The course of formation and development of Gannan Hakka
community is from Gannan to Western Fujian and to the worldwide.
Geographically and historically, Gannan is the first place to meet
the Han people southward, and much data of Hakka surname also
testifies that Hakka ancestors had lived for generations in Gannan
before migrating to the western Fujian and eastern Guangdong. There
were together five great migrations in the Chinese history. The
first was in the Jin Dynasty as the invasion of foreign conquerors.
Many people in central plains moved to Yangze River Basins with
The second occurred at the end of the Tang Dynasty when the
rebellion of An and Shi broke out (a turning point of Tang Dynasty
from flourish to decay). Because of the social unrest and continual
war in the north, a large number of Han people migrated to the
relatively peaceful delta area of Gan, Fujian and Guangdong. The
first Hakka ancestors were