Blogiversary: 10/2/2013

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cha Surname

I really don't know much about my Korean side.  My mother has been very private and protective of her Korean family.  One thing she's always told me is that the Cha name, her maiden name, was related to the Yu family of Korea.  She said that Cha was Chinese in origin, without even researching her own name.

Being a "Cha" at school, she was teased.  Most children had the surnames Kim, Lee, Cho, Choi, or Pak (sometimes spelled in English as Park).  Cha was not only my mom's surname, but it was also the word for car (and other words with the word "cha" in it are truck and train).

While researching the origins of her maiden name, I found three articles online that coincides and confirms what my mother has said.

1.  From Ancestry.com:
Cha Name Meaning Korean (Ch’a): there is only one Chinese character for the Ch’a surname, and the Y{ou}nan Ch’a clan is the only clan. Their founding ancestor was Ch’a Hyoj{ou}n, son of Yu Ch’a-tal (10th century ad). Ch’a is a fairly common surname throughout the Korean peninsula, but most of the clan’s members live in Ky{ou}ngsang province, Hwanghae province, or P’y{ou}ngan province.Chinese : variant of Zha.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

2.  From Cyclopedia.net:
Cha is an uncommon family name in Korea. The Yeonan Cha clan is the only clan. The founding ancestor was Cha Hyo-jeon, son of Yu Cha-dal (10th century AD). Most of the clan’s members live in Gyeongsang province, Hwanghae province, or P'yŏngan province. In South Korea in 2000, there were 180,589 people named Cha.

3.  From Wikipedia.org:
Cha is an uncommon family name in Korea. The Yeonan Cha clan is the only clan. The founding ancestor was Cha Hyo-jeon, son of Ryu Cha-dal (류차달) (10th century AD). Most of the clan’s members live in Gyeongsang province, Hwanghae province, or P'yŏngan province. In South Korea in 2000, there were 180,589 people named Cha.

From Wikipedia.org:
In Korea the genealogy book is called jokbo or chokbo. Each family has a jokbo which is passed down through generations, and copies are often printed and distributed among family members as necessary. The firstborn son of each family (in a form of primogeniture) inherits the original jokbo (as opposed to the copies) with him and continues the genealogy and family line. It was often used in pre-modern (i.e. post-Joseon period) Korea as proof of being of the yangban class. While many clans still maintain a jokbo, its function (which was very important, heavily relied-upon, and legally binding before the modern era) is largely relegated to clan record-keeping and other minor (i.e. not legally binding) social roles. 

The JokBo Records were historically written with the Chinese character for the surname.  My grandfather who carried the Cha surname had all girls before he died.  My grandmother was pregnant with his last child when he passed.  That child was a boy.  To the best of our knowledge, no JokBo was received in my mom's family.  Perhaps, due to the fact her parents were not married to each other.

From KoreanGenealogy.org:
The HanJa (Chinese characters) for my mom's maiden name is:  車
The HanGul (Korean characters) for my mom's maiden name is:  차
Further Genealogy on Cha.pdf (courtesy of http://cha.co.kr)

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