Lin Clans Around the World

The surname of LIN is one of the most important surnames in Chinese society. It all began with its Grand Ancestor Bigan, and has a long history of prosperity with a descent heritage of more than 3,000 years.

Before the Han Dynasty, the LINs were mainly established in Northern China.

During the Wei, Pu Sui and Tang Dynasty, the LIN began its migration to the south especially during the Tang Dynasty, in the years of Tianbao and Jianyuan, the LIN entered its peak period of development. Our Grand Ancestor Bigan was patriotic, loved his country and its subjects and served the community. He treated the people of the world as his own and was always willing to sacrifice himself for the love and well-being of others.

His descendants inherited and spread this kind of spirit which has thus developed into the fine tradition of Chinese culture. It is also an important component part of the LIN family clan legacy, the development of Chinese surnames and contribution to their prosperity. Now, the LIN has spread all over the world and flourished with famous and talented men/women.

Lin Jian was bestowed the surname LIN in Henan Province. Therefore, its earliest origin should be from Henan Province. In the Spring and Autumn eras of the Tang and Song dynasties, the LIN started its first migration to the east to Jinan area and made these regions their homeland.

Later, because of government officials’ relocating the LIN, they scattered into Zhou, Lu, Qi and Wei counties to avoid chaos. LIN migration to the south began in the late Eastern Han Dynasty.

The second migration to the south began in the Western Jin Dynasty, in the years of Yongjia. During the Jin Dynasty, the LIN flourished further through Lin Yinggong’s two sons: LIN Mao and LIN Lu. Eldest son, LIN Mao, as LIN ancestor of Pi, while second son, LIN Lu as LIN ancestor of Jin (now Fujian Fuzhou), and with their descendants under Jin Zi, Zhong Yi, Jiu Nu, Que Xia, You Yang, Tao Jiang and other lineages.

During the Tang and Song Dynasties, the LIN had spread all over ancient China’s southern Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Sichuan and other locations.

After the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the LIN then spread throughout the country, but mainly in Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, Zhejiang and Taiwan.The LIN also have a very wide distribution overseas.

During the Tang Dynasty, LIN descendants began to expand overseas. Since the Song Dynasty, a large number of LIN descendants mainly from Fujian and Guangdong set off south to Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and other places.

After the Opium War, the LIN migration sprung further to other places in Southeast Asia, Europe and America. During the Qing Dynasty, a large number of refugees including many LIN descendants from Shandong migrated to northeastern China, Vladivostok, Siberia and the Korean Peninsula.

Lin Dispersal Characteristics


First, the early LIN development was mainly concentrated in the center of the Northern Region known as Central Plains, forming the feature of “Root Plains”. More well-known families found rising during that period were the West River LIN and Jinan LIN.


Secondly, the end of Western Jin Dynasty was a turning point in the development of LIN. During the Tang Dynasty, LIN migrated south and Guang Zhou Gu Shi was notably the important origin.


Thirdly, since the Tang and Song dynasties, the growth of LIN descendants was mainly concentrated in the south. Fujian LIN, the descendant of Lin Lu, cemented its important position of LIN in the whole of China’s LIN.


Fourthly, LIN migration to the south saw an extensive increase in number and as a result it became the most common surname.


Fifthly, celebrity LINs during the Tang and Song dynasties had initiated an incredible development history of LIN.


Sixthly, LIN had spread throughout the world not only by making great contributions, but has also developed a strong cohesion among themselves.

The LIN family’s tradition carried down from generation to generation, is mainly as follows: never forget our origin, filial piety, emphasis on education, integrity, honesty and loyalty.

As at 2013, we have about 75 million LINs in the world distributed mainly throughout the following countries:

  • China about 60 million and mainly in the southern part of China.
  • The rest of about 15 million are found in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippine, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, Japan, North and South Korea, Hong Kong, Laos, and other parts of the world.