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Biggest family in the world


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#1 Jaak

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 02:13 PM

How big is the Tang imperial Li family?

It is one of the 3 biggest families in China, but there are a lot of Lis in Korea and Vietnam as well. So all combined, Li family seems to be the biggest in the world....

#2 mrclub

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 09:09 PM

Are you saying in terms of the number of people with the surname 李
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#3 bloodmerchant

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:08 PM

Are you saying in terms of the number of people with the surname 李


There are a few Li surname people who are not descended or related to the imperial family, but a large percentage are.
吳王夫差將伐齊,子胥曰:不可。夫齊之與吳也,習俗不同,言語不通,我得其地不能處,得其民不得使。夫吳之與越也,接土鄰境,壤交通屬,習俗同,言語通,我得其地能處之,得其民能使之。
─伍子胥 《知化》,《呂氏春秋》

#4 mrclub

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:15 PM

There are a few Li surname people who are not descended or related to the imperial family, but a large percentage are.


how about 刘 of Han Dynasty or 赵 of Song Dynasty ???
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#5 bloodmerchant

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:55 PM

how about 刘 of Han Dynasty or 赵 of Song Dynasty ???

That I'm not too sure about. Since Zhao was a name of a state and many people in Zhao state made Zhao their surname. I'm not too sure about Liu.
吳王夫差將伐齊,子胥曰:不可。夫齊之與吳也,習俗不同,言語不通,我得其地不能處,得其民不得使。夫吳之與越也,接土鄰境,壤交通屬,習俗同,言語通,我得其地能處之,得其民能使之。
─伍子胥 《知化》,《呂氏春秋》

#6 Mei Houwang

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 03:18 AM

There are a few Li surname people who are not descended or related to the imperial family, but a large percentage are.


I find that hard to believe. I always assumed it's the other way around. May I ask how you arrived at this conclusion?

I have heard that the Tang dynasty did conquer a series of places that did not have a surname, so the empire just gave all of them the surname "李", which would explain the vast number of people named "李" nowadays.

#7 bloodmerchant

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 03:27 AM

I find that hard to believe. I always assumed it's the other way around. May I ask how you arrived at this conclusion?

I have heard that the Tang dynasty did conquer a series of places that did not have a surname, so the empire just gave all of them the surname "李", which would explain the vast number of people named "李" nowadays.

That could be. But that's what my father told me once. He told me most people with the surname Li are related to the Tang emperors because they had many, many children who were later dispatched to other parts of China. (My grandfather and uncles told me the same story as well) Either that, or it's just ignorance.

Edited by bloodmerchant, 07 March 2010 - 03:31 AM.

吳王夫差將伐齊,子胥曰:不可。夫齊之與吳也,習俗不同,言語不通,我得其地不能處,得其民不得使。夫吳之與越也,接土鄰境,壤交通屬,習俗同,言語通,我得其地能處之,得其民能使之。
─伍子胥 《知化》,《呂氏春秋》

#8 Mei Houwang

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 03:37 AM

He told me most people with the surname Li are related to the Tang emperors because they had many, many children who were later dispatched to other parts of China. (My grandfather and uncles told me the same story as well) Either that, or it's just ignorance.


At the least, the logic makes sense. Emperor Li Shimin warned his sons to rely on family to govern the empire in order to diminish the threat of rebellion. To do that, it would be natural for future emperors to send relatives to the most distant districts as government officials.

As for my version, it was told by family as well. So I guess it shouldn't hold any more weight than your version. Sadly, I haven't yet found any contemporary records in which the Tang imperial family gave the "Li" surname to subjects who never had a surname.




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