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Gin 甄 Clan
Gin Conference


Home Up Gin 甄 Clan Wu 吴 Clan


As discussed in the Section "Clan Diaspora" and the accompanying paper "The Gin Clan in the Pacific Rim", the support of the Clan to "new chums" arriving in a new country or about to commence a new venture, cannot be underestimated. Clan members share the surname and are all related to a common ancestor.  By way of example and further elaboration on Clan Heritage matters, in this page we explore in greater depth the Chin/Gin Clan (甄).  The author of this page is the 27th Generation of the Gin Clan Ancestor, Gin Sun Hall.   

Most of the material contained in here comes from the Gin Clan, which is flourishing in places as diverse as the USA, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas.  Specifically the information is extracted from the research of Albert Gene, Harry Gin, James Gin, Wing Kuon Gin, Yun Hoi Yan, Wing Wei Yan, Robert Chin and other researches of the Gin Sun Hall Associations around the world.

Origin of the Gin

Extracted from a 1997 publication produced by the "Gin Sun Hall Benevolent Association" of San Francisco, California, USA, in celebration of its 60 Anniversary.

"The Gin Surname is believed to have derived from an ancient Chinese governmental designation, which was used to designate the occupation of a "potter", one who crafts earthenware."

The transliteration of the Chinese Surname (甄) includes: Gin, Ginn, Gean, Gen, Gene, Jen, Jin, Ying, Yan, Zhen, and Chin.  As with any transliteration, variations can be quite many.  

The "Sun Hall News", a Clan Magazine published by the Gin Sun Hall Association, Kaiping, People's Republic of China identified the ancestor of all Gins as Gin Shen, whose ancestral home was in the Hebei province.

Who was Gin Sun Hall

"Gin Sun Hall is the name of our common ancestor who lived in the 13th century A.D.  Gin Sun Hall's grandfather, Gin Shing Hing came to Nam Hong county in northern Guangdong Province from Northern China, as he was appointed the government official for the area."

"Later for various reasons which remain unclear, but believed to be the result of dissent of the locals to imperial decrees and it was also rumoured that one of the emperor's concubine disappeared near Nam Hong.  The Sze Yap (SiYi) people living in the area of Nam Hong County, including the Gin clan, had to flee to avoid being persecuted by the Emperor.  Many Gins as well as other surnames changed their names to avoid Imperia detection.  This may account for the reason why today the Gin surname is small in numbers compared to other surnames."

Where are they now?

At the Inaugural Gin Clan World Conference held in November 2005, at Kaiping, PRC, some 700 Gins and their friends and relatives attended the meeting.    From the attendance list, it was clear that Gins can virtually be found in all continents of the world.  The most populous concentration appears to be California.  There was a proud contingent of Gins from the original Gin Homeland of Wuji, Hebei (河北).  It is interesting to note that according to wikipedia, "Plains in Hebei were the home of Peking man".  Thus, the Gins have a proud history with links to the Great Plains of China.

Tracing the Gin Lineage

At a later date, it is our intention to further add to this section, so that interested scholars can see how one can trace one lineage.   But meanwhile, we share with readers the Generation Number, Generation Name and names of a particular line associated with the Shek Hoi ( 石海) village.   

Gin Clan Generation Names for other branches of the Gin is shown in the photograph below.

Generation Number Generation Name Simplified Name 1 Simplified Name 2   Traditional Name 1 Traditional Name 2 English Def. Word 1 English Def. Word 2
1     legendary ruler river; stream; yellow river
2     generation; world; era thick, lush, dense; talented
3     ethics, morality, virtue become solid, solidify; strength
4     official; serve government arrive at, reach; intelligent; smooth, slippery
5     join, connect; continuous; even mountain, hill, peak
6     elder brother; descendants good luck, good omen; happiness
7     gram; overcome; transliteration respectful, polite, reverent
8     accumulate, store up, amass good, virtuous, charitable, kind
9     loyalty, devotion, fidelity relaxed, comfortable, at ease
10     scenery, view; conditions "male" principle; light; sun
11     exist, live, be; survive; remain trust, believe; letter
12     generation; world; era beautiful, pretty; pleasing
13     flowery; illustrious; Chinese peaceful, tranquil, quiet
14   怀   bosom, breast; carry in bosom holy, sacred
15   may, can, -able; possibly right conduct, righteousness
16   continue, carry on; hand down; to join feudal title or rank
17   holy, sacred; sage official; serve government
18   virtuous, worthy, good; able record, annal,historical account
?     learning, knowledge; school envy, admire; praise; covet
19   learning, knowledge; school to unravel or unreel silk; to interpret, explain
20   literature, culture, writing conduct, run, control, manage
21   composition; chapter, section spread, disseminate; agreeable
22   soothe, appease, pacify; carriage harness long, perpetual, eternal,forever
23   lucky, propitious, good Zhou dynasty school; disperse; fall apart
24   porch; courtyard; steps leading thrive, prosper, flourish
25   bright, light, brilliant; clear scheme, plan; whip; urge
26     chinese peck; liquid measure south; southern part; southward
    court root, origin, source; basis
27     if, supposing; as if; like, as literature, culture, writing
28   great, robust; extraordinary profession, business, trade
29   luck, fortune; ship, transport dragon; symbolic of emperor

For interest, we attach the Gin Clan Generation Names, based on a photograph taken by Robert Chin, of a notice board located in the Doh Dat High School, Kaiping.   (Note: The High School enjoys the support of overseas Gins/Chins with roots traced back to this region of China. Robert Chin visited Kaiping, China, in 1997, in search of his roots.) 


In all, for the Gin Clan, as far as we are aware, there are at least 4 "Sub Heung" or Main villages.   The 4 "Sub Heung" are:
1. 石海鄉 / Shek Hoi Heung
2. 霞坑鄉 / Har Hang Heung
3. 勒沖鄉 / Lak Chung Heung
4. 旺北鄉 / Wong Pak Heung

Each "Sub Heung" has its own Generation Name list, as displayed in the photo below. More on the topic of Gin Generation Names will be discussed at a later date.