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Type Surname (from location)
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Contributor Contrib.lilolaf on 1/16/2016
From the place name Shan. Cheng Wang, the second king (1115–1079 bc) of the Zhou dynasty, granted to a son the area of Shan, and the son’s descendants adopted the place name as their surname. It comes from the Chinese word meaning "mountain". The legendary emperor Shen Nong (2734–2697 bc) was supposedly born on Lie Mountain, the name of which he gave to one of his sons. One of the descendants of that son adopted the word for "mountain", shan, as his surname. Another source of the name was an official post that existed during the Zhou dynasty (1122–221 bc) called the Mountain Master, which carried the responsibilities of overseeing mountains and forests.