Ham Family History
Ham Name Meaning
English (mainly southwestern England): variant spelling of Hamm. French: habitational name from any of the various places in northern France (Ardennes, Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Moselle) named with the Germanic word ham ‘meadow in the bend of a river’, ‘water meadow’, ‘flood plain’. Dutch: variant of Hamme. Korean: there is only one Chinese character for the Ham surname. Some sources report that there are sixty different Ham clans, but only the Kangnung Ham clan can be documented. Although some records have been lost and a few generations are unaccounted for, it is known that the founding ancestor of the Ham clan is Ham Kyu, a Koryo general who fought against the Mongol invaders in the thirteenth century. His ancestor, Ham Hyok, was a Tang Chinese general who stayed in Korea after Tang China helped Shilla unify the peninsula during the seventh century. Another of Ham Hyok’s ancestors, Ham Shin, accompanied Kim Chu-won, the founding ancestor of the Kangnung Kim family, to the Kangnung area, and hence the Ham clan became the Kangnung Ham clan. The first prominent ancestor from Kangnung whose genealogy can be verified is Ham Kyu, the Koryo general. Accordingly, he is regarded as the Kangnung Ham clan’s founding ancestor.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press