This section deals with the Chinn/Chen Clan genealogy (陳氏世系) commencing from the Zhou Dynasty (周朝) in Henan Province (河南省) up to the exodus into Guangdong Province and eventual settlement in the Pearl River Delta Region (珠江三角洲) at the end of the Song Dynasty (宋朝).
Most of the material in this section has been excerpted from my family genealogy record or jiapu (家譜)
Surname Chen is among one of the oldest surnames in China with a history of over 3,000 years and is the 5th most populous. The majority of Chens today reside in the southern provinces and in Taiwan where it is the most populous surname.
When written there is only one form of Chinese script and the Chinn surname is represented by this character 陳. However, in China there are several dialects or languages spoken, and as such, the written character is pronounced differently which can be very confusing to Westerners.
To illustrate, 陳 for example can be pronounced as follows:
In the old days, prior to French Romanization, Vietnam used the Chinese script but had a different pronunciation. To the present day they still use the same pronunciation of Tran for 陳. For a period of time in their history there was a Tran Dynasty (陳朝) 1225-1400.
In the past, Korea also used Chinese script until they switched over to their own script called Hangul. Nonetheless, the pronunciation for 陳 is still Jin.
In Japanese it is pronounced as Chin.