This Chinese surname follows the familiar pattern of the early hereditary names of this vast country by meaning any of several different things. "Yu" can be ornamental, and mean "the elegant one", or it can be ethereal and mean "to float", or warlike and aggressive in "to oppose", or it may even mean "yes". Interpretations are all subjective, but they pale into insignificance as a problem compared to that of finding proven recordings in a Romanic language. The past forty years of Communist rule and the fifty years of Civil War which preceded it, have made it difficult to obtain any information or recordings, such as exist are therefore of "western" influence from the Missionary Churches of China. These include: the female Chuen Yu, who married Hung Choi on June 1st 1869, at Ying Fung, and Siok-Hui Yu, who married Boon Tuan Tan at Chang-Chou, Fu Kien, on January 1st 1886. The name Yew or Yow appears in California, America, in the 1880's which corresponds with the dates of Chinese immigration, but whether this is of Chinese origin, in whole or part, is not proven. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Chuen Yu, which was dated November 18th 1850, born at Chang Lo, Ying Fung, Province of Fukien, China, during the reign of Emperor Hieng-Fung of China, 1850 - 1861. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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