Seo (surname)

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Seo
Hangul
Hanja
also 西
Revised RomanizationSeo
McCune–Reischauer

Seo, sometimes romanized Suh or So, is a royal Korean family name. The Seo clan in Silla was founded by Kim Alcheon. The descendants of this royal bloodline are part of a lineage that was once renowned for its imperial success during the early 9th century. Since its beginning, the clan was held in high regard for its economic and military finesse, which played a vital role in reuniting the political factions that caused civil unrest in the Middle Joseon Dynasty. The clan continued to be consulted in military and economic affairs until the assassination of Empress Myeongseong in 1895. Japan, noticing the prominence of the clan in the senior ranks of the King's counsel, started targeting members of the clan for assassination immediately following the Empress's death. Despite their number being greatly reduced, the Seo surname has grown in number since the end of the Joseon Dynasty in 1897. Through unrestricted intermarriage, Seo is now the 11th most common surname in Korea.

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