Chinese: Mandarin and Cantonese form of the surname 洪 meaning ‘vast’ in Chinese: (i) adopted in place of another Chinese surname 共 (Gong in Mandarin pinyin). In some families this surname is traced back to Gong Gong (共工) an official during the reign of the legendary Huang Di the ‘Yellow Emperor’ (c. 27th century BC). In other families it is borne by descendants of people from the state of Gong (共) (located in present-day Huixian in Henan province) which was granted to Ji He known as Gong Bo (Earl Gong) a figure during the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). For other families it is borne by descendants of Shen Sheng a prince in the state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC) who was given Gong as a posthumous title. His descendants inherited this title as their surname. Later some of his descendants changed the surname to 洪 in order to escape persecution by their enemies. Thus the surname 洪 shares some of the same ancestors with the surname 龔; compare Gong (ii) adopted in place of another Chinese surname 弘 (see 5 below) which originated in Yuzhang (present-day Nanchang in Jiangxi province) and Qu’e (present-day Danyang in Jiangsu province). 弘 was the personal name of crown prince Li Hong (李弘) (652–675 AD) in the Tang Dynasty. In ancient China it was taboo to bear the same name as a member of the royal family so in Yuzhang and Qu’e people with the surname 弘 changed it to 洪 which has the same pronunciation. Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 弘 meaning ‘great’ in Chinese: from the second element of the personal name Hong Yan (弘演 or 弘延) style name of an official in the state of Wey (衛) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 紅 meaning ‘red’ in Chinese: (i) from the personal name Hong (紅) style name of Xiong Zhi a prince of the state of Chu eldest son of Xiong Qu (ruler of the state of Chu died 877 BC). (ii) from the placename Hong (紅) the name of a state (located in Henan province) granted to Liu Fu also known as Hong Hou (紅侯 Marquis of Hong) nephew of the Emperor Gaozu of Han (256–195 BC). Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 項 see Xiang Chinese: alternative Cantonese form of the surname 孔 see Kong Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 康 see Kang 7: Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 匡 see Kuang 8: Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 杭 see Hang 9: Chinese: Hokkien and Taiwanese form of the surname 方 see Fang 10: Chinese: Hokkien Taiwanese and Teochew form of the surnames 封 豐 and 酆 see Feng (2–4).1 Chinese: another Cantonese form of the surname 熊 see Xiong 1 Chinese: variant Romanization of the surnames 湯 and 唐 based on its pronunciation of the Siyi Cantonese subdialect (also known as Sze Yup or Four Districts dialect including Taishanese) spoken in southern Guangdong see Tang 1 and 1 Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 王 see Wang 1 Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 黃 see Huang 1 Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 香 possibly based on its Cantonese pronunciation see Xiang 1 Chinese: possibly from Cantonese form of the Chinese names 雄 (meaning ‘hero’ or ‘mighty’) or 康 (meaning ‘healthy’) monosyllabic personal names or part of disyllabic personal names of some early Chinese immigrants in the US.17: Korean: there is only one Chinese character for the Hong surname in Korea. Some sources indicate that there are 59 different Hong clans but only four can be documented. Each of the four clans claim different founding ancestors. The oldest Hong clan's founding ancestor Hong Ch’ŏn-ha migrated to Koguryŏ Korea sometime in the first half of the seventh century. The Hong surname is a fairly common one and is found throughout the Korean peninsula.18: Vietnamese (Hồng): of Chinese origin meaning ‘vast’ (see 1 above).19: Cambodian: written ហុង of Chinese origin from (a personal name) 紅 meaning ‘red’ (see 3 above).20: Cambodian: written ហង្ស same as Hang 8.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022