The surname Qin stemmed from the surname Ying of the ancestors of Ying Zheng (First Emperor 259-210BC). The offspring of Gao Tao in ancient times called Feizi was good at horse training and was conferred as the leader of the region Qin by King Xiao of Zhou Dynasty.
Later, a descendant of Feizi Duke Zhuang of State Qin distinguished himself with exploits and his son Duke Xiang was conferred as a prince for expedition against peoples in the west and convoying the eastward move of King Ping to Luoyi. Duke Xiang moved east to officially set up State Qin - the beginning of the glory of the surname Qin.
Following this Duke Xiao made his state one of the seven big states in the Warring States Period (475-221BC) by appointing Shang Yang to preside over a reform that greatly enhanced the state's overall strength. When it came to Ying Zheng, State Qin finally unified the other six states and founded Qin Dynasty.
Qin Dynasty perished after only one succession. Its royal descendants took the name of the state as their surname to commemorate the glorious history of the clan.
Another branch of the surname Qin originated from the surname Ji. The son of Duke Dan of Zhou Dynasty Bo Qin inherited his vavasory in Qin and his offspring took the name of the place as their surname. This branch was very prosperous in Han Dynasty.
The Romans who migrated to China changed their name and became a source of the surname Qin. These people stayed in China, took the surname Qin and gradually blended into Chinese Qin-surnamed.
Since the surname Qin was formed their people evolved into prosperous clans in Tianshui of Gansu and Taiyuan of Shanxi. They are distributed mainly in Henan, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Hubei and Hebei.
At the beginning of Western Han Dynasty the Qin-surnamed mainly inhabited in the central Shaanxi plain. Since Qin Dynasty was destroyed by Han Dynasty the Qin-surnamed did not migrate very much during Western and Eastern Han Dynasties. During Tang and Song Dynasties the Qin-surnamed migrated mainly to Henan region.
By People' s Daily Online