Ahn (Korean surname)

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Revised Romanization An
McCune–Reischauer An

Ahn, also romanized An, is a Korean family name. Its literal meaning is "tranquility," from the Hanja character 安. In 2000, there were 637,786 people bearing this surname in South Korea [1], making it the 20th most common family name in the country, with roughly 2% of the country's population. North Korea does not release figures for surnames, but the percentage is expected to be similar.

The surname is also used in China.


In the traditional Korean clan system, which is still the basis of family registry in South Korea, each clan is distinguished by its bon-gwan, the notional ancestral seat of the clan. Typically each clan claims a different person as its founder, although there are exceptions. 109 Ahn clans are extant today. However, most of these are very small. The majority of Ahns claim membership in the Sunheung Ahn clan (the highest and most noble clan of Ahns). The Kwangju and Juksan clans are also quite large and are associated with "blue-blood" status; in addition to these, the Tamjin, Gongsan, Chungju, Dongju, Jeuongwon, Ansan, Jecheon, Angang, and Jucheon clans are significant.

Sunheung Clan (Dominant Clan)[edit]

The 2000 South Korean census counted 468,827 members of the "Sunheung" Ahn clan (순흥안씨, 順興安氏). Their ancestral seat is in modern-day Sunheung-myeon, in Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. They have enjoyed "blue-blood" status as nobility (Yang-Ban) since their earliest history in the Koryeo (Koryo) Dynasty and throughout the Chosun Dynasty (July 1392 - August 1910). The founder of the Sunheung Ahn was a famously petty and meticulous official of Koryeo named Ahn Ja-mi. The Neo-Confucian philosopher An Hyang, who introduced the Confucian social and government system to Korea, was his great-grandson, and is generally numbered among the clan's most illustrious members. During Colonial Japan and during the founding of the democratic government of Korea, the most influential and respected figure is Ahn Chang Ho (Title: Dosan) and his life ended shortly after his arrest and release by the Imperial Japanese Government.

List of persons with the surname[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]