Meaning and Origin of: Ham

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old German : Home
  • Shakespearean : From Hamlet

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English (mainly southwestern England) : variant spelling of Hamm.
  • French : habitational name from any of the various places in northern France (Ardennes, Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Moselle) named with the Germanic word ham ‘meadow in the bend of a river’, ‘water meadow’, ‘flood plain’.
  • Dutch : variant of Hamme.
  • Korean : there is only one Chinese character for the Ham surname. Some sources report that there are sixty different Ham clans, but only the Kangnŭng Ham clan can be documented. Although some records have been lost and a few generations are unaccounted for, it is known that the founding ancestor of the Ham clan is Ham Kyu, a Koryŏ general who fought against the Mongol invaders in the thirteenth century. His ancestor, Ham Hyŏk, was a Tang Chinese general who stayed in Korea after Tang China helped Shilla unify the peninsula during the seventh century. Another of Ham Hyŏk’s ancestors, Ham Shin, accompanied Kim Chu-wŏn, the founding ancestor of the Kangnŭng Kim family, to the Kangnŭng area, and hence the Ham clan became the Kangnŭng Ham clan. The first prominent ancestor from Kangnŭng whose genealogy can be verified is Ham Kyu, the Koryŏ general. Accordingly, he is regarded as the Kangnŭng Ham clan’s founding ancestor.