Ahn (Korean surname)

  (Redirected from An (Korean surname))

Ahn, also romanized An, is a Korean family name. Whether the surname is romanized Ahn or An, they are the same when written in Korean have no differences at all apart from their spellings in the romanized versions. Origin of Korean surname Ahn is different from each clans of Ahn. There are 109 clans in Korean surname 'Ahn'. In 2000, there were 637,786 people bearing this surname in South Korea [1], making it the 20th most common family name in the country, with roughly 2% of the country's population. North Korea does not release figures for surnames, but the percentage is expected to be more than South Korea.

Revised RomanizationAn


In the traditional Korean clan system, which is still the basis of family registry in Korea, each clan is distinguished by its bon-gwan, the notional ancestral seat of the clan. Typically each clan claims a different person as its founder, although there are exceptions. 109 Ahn clans are extant today. However, most of these are very small. The majority of Ahns claim membership in the Sunheung Ahn clan (the highest and most noble clan of Ahns with the most well-known "blue-blood" status), also called An clan of Sunheung. The Kwangju and Juksan clans are also quite large and are associated with "blue-blood" status; in addition to these, the Tamjin, Gongsan, Chungju, Dongju, Jeuongwon, Ansan, Jecheon, Angang, and Jucheon clans are significant.

Sunheung ClanEdit

73.5% of Korean surname 'Ahn' is Sunheung clan. The 2000 South Korean census counted 468,827 members of the "Sunheung" Ahn clan. It is a native clan connected with the town of Sunheung, Korea. Sunheung Clan was the most noble and powerful clan among clans with surname Ahn, and was one of the Six Greatest Clans of all Korean clans during Goryeo Dynasty and early Joseon Dynasty.

The crest of Clan Ahn of Sunheung

Sunheung Clan in Goryeo DynastyEdit

They have enjoyed "blue-blood" status as nobility (Yang-Ban) since their earliest history in the Goryeo (Koryo) Dynasty and throughout the Joseon Dynasty (July 1392 - August 1910). The founder of the Sunheung Ahn was a famous military commander of Goryeo named Ahn Ja-mi. Ahn Ja-mi commanded Hongwiwi, the troop that escorted the Royal family, greeted foreign envoys, participated national ceremonies, fought in wars, and guarded the frontier(border are) in Goryeo Dynasty. Ahn Jami was honoured the title of the supreme commander of Samhowi(one of 3 Central Command) by King Sinjong of Goryeo. Founder Ahn Jami had three sons, Ahn Yeong-yu, Ahn Yeong-rin, Ahn Yeong-hwa. Sunheung-Ahn Clan is divided into 3 different branches based on which of the three sons they descend from. The First Branch descending from Ahn Yeong-yu is called Lord (Duke) Chumil Branch (1파 추밀공파(樞密公派)). The Second Branch descending from Afhn Yeong-rin is called Lord (Duke) ByeolJang Branch (2파 별장공파(別將公派)). The Third Branch descending from Ahn Yeong-hwa is called Lord (Duke) Kyoseo Branch (3파 교서공파(校書公派)). From these three branches, there are 14 more sub-branches from the First Branch, 4 more sub-branches from the Second Branch, and 4 more sub-branches from the Third Branch.

Sunheung-Ahn Clan became one of the most powerful and famous noble clans after Ahn Hyang, who is grandson of Ahn Yeong-yu (the founder of the Lord (Duke) Chumil Branch and the great-grandson of Ahn Jami, the founder of the Sunheung-Ahn Clan. An Hyang passed the Gwageo(State examination) in 1260(Wonjong 1). And he served as Docheomuijungchan(Vice-premier). An Hyang is considered the founder of Neo-Confucianism in Korea, introducing Song Confucianism to the Goryeo Kingdom. An Hyang is generally numbered among the clan's most illustrious members, and founded a branch of his own within Sunheung-Ahn Clan, called Lord (Duke) Moonsun Sub-Branch (문성공파(文成公派)). Subsequent to An Hyang and for the rest of Goryeo Dyasty, Sunheung-Ahn Clan had members passing the Gwageo(State Examination) for 11 generations, 20 members of the Clan were made into Dukes or Grand Dukes (봉군(封君)), and produced 17 Daejehaks(대제학), which were then the highest office academics could reach in the Royal Court, equivalent to today's Ministers of Education.

