Mei (surname)

Mei (surname)

Mei (Chinese: ; pinyin: Méi) is a Chinese surname, transcribed in the Mandarin dialect. In Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking regions, the name may be transliterated as Mui or Moy [1]. In Vietnam, this surname is spelled Mai. In romanized Korean, Mae.


The Mei clan came from the Zhi family. They were awarded a kingdom in the southeast of Hao County in Anhui. The Mei ancestral hometown is located 60 miles southeast of Ru'nan in Henan in central China.

The first patriarch of the Mei lineage was Mei Bo or the Earl of Mei[1]. During King Zhou's reign (Shang Dynasty), Mei Bo pleaded repeatedly to King Zhou to repent from his cruel and corrupt ways. Mei Bo's convictions angered the erratic ruler, which he viewed as insubordination. As punishment, the Earl of Mei was beheaded. Inspired by Mei Bo's acts, his descendants subsequently adopted the surname of Mei to pay homage to this ancient noble.


Oversea Mei Lineage and China in the last 100 years -In commemoration of the centenary of the Revolution of 1911

2011 marks the centenary of the 1911 revolution. 100 years ago, on 10 OCT 1911, the Wuchang uprising let by Dr.Sun Yat-Sen overthrew the Qing Empire, ending the imperial system that last for more than 2,000 years in China and created the Republic of China. The 1911 revolution turned a new page in the Chinese history.

One of the reasons for the success of the revolution was the good work of awakening the populace and organizing all possible forces by Dr.Sun Yat-Sen and his revolutionaries. Overseas Chinese were a major revolutionary force at the time, when they made outstanding contributions. That is why Dr.Sun Yat-Sen said: "Ovearseas Chinese are the mother of revolution."

Duangen in Taishan, Guangdong Province, is a noted home of overseas Chinese and also known as "home of ovearseas Chinese in the Americas". The Mei family in Duanfen was among the first to migrate to the United States. It is that special history of migration that made Ovearseas Mei lineage one of the backbone forces in the 1911 revolution.

The outstanding contributions made by the Ovearseas Mei lineage are reflected in a classic photo and the book "Collected Works of the Founding Father":

This photo, taken on 23 APR 1909, as noted by Sun Suifang, granddaughter of Dr.Sun Yat-Sen, shows Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and his comrades at a meeting held in Chicago discussing matters after the Huanghuagang Uprising and future plans among the eleven participants, four were of the Mei lineage.

In the "Complese Works of the Founding Father" (12 volumes, edited by Qin Xiaoyi, published in 1989 by Taiwan Modern Chinese Publishing House), forty-three members of the Overseas Mei lineage are mentioned and altogether pople with the surname of Mei are mentioned 103 times.

Mei is but a small lineage in China. In terms of the tnumber of people, Mei is not included in the first one hundred surnames; it is ranked 157th, accounting for 0.066% of the total Chinese population. Small as it is, it has a glorious page in modern Chinese history. As the Mei decendants, we feel veery proud and honored.

Prominent people with the surname 梅

Mei Guangpei (Mei Pei), Revolutionary Member (Finance) "Youth Society" San Francisco; (1883-1949) born at Haiyang Village in Duanfen; ambitious and has a sense of mission of national liberation; education: US; Opened a "Shanghai Restaurant" in Chicago; rich;accepted revolutionary ideas; fundraised $30,000 for Dr.Sun Yat-Sen; moves Shanghai Restaurant to Detriot, Michigan and renames it to "Chinese Reupublic Restaurant

Mei Qiaolin , Revolutionary Member "Youth Society" San Francisco; Secretary for Dr.Sun Yat-Sen (Born in 1872 at Duanfen, Taishan;Died in 1970 at Taipei; Age 99; Education:Guangzhou; Traveled to Chiacago in 1897; poem below:

The pavilion over the water is covered with mists, The setting sun shines on the trees where crows perch. Even the birds feel tired, I living overseas far from home feel like a heap of entangled hem. I could only express my sentiments in poems and paintings. Who was playing the flute here? A sad and dreary tune makes me sigh in sorrow.

Mei Guanhao, Revolutionary Member

Mei Jiu (Mei Changjiu) (Rong Nai) , Revolutionary Member; Native to Gaoyuan Village in Duanfen; father travels to Califonia to be a gold miner; he soon follows; worked at laundry and hotel businesses in Chinago; developed friendships with revolutionary ideals; served as secretary in philadelphia; QUOTE BELOW:

"There is no birthday to talk about before the success of the revolution. When the revolution succeeds, everyday is my birthday."

Mei Yunhuai ; Native of Duanfen, graduates from US aeronautic school in 1934; following year joins Chinese Air Force; 1936 goes home and get married; Anti-Jap war breaks out; leaves family and moves northward to serve; LETTER of Departure below:

"It becomes increasingly clear that the Japanese try to conquer our country and indeed the motherland is in danger... It is the time for men to sacrifice for the country. I will do my best to serve the country and I am willing to die for my country. In one week or two, I will go up northward. Time is pressing and I have no time to see you all. I write this as a farewell to you, hoping you all take good care of yourselves."


  1. ^ a b Louie, Emma Woo: "Chinese American Names"., p.29. McFarland & Co, Inc., 1998.

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