Koihime Musou Girls and Related Korean Clans, Part V: Plaintiff Cho (조/曺)

Most dominant: Changnyeong Cho Clan (Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang)

Cho (조/曺) sometimes romanized Jo in Korean Revised Romanization is a common Korean Surname which means 'plaintiff official' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Cao (曹) in Chinese. It originated from the Zhou-era Duchy of Cao founded by Ji Zhenduo. He was later claimed to have descended from the Yellow Emperor via the Zhuanxu Emperor and – in some accounts – via the Shun Emperor as well. It was the origin of the modern Cāo and Zhu families.

At last count, Cao was the 30th-most-common surname in mainland China, 58th-most-common surname in Taiwan and 27th-most-common surname in Korean Peninsula. Based on the 2015 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 398,260 people who bear the surname of Cho. There are twelve designated clans (본관/本貫) for this clan which are:
  • Gaheung Cho/Jiaxing Cao Clan (가흥 조씨/嘉興曺氏) = Originated from Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province, PROC
  • Gangneung Cho Clan (강릉 조씨/江陵曺氏) = Originated from Gangneung City, Gangwon Province, ROK
  • Nampyeong Cho Clan (남평 조씨/南平曺氏) = Originated from Nampyeong-eup, Naju City, Southern Jeolla Province, ROK
  • Neungseong Cho Clan (능성 조씨/綾城曺氏) = Originated from Neungju-myeon, Hwasun County, Southern Jeolla Province 
  • Suseong Cho Clan (수성 조씨/壽城曺氏) = Originated from Suseong-gu, Daegu Metropole, ROK 
  • Andong Cho Clan (안동 조씨/安東曺氏) = Originated from Andong City, Northern Gyeongsang Province, ROK
  • Yeongam Cho Clan (영암 조씨/靈巖曺氏) = Originated from Yeongam County, Southern Jeolla Province, ROK
  • Jangheung Cho Clan (장흥 조씨/長興曺氏) = Originated from Jangheung County, Southern Jeolla Province, ROK
  • Changnyeong Cho Clan (창녕 조씨/昌寧曺氏) = Originated from Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, ROK 
  • Cheongdo Cho Clan (청도 조씨/淸道曺氏) = Originated from Cheongdo County, Northern Gyeongsang Province
  • CheongYang Cho Clan (청양 조씨/靑陽曺氏) = Originated from CheongYang County, Southern Chungcheong Province, ROK
  • Hampyeong Cho Clan (함평 조씨/咸平曺氏) = Originated from Hampyeong County, Southern Jeolla Province, ROK

The Changnyeong Lineage is the largest among twelve, where this lineage consists of 366,798 people and divided into 42 smaller branch clans. Changnyeong Cho Clan was founded by Cho Gye-ryong (조계룡 /曺繼龍), the son-in-law of King Jinpyeong Kim Baek-jeong, 26th Monarch of Silla Kingdom - father of Queen Seondeok Kim Deok-man, first Queen of Silla. He is the son of Ye Hyang (예향/禮香) - daughter of Yi Gwang-ok, the Sillan Scholar at that time.

According to legend, there was a certain scholar named Yi Kwang-ok, whose daughter very much wanted to marry. A monk visited her and told her to go to Mount Hwawang in Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province to pray at the dragon pond. The maiden did so, and upon her return found herself to be pregnant. In a dream, a young man with a crown and a jade belt appeared to her. 

A few months later, in the 48th reigning year of King Jinpyeong (626 CE), she gave birth to a little boy under whose arm the Chinese character for Cho appeared in red. The king, understanding the boy to be special, named him Cho Gye-ryong, married him to his daughter - the princess of King Jinpyeong and subsequently granted his nobility title of Internal Prince Changseong (창성부원군/昌城府院君/Changseong Buwon-gun).

