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|Region of origin||Korea|
Kim or Gim (Hangul : 김 ) is the most common surname in Korea. As of the South Korean census of 2015, there were 10,689,959 people by this name in South Korea or 21.5% of the population. Kim is written as 김 (gim) in both North and South Korea. The hanja for Kim, 金 can also be transliterated as 금 (geum) which means "metal, iron, gold". The academic community is divided as to why 金 is not read as 금 in the case of surname and why it is read as 김 instead. The Kim family is also the ruling family in North Korea.
The first historical document that records Kim in 636 references it as the surname of Korean king, Jinhung (526-576). In the Silla kingdom (57 BCE–935 CE)—which variously battled and allied with other states on the Korean peninsula and ultimately unified most of Korea in 668 — Kim (which means “gold”) was the name of a family that rose to prominence and became the rulers of Silla for 586 years.
As with other Korean surnames, different lineages, known as bon-gwan or clans, are inherited from a father to his children. These designate the region of Korea, or paternal ancestor, from which they claim to originate.
The 2000 South Korean census listed 348 extant Kim lineages.
The Uiseong Kim (Korean : 의성김씨, hanja : 義城金氏 ) Clan traces its lineage back to the last prince of Silla, who later became a Monk.
There are two Andong Kim clans (Korean : 안동김씨; Hanja : 安東金氏) distinguished as Gu (Korean : 구; Hanja : 舊) and Shin (Korean : 신; Hanja : 新) that have 2 separate progenitors.
Some of the notable Gu Andong Kim clan members were General Kim Si-min and Prime Minister Kim Sa-hyeong, who was involved with the Gangnido map, as well as Royal Noble Consort Hwi was banished for witchcraft.
The Shin Andong Kim clanwas one of the powerful clans that dominated the later part of Joseon. One of the most powerful members from the clan was the Honorable Kim Josun, who was the father-in-law to Sunjo of Joseon. Kim Josun's daughter was Queen Sunwon.
According to a story recorded only in the Samgungnyusa , in 48 AD, Princess Heo Hwang-ok travelled from a country called "Ayuta"(India) to Korea, where she married Suro of Geumgwan Gaya and gave birth to ten children, thus starting the Kim dynasty of Geumgwan Gaya, the capital of which was in present-day Gimhae.
Famous ancient members of this clan, aside from the kings of Geumgwan Gaya, include the Silla general Kim Yu-sin. In Later Silla, members of the Gimhae Kim family were admitted to all but the highest level of the Silla bone rank system.
This clan is by far the most populous of all Korean clans. According to the 2015 South Korean census, there were 4,456,700 Gimhae Kim clan members in South Korea.
The Gyeongju Kims (Hangul : 경주김씨 , hanja : 慶州金氏 ) trace their descent from the ruling family of Silla. The founder of this clan is said to have been Gim Al-ji, an orphan adopted by King Talhae of Silla in the 1st century AD. Alji's seventh-generation descendant was the first member of the clan to take the throne, as King Michu of Silla in the year 262. According to the South Korean census of 2015, there were 1,800,853 Gyeongju Kim clans in South Korea.
The Nagan Kim clan (Hangul : 낙안김씨 , hanja : 樂安金氏 ) is extremely rare. Its progenitor, Kim Sujing (Hangul : 김수징 , hanja : 金粹澄 ), was a descendant of the last king of Silla and established their ancestral home in Suncheon. In the South Korean census of 2000, less than 10,000 citizens claimed to be Nagan Kims.
The Hamchang Kim (Hangul : 함창 김 씨 , hanja : 咸昌 金 氏 ) trace their origin to the founder of the little-known Gaya confederacy state of Goryeong Gaya, King Taejo. His alleged tomb, rediscovered in the sixteenth century, is still preserved by the modern-day members of the clan. This clan numbered only 26,300 members in the 2000 South Korean census.
The Gwangsan Kim clan (Hangul : 광산김씨 , hanja : 光山金氏 ) was one of the most prominent clans during Joseon. The Gwangsan Kims are the descendants of Heung Gwang (흥광, 興光), who was the third prince of Sinmu of Silla, its 45th monarch.