Sunheung Clan in Joseon DynastyEdit

After the fall of Goryeo Dynasty and the establishment of Joseon Dynasty in 1392, Sunheung-Ahn Clan still remained one of the most powerful and famous noble clans, and was known for being one of the Six Greatest Clans in the kingdom. During Joseon Dynasty, 641 members of Sunheung-Ahn Clan passed the Gwageo(State Examination).

However, the Sunheung-Ahn Clan lost its power in mid 15th Century due to its support of King Danjong, a young King who was overthrown and then later assassinated by his uncle in the midst of political turmoil. The Sunheung-Ahn Clan then led the movement to restore King Danjong back to the throne, which is one of the well-known tragedies in the history if Joseon Dynasty. Once the movement failed, Sunheung-Ahn clan lost its status of one of the most prestigious clans in the kingdom, and members of the clan left the ancestral home of Sunheung and scattered around the kingdom to run away the oppression of the government. The famous PiKkeut Village (End of the Blood Village, 피끝마을) resulted from the failure of this movement. The village gained its name from massacre committed by the Joseon Dynasty on the 700 inhabitants of Sunheung, the ancestral home of Sunheung-Ahn Clan, after the failure of the movement. The blood of the massacred people flowed in the stream and then ended in the PiKkeut Village, and thus the village got its name. The tragedy of Sunheung and PiKkeut Village was romanticised as the tragic fate of the Sunheung-Ahn Clan that stayed loyal to the young king, such as in DanJongEhSa (단종애사, 端宗哀史), a popular early 20th century Korean novel that described the life of King Danjong. Due to Sunheung-Ahn clan's famous history of staying loyal to King Danjong, surname Ahn became synonymous to stubborn and loyal. There are three Korean surnames often associated with being stubborn-Ahn, Kang, and Choi-and among the three surnames Ahn is most famous due to this tragic history.

As the consequence of the failure of Danjong Restoration Movement, Sunheung-Ahn Clan were charged with treason. The ancestral home of Sunheung was called the Land of Treason, and the clan could not regain its former power and glory for the rest of the Joseon Dynasty. Due to this the Clan did not produce many famous figures for the rest of Joseon Dynasty. However, the Clan produced many well-known members after the fall of Joseon Dynasty in late 19th century.

Relationship to the Royal FamilyEdit

Note that most of the marriages below were during the early Joseon Dynasty, before the failure of the Restoration Movement of Danjong of Joseon.

  • Grand Princess Samhangukdaebuin of Sunheung Ahn Clan, married to Yi Bang-Seok, Grand Prince Uian, brother of Taejo of Joseon.
  • Princess Jeongkyeongbuin of Sunheung Ahn Clan, married to Yi Hwak, Prince Hareung, grand nephew of Taejo of Joseon.
  • Royal Noble Consort of Sunheung Ahn Clan, or Sunbin Ahn (善嬪 安氏), married to Taejong of Joseon.
  • Ahn Jong-ryeom, the son-in-law of Prince Jinan, eldest son of Taejong of Joseon.
  • Ahn Gwan, the son-in-law of Princess Sosuk, daughter of Taejong of Joseon.
  • Princess Sunheunggunbuin of Sunheung Ahn Clan, married to Yi Geo, Prince Yeongyang, son of Jungjong of Joseon.
  • Ahn Su-jeong, the son-in-law of Yi Jing, Prince Sungseon, son of Injo of Joseon.

Famous Members of Sunheung ClanEdit

Most influential and respected members of the Sunheung Clan are An Hyang, who is considered the founder of Neo-Confucianism in Korea during Goryeo Empire, and An Chang Ho (Title: Dosan), a political leader during Colonial Japan and the founding of the democratic government of Korea, whose life ended shortly after the arrest and release by the Colonial Japanese Government.