The 42 smaller branches of Changnyeong Cho Clan are shown on below:
  • Duke of Gamsa Branch (감사공파/監司公派/Gamsa Gongpa)
  • Duke of Sanghogun Branch 상호군공파(上護軍公派/Sanghogun Gongpa)
  • Duke of Sa-ui Branch (사의공파/司議公派/Sa-ui Gongpa)
  • Duke of Nangjang Branch (낭장공파(郎將公派/Nangjang Gongpa)
  • Duke of Daesaheon Branch (대사헌공파/大司憲公派/Daesaheon Gongpa)
  • Duke of Daehogun Branch (대호군공파(大護軍公派/Daehogun Gongpa)
  • Duke of Moon-ik Branch (문익공파/文翊公派/Mun-ik Gongpa)
  • Duke of Munjeong Branch (문정공파/文貞公派/Munjeong Gongpa)
  • Duke of Mun-gan Branch (문간공파/文簡公派/Mun-gan Gongpa)
  • Duke of Miljiksa Branch (밀직사공파/密直使公派/Miljiksa Gongpa)
  • Duke of Byeongjo-Chamui Branch (병조참의공파/兵曹參議公派/Byeongjo-Chamui Gongpa)
  • Duke of Busajik Branch (부사직공파/副司直公派/Busajik Gongpa)
  • Duke of Saseong Branch (사성공파/司成公派/Saseong Gongpa)
  • Duke of Sajeong Branch (사정공파/司正公派/Sajeong Gongpa)
  • Duke of Sajik Branch (사직공파/司直公派/Sajik Gongpa)
  • Duke of Suchan Branch (수찬공파/修撰公派/Suchan Gongpa)
  • Duke of Sirang Branch (시랑공파/侍郞公派/Sirang Gongpa)
  • Duke of Sijung Branch (시중공파/侍中公派/Sijung Gongpa)
  • Duke of Yangpyeong Branch (양평공파/襄平公派/Yangpyeong Gongpa)
  • Duke of JangYang Branch (장양공파/壯襄公派/JangYang Gongpa)
  • Duke of Jwasijung Branch (좌시중공파/左侍中公派/Jwasijung Gongpa)
  • Duke of Jungchu Branch (중추공파/中樞公派/Jungchu Gongpa)
  • Duke of Jijungchu Branch (지중추공파/知中樞公派/Jijungchu Gongpa)
  • Duke of Jinsa Branch (진사공파/進士公派/Jinsa Gongpa)
  • Duke of Cheonggudang Branch (청구당공파/靑邱堂公派/Cheonggudang Gongpa)
  • Duke of Chunggan Branch (충간공파/忠簡公派/Chunggan Gongpa)
  • Duke of Chungsunwi Branch (충순위공파/忠順衛公派/Chungsunwi Gongpa)
  • Duke of Taebokgyeong Branch (태복경공파/太僕卿公派/Taebokgyeong Gongpa)
  • Duke of Buwi Branch (부위공파/副尉公派/Buwi Gongpa)
  • Duke of Taehaksa Branch (태학사공파/太學士公派/Taehaksa Gongpa)
  • Duke of Hyeon-gam Branch (현감공파/縣監公派/Hyeon-gam Gongpa)
  • Duke of Heonnam Branch (헌납공파/獻納公派/Heonnam Gongpa)
  • Duke of Shijik Branch (시직공파/侍直公派/Sijik Gongpa)
  • Duke of Seungji Branch (승지공파/承旨公派/Seungji Gongpa)
  • Duke of Jipyeong Branch (지평공파/持平公派/Jipyeong Gongpa)
  • Duke of Jikjang Branch (직장공파/直長公派/Jikjang Gongpa)
  • Duke of Huicheon Branch (희천공파/熙川公派/Huicheon Gongpa)
  • Duke of Cham-ui Branch (참의공파/參議公派/Cham-ui Gongpa)
  • Duke of Bujehak Branch (부제학공파/副提學公派/Bujehak Gongpa)
  • Duke of Busa Branch (부사공파/府使公派/Busa Gongpa)
  • Duke of Chungjeong Branch (충정공파/忠貞公派/Chungjeong Gongpa)
  • Duke of Chungik Branch (충익공파/忠翼公派/Chungik Gongpa)

In addition, most of the clanhouses of Changnyeong Cho Clan are located in South Korea (Republic of Korea). These clanhouses are detected in several areas in this country such as:
  • Wonchon-ri, Goam-myeon, Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province
  • Ibang-ri, Daehap-myeon, Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province
  • Samjang-myeon, Sancheong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province
  • Anseong-ri and DoOk-ri, Myosan-myeon, Hapcheon County, Southern Gyeongsang Province
  • Sangjeong-ri, Hwajeong-myeon, Uiryeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province
  • GaEum-dong, Changwon Seongsan-gu, Southern Gyeongsang Province
  • Nam-myeon, Gimcheon City, Northern Gyeongsang Province
  • Iseo-myeon, Cheongdo County, Northern Gyeongsang Province
  • Geumho-eup, Yeongcheon City, Northern Gyeongsang Province
  • Osan-ri, Hwabuk-myeon, Yeongcheon City, Northern Gyeongsang Province
  • Downtown Ulleung-eup, Ulleung Island, Northern Gyeongsang Province
  • Osan-ri, Gogun-myeon, Jindo Island, Southern Jeolla Province
  • Dong-myeon and Buk-myeon, Hwasun County, Southern Jeolla Province
  • Bunhyang-ri, Goseo-myeon, Damyang County, Southern Jeolla Province
  • Daegok-ri, Joseong-myeon, Boseong County, Southern Jeolla Province
  • Bongdang-ri, Jupo-myeon, Boryeong City, Southern Chungcheong Province
  • Gijeon-ri, Deoksan-myeon, Jincheon County, Northern Chungcheong Province
  • Myeongdong, Seoul Jung-gu
  • Yeomgok-dong, Seoul Seocho-gu
  • Daegu Jung-gu
  • NanGok-dong, Gangneung City, Gangwon Province

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