Yaseong clan (Hangul : 야성김씨 , hanja : 野城金氏 ) is from Yeongdeok County. The name Yeongdoek replaced an earlier name, Yaseong, which means "City in the Wilderness" and dates its origins back to Silla.
Cheongpung Kim clan (Hangul : 청풍김씨 , hanja : 淸風金氏 ) was one of the aristocratic families during the Joseon. Two queens were from this clan during that period. Several members of the clan also became prime ministers.
Yeonan Kim clan (Hangul : 연안김씨 , hanja : 延安金氏 ) was an aristocratic family clan that had members in high government positions during the Joseon. Six members of the clan were prime ministers. The founder of the Yeonan Kim clan was Kim Seom-han, a descendant of Gim Al-ji.
Gangneung Kim clan (Hangul : 강릉김씨 , hanja : 江陵金氏 ) originated from Gangneung, Gangwon Province, South Korea. The progenitor was Kim Juwon (김주원, 金周元) who was a descendant of Muyeol of Silla.
Sangsan Kim clan (Hangul : 상산김씨 , hanja : 商山金氏 ) originated from Sangju in North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. The progenitor was Kim Su (김수, 金需) and the clan had members that participated in the government of Joseon.
Ulsan Kim clan (Hangul : 울산김씨 , Hanja:蔚山金氏) originated from Ulsan in South Korea. One of the members of this clan, Kim Inhu, was one of the 18 Sages of Korea and honored as a Munmyo Bae-hyang, (문묘배향, 文廟配享).
Seoheung Kim clan (Hangul : 서흥김씨 , hanja : 瑞興金氏 ) was one of the smaller Kim clans during the Joseon. The progenitor was Kim Bo (김보, 金寶) and one of the members was Kim Gwoeng-pil (김굉필, 金宏弼), who was one of the 18 Sages of Korea and honored as Munmyo Bae-hyang, (문묘배향, 文廟配享).
Wonju Kim clan (Hangul : 원주김씨 , hanja : 原州金氏 ) might be one of the smallest Kim clans during the Joseon. They had two members that became prime ministers during that period.
According to the South Korean census of 2015, there were 56,989 Jeonju Kim clan members in South Korea. Its progenitor, Kim Bongmo (Hangul : 김봉모 , hanja : 金鳳毛 ), was a descendant of the last king of Silla, Gyeongsun of Silla. South korean artist Kim Hee-Chul, North Korean leaders, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un are from the Jeonju clan of the Gims.
Lee, I, or Yi (이) is the second-most-common surname in Korea, behind Kim (Gim). Historically, 李 was officially written as Ni (니) in Korea. The spelling officially changed to I (이) in 1933 when the initial sound rule (두음법칙) was established. In North Korea, it is romanized as Ri (리) because there is no distinction between the alveolar liquids /l/ and /r/ in modern Korean. As of the South Korean census of 2015, there were 7,306,828 people by this name in South Korea or 14.7% of the population.
Cheoljong of Joseon was the 25th king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. He was a second cousin once removed to the heirless Heonjong of Joseon, as well as a great-great grandson of Yeongjo of Joseon.
Gim Yu-shin, also known as Kim Yu-shin, was a general in 7th-century Silla. He led the unification of the Korean Peninsula by Silla under the reign of King Muyeol of Silla and King Munmu of Silla. He is said to have been the great-grandchild of King Guhae of Geumgwan Gaya, the last ruler of the Geumgwan Gaya state. This would have given him a very high position in the Silla bone rank system, which governed the political and military status that a person could attain.
The Yangban, were part of the traditional ruling class or gentry of dynastic Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The yangban were mainly composed of civil servants and military officers—landed or unlanded aristocrats who individually exemplified the Korean Confucian idea of a "scholarly official". They were largely administrators and bureaucrats who oversaw ancient Korea's traditional agrarian bureaucracy until the Joseon Dynasty ended in 1897. In a broader sense, an office holder's family and descendants as well as country families who claimed such descent were socially accepted as yangban.
Suro (수로), or Sureung, commonly called Gim Suro, was the legendary founder and king of the state of Geumgwan Gaya in southeastern Korea.