Before 26th GenerationEdit
  • An Hyang, an academic and official in the Royal Court in late Goryeo Dynasty. He introduced Neo-Confucianism to Korea. Also known as Lord(Duke) Moonsun, and founded the Moonsun branch within the First Branch of Sunheung-Ahn Clan.
  • An Yui, a military officer in mid-Joseon Dynasty. He is well-known for winning against the Japanese in multiple battles under the command of Yi Sun-sin, the most famous military commander in Joseon Dynasty.
26th GenerationEdit
  • Ahn Cheol-soo, a South Korean politician, physician, and software entrepreneur. A two-time former presidential election candidate in 2012 and 2017. 26th generation of Lord(Duke) GamChal Sub-Branch of the First Branch of Sunheung-Ahn Clan.
  • Ahn Changho, a political leader during Colonial Japan, one of the founding members of the democratic government of Korea, and a leader in the Korean Independence Movement under the Japanese Occupation. Also one of the leaders of the Korean-American immigrant community in the United States.
28th GenerationEdit
  • An Jae-hong, a Korean independence activist, politician and journalist.
29th GenerationEdit
  • Ahn Hee-jung, a South Korean politician. He served as the 36th and 37th Governor of South Chungcheong Province.
  • Ahn Tae-hoon, the father of famous Korean independence activist An Jung-geun. He is well-known for helping Kim Koo, one of the leading figures of the Korean Independence Movement.
30th GenerationEdit
  • An Jung-geun, a Korean-independence activist and receiver of the Order of Merit medal for National Foundation in 1962 by the South Korean government, the most prestigious civil decoration in the Republic of Korea, for his efforts for Korean independence.
  • An Gong-gun, younger brother of An Jung-geun, a Korean-independence activist who worked along with Kim Koo.
  • An Myeong-gun, cousin of An Jung-geun, a Korean-independence activist who was imprisoned with Kim Koo by the Japanese Colonial government.
31st GenerationEdit
  • An Choon-seng, a Korean-independence activist, military commander, and South Korean politician. He later became the first Principal of Korean Military Academy. Nephew of An Jung-geun.
Generation AmbiguousEdit
  • Ahn Eak-tai, a classical composer and conductor, famous for composing the national anthem of South Korea, but also criticized for composing for the Japanese Colonial Government.
  • Ahn Se-chan, founder of a Korean nationalist religion.
  • Ahn Dae-ryun, a South Korean politician and businessman.
  • Ahn Dae-hee, a South Korean politician and Lord Chancellor of the Supreme Court of Justice.
  • Ahn Yujin, member of the K-pop group Iz*One.
  • Ahn Jaemo, a South Korean actor, singer, motor sportsman, and a businessman.
  • Ahn Jae-wook, a famous South Korean singer and actor.
  • Ahn Jaehyo, known as Jaehyo, a South Korean singer and vocalist in the South Korean boy band Block B.
  • Ahn Sung-ki, one of South Korea's most respected actors, having appeared in more than 130 films during his career of over 60 years.
  • Ahn Nae-sang, a South Korean actor.
  • Victor An, a South Korean-born short-track speed-skater later naturalised into Russian citizenship, famous for being one of the most accomplished short-track speed-skaters of all time.
  • Ahn So-hee, better known by the mononym Sohee, a South Korean actress and singer, and a former member of the South Korean girl group Wonder Girls.
  • Hwasa, Ahn Hye-jin, a South Korean singer and rapper, member of the South Korean girl group Mamamoo.
  • Tony An, Ahn Seung-ho, a South Korean singer, a member of boy band H.O.T..

Villages of Sunheung ClanEdit

Juksan ClanEdit

surname Juksan Ahn clan came from Ahngukjishin which means "the general who made country peaceful". Three brothers Lee Jichun Lee Yeopchun and Lee Hwachun achieved a great deed in victory of war against Japan in 864. Juksan is a town name in Anseong city. Lee Jichun changed his name to Ahn Bangjun, and is founder of Juksan clan.

relation by marriage to Royal familyEdit

Goryo DynastyEdit
Joseon DynastyEdit


There's no place name Juksan in 9C.

Gwangju ClanEdit

Ahn Banggeol is the founder of Gwangju clan. population is 43,609 people in 2000 in South Korea, and 48,033 people in 2015 in South Korea. the population in North Korea is unknown.

Gimpo ClanEdit

Will be updated soon......

Tamjin ClanEdit

The 2015 South Korean census counted 26,098 people of the "Tamjin" Ahn clan. It is a native clan connected with the Gangjin. Tamjin is old name (before 14C) of Gangjin. Ahn Woo is the founder of Tamjin clan. Ahn Woo put down the rebellion of Cho Il-shin as a Gunbupanseo (kind of military officer) in 1362. Gi Cheol, who was brother of Empress Gi, exert his authority in Korea, he has Mongol Empire at his back. Ahn Woo put Gi Cheol to death. Ahn Woo put Red Turbans to rout who captured Uiju County and Chongju, as Northwest military commander. Also, Ahn Ji, who was a renowned scholar, who was one of writers of Yongbieocheonga is from Tamjin clan.

List of persons with surname Ahn/An with unknown clanEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit