將赧王廢為庶人,王族亦稱為周氏。
  3. 唐玄宗李隆基于712年,因避諱「基」,下詔改天下的基姓為周姓。
  4. 代北复姓賀魯氏為周氏。

According to historical records, the Zhou surname dates back to the imperial kinsmen of the Zhou Dynasty (c. 1046 BC - 256 BC), which ruled China for 874 years. The original surname of the royal Zhou family was Ji. In 256 B.C., the Qin Dynasty conquered the Zhou Dynasty and put Rufen under the jurisdiction of Runan County. Ji Yong, a descendant of Emperor Ping of the Zhou Dynasty, which lived on the system of enfeoffment (investing nobility with hereditary titles) in Rufen, changed his surname to Zhou to commemorate the merits and virtues of his ancestors. The descendants of Emperor Nan of the Zhou Dynasty, who were called the Zhou family after the Zhou Dynasty had been destroyed, also took on the Zhou surname. Since then the Zhou surname has become a common family name in Runan.

During the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the emperor issued an imperial edict to change the Ji surname to Zhou to avoid the taboo of his personal name. This was also a major source of the Zhou family name.

Apart from these roots, the change of surnames by ethnic minorities and Han people also contributed to the formation of the Zhou surname. For example, Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty also changed the Ji surname, a different Chinese character but with the same pronunciation as the royal family name in the Zhou Dynasty, into Zhou. The Helu and Pu surnames of the Xianbei nationality in the Beizhou Empire (the Northern Zhou) and the Xitong and Shuhu surnames of the Mongolian nationality in the Yuan Dynasty were also changed into Zhou.

Passed down from the royal family in the Zhou Dynasty, the Zhou surname, of course, was extraordinary. People with the Zhou surname could be found all over the country due to enfeoffment and migration through the ages -- especially from Runan, the largest dwelling place for the Zhou family. Generally speaking, the migration of the Zhou family followed the pattern of "west to east" and "south to north". Later, people with the Zhou surname moved to Taiwan from the Fujian and Guangdong provinces.


  • Mandarin (Mainland China): Zhou
  • Mandarin (Taiwan): Chou
  • Cantonese: Chow, Chau
  • Macau: Chao
  • Hokkien: Chew
  • Teochew: Chiu
  • Vietnamese: Chau, Chu
  • Malay: Chew, Cheu, Chou, Chow, Chiew