Park or Bak (박), is the third-most-common surname in Korea, traditionally traced back to King Hyeokgeose Park (박혁거세) and theoretically inclusive of all of his descendants. Park or Bak is usually assumed to come from the Korean noun Bak (박), meaning "gourd". As of the South Korean census of 2015, there were 4,192,074 people with the name in South Korea, or roughly 8.4% of the population.
Bon-gwan is the concept of clan in Korea, which is used to distinguish clans that happen to share a same family name. Since Korea has been traditionally a Confucian country, this clan system is similar to ancient Chinese distinction of clan names or xing (姓) and lineage names or shi (氏). The bongwan system identifies descent groups by geographic place of origin.
Han is the typical romanized spelling of the Korean family name. Other alternate spellings for 한 include Hahn and Haan. In Sino-Korean, it translates to "King”, “Kingdom”, “country" or/and “Korean people”. Han is the oldest name in Korea.
Queen Cheorin, also known as Queen Dowager Myeongsun (명순대비), was a Queen consort of Korea by marriage to Cheoljong of Joseon.
Queen Inhyeon, of the Yeoheung Min clan, was a posthumous name bestowed to the wife and second queen consort of Yi Sun, King Sukjong, the 19th Joseon monarch. She was Queen consort of Joseon from 1681 until her deposition in 1688 and from her reinstatement in 1694 until her death in 1701. She is one of the best known Joseon queens and her life has been portrayed in many Korean historical dramas.
Queen Hyoui was the wife and Queen Consort of King Jeongjo of Joseon. She came from the Cheongpung Kim clan.
Queen Hyohyeon was the wife and the queen consort of King Heonjong of Joseon, the 24th monarch of the Joseon Dynasty. She was of the Andong Kim clan, posthumously known as "Hyohyeon, The Seong Empress" (효현성황후).
Lee Lyang or Yi Ryang was a Korean Joseon Dynasty politician and a powerful man. He was from the royal Jeonju Yi clan, a descendant of Prince Hyoryeong and the maternal uncle of Queen Insun. His courtesy name was Gonggeo.
The Andong Kim clan refers to two Korean clans. They were prominent yangban families during Korea's Joseon dynasty originating from Andong, North Gyeongsang province, during the Goryeo dynasty. The clans produced many individuals who passed the gwageo, and 3 Queen Consorts during the Joseon Dynasty, Queen Sunwon, Queen Hyohyeon, and Queen Cheorin. Both clans derive from the Gyeongju Kim clan.
Queen Shinjeong also known as Queen Dowager Hyoyu (효유왕대비) was the only wife of Crown Prince Hyomyeong of Joseon and mother of king Heonjong of Joseon. She served as nominal regent of Joseon during the minority of Gojong's reign, whom she had selected to place upon the throne, in 1864–1873, although she left all de facto power to the king's father Heungseon Daewongun and only kept the formal title as regent.
The Gimhae Kim clan is one of the Korean clans. This clan traces their origin to King Suro and his Queen Heo Hwang-ok, who are mentioned in the 13th-century Korean chronicle Samguk Yusa. King Suro was the founder of Gaya confederacy, and his descendant Gim Yu-sin is renowned for unifying the Silla polity.
The Jeonju Yi clan is a Korean clan with the surname Yi. Their Bon-gwan is in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. The clan includes the former imperial House of Yi.
Incheon Lee clan is one of the Korean clans. This clan traces their origin to King Suro and his Queen Heo Hwang-ok, who are mentioned in the 13th-century Korean chronicle Samguk Yusa. King Suro was the founder of Gaya confederacy, and his descendant Gim Yu-sin is renowned for unifying the Silla polity. According to a 2015 survey, the population of Gimhae Heo clan is 83,855.
Gimhae Heo clan is one of the Korean clans. This clan traces their origin to King Suro and his Queen Heo Hwang-ok, who are mentioned in the 13th-century Korean chronicle Samguk Yusa. King Suro was the founder of Gaya confederacy, and his descendant Gim Yu-sin is renowned for unifying the Silla polity. According to a 2015 survey, the population of Gimhae Heo clan is 1,340,688.
Kim Jwa-geun was a Korean political figure of the Andong Kim clan who held a number of top-ranking government positions in the Joseon dynasty, including Yeonguijeong at King Cheoljong's court. He was the younger brother of Queen Sunwon.