Coverage: Henan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Gushi, Nanyang, Fujian, Guangdong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia
In the age of Emperor Shun, there lived a leader of Dongyi tribe whose name was Boyi. Boyi was bestowed a surname of Ying for his achievement in helping Shun to control the flood and tame the animals.
Huang families, one of the fourteen branches of the offspring of Boyi, established the Kingdom Huang in what is now called Huangchuan in Henan Province between the end of the Shang Dynasty and the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty.
In the Spring and Autumn Period, no kingdom dared to resist Kingdom Chu, a strong state, except for Kingdom Huang and Kingdom Sui. In 648 B.C., King of Chu blamed Kingdom Huang for not paying the tribute. King of Huang, sizing up the situation wrongly, lost his nation in that summer by neither paying the tribute nor preparing for war. People of Kingdom Huang took the name of their kingdom as their surname, calling themselves Huang.
Some people argued that Huang families are offspring of Luzhong. However, Luzhong and Boyi had the same grandfather of Emperor Zhuanxu. Therefore, Huang families are offsprings of Emperor Zhuanxu, getting their surname out of the name of their kingdom.
Another opinion on the origin of Huang families is that they are the offsprings of Shaohao. Shaohao moved from Henan to Shanxi in the age of Emperor Zhuanxu, establishing the Kingdom Huang which was later eliminated by Kingdom Jin in the Spring and Autumn Period. This is also one of the origins of Huang families.
Some of the Huang families mingled with the minorities on several occasions in the history, including Zhuang, Yao, Dong, Shui, Buyi, etc.
Some people of Kingdom Huang fled to Henan while some others to Hubei on a large scale, or even to Kingdom Chu as officials. It is said that some places got their name out of the migration of Huang families, such as Huanggang, Huangpi, Huangmei and so on.
Since the Han Dynasty, they moved to the north and south of the Changjiang river, including Gushi, Nanyang of Southern Henan and Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan. It was in the Jin Dynasty that they moved to Fujian. In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, they flourished in Fujian and Guangdong. Between the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, they started to move to Taiwan, later abroad.
Huang families have a large population, as one of the eight largest surnames in China, especially in the south. In Taiwan, Huang families take an even larger proportion, topping the others together with Zheng families, as the saying goes, “People on the street is surnamed either Zheng or Huang”.
Huangdi (Yellow Emperor): the ancestor of the Chinese Civilization
Huangdi, the second son of Shaodian, was born in Xuanyuan Hill (now to the northwest of Xinzheng, Henan), thus being called Xuanyuan. Wise and learned when still quite young, Huangdi succeeded his father Shaodian as the tribe leader of Youxiong, therefore he was also surnamed Youxiong. Since the society in his age was changing from the primitive society to a society of classes, he experienced lots of wars in his life as recorded.
It is said that Huangdi had been supported by all the tribes as a leader, he defeated Yandi, a tribe leader who often harassed other tribes, in Banquan (now to the southeast of Zhuolu, Hebei Province) in a great war. Later on, he launched wars against tribe of Chiyou, unifying the central China. During the age of Huangdi, who is respected by Chinese people as the ancestor, numerous inventions and glorious achievements had made China one of the four ancient civilizations in the world.