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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XVII: Gam (감/甘)


Gam (감/甘), sometimes romanized Kam, Kahm or Gahm is an uncommon Korean Surname which means 'sweetness' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Gan. Although the Hanja character for Gan is the same as that in the name of the western province Gansu, China, the two sources of the surname are not related to that of the province. One source of the surname is Gan Pan, a senior minister to the Shang dynasty king Wu Ding (1324–1266 BCE). The other source is a town named Gan in Shaanxi province that was granted to a descendant of Wu Wang (who established the Zhou dynasty in 1122 BCE).

The most dominant designated clan (본관/本貫) for this surname is Hoesan Gam Clan (회산 감씨/檜山甘氏), a clan which is originated from the Unified Changwon City, Provincial Capital of Southern Gyeongsang. This clan is also known as Changwon Gam Clan (창원 감씨/昌原甘氏) or Happo Gam Clan (합포 감씨/合浦甘氏), based on the district of Changwon MasanHappo-gu. Hoesan is the old name of the Unified City of Changwon

Based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 5,998 people in 1,910 families who bear the surname of Gam. Hence, this clan is placed at 123rd place in Korean Surnames List. There are 4,892 people in 1,552 families originated from Hoesan Gam Clan. In other hand, there are lesser lineages in this clan such as:
  • Geochang Gam Clan (거창 감씨/居昌甘氏; Originated from Geochang County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, ROK - 522 people in 184 families)
  • Changnyeong Gam Clan (창녕 감씨/昌寧甘氏; Originated from Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, ROK - 372 people in 109 families)
  • Chungju Gam Clan (충주 감씨/忠州甘氏; Originated from Chungju City, Northern Chungcheong Province, ROK - 112 people in 37 families)
  • Buryeong Gam Clan (부령 감씨/扶寧甘氏; Originated from Buryeong County, Northern Hamgyong Province, DPRK - 65 people in 20 families)

Hoesan Gam Clan was founded by Gam Kyu/Gan Kui (감규/甘揆), a scholar who hailed from Mongol-controlled Chinese Yuan Dynasty, lived during the reign of King Chungjeong Wang Jeo (1338-1352), 30th Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty. That time, Goryeo Dynasty became the vassal state of Yuan Dynasty. Queen Noguk, the consort of King Gongmin Wang Gi, 31st Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty granted him the position of MunhasirangPyeongjangsa (문하시랑평장사/門下侍郞平章事) and dukedom, known as Duke of Yeolleung (연릉군/延陵君).

The 15th Generation-Descendant of Gam Kyu, Gam Soo-hwa (감수화/甘受和) designated the ancient city of Yeolleung as the ancestral seat of Gam Clan. Later, the 16th Generation-Descendant of Gam Kyu, Gam Cheol (감철/甘喆) designated the city of Hoesan (present-day Changwon City) as the ancestral seat of Gam Clan and thus, the ancestral seat moved from Yeolleung to Hoesan.