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Updated January 23, 2020

Family name origins & meanings

  • Norwegian : habitational name from a farm name in Hordaland related to rong ‘stern (of a boat)’.
  • Chinese : there are two sources of this surname. One is Rong Cheng, a senior minister to Emperor Huang Di (2697–2595 bc), who is credited with the invention of the Chinese calendar. A second source is the title of an official who was in charge of ceremonial music, rongguan, during the Zhou dynasty (1122–221 bc).
  • Chinese : from the name of another senior minister to the Emperor Huang Di (2697–2595 bc), called Rong Yuan. A second source of the surname written with this character is a city called Rong, which was granted to a minister of the Zhou dynasty king Cheng Wang (1115–1078 bc).
  • Chinese : when the state of Zhou overthrew the corrupt and brutal last king of the Shang dynasty, Zhou Xin, to establish the Zhou dynasty in 1122 bc, the son of Zhou Xin was granted the area of the former Shang capital. The Zhou believed that, in order to obtain the mandate of heaven necessary to rule, they had to grant lands and titles to the principal descendants of the great emperors of the past, even if that meant granting lands to the progeny of their enemies. Zhou Xin’s son rose in revolt against the new rulers and was killed. To replace him with another descendant of the Emperor Cheng Tang, the Zhou this time chose Zhou Xin’s elder half-brother, who was regarded as a virtuous man and who had attempted to curb Zhou Xin’s excesses; he was granted the title Duke of Song, but is usually known as Wei, Viscount of Song. Chinese sources state that the surname Rong was used by his ancestors, but do not indicate its origin. The Rong were a non-Chinese people living on the border of Chinese territories during the Shang and Zhou dynasties, and this may be the source.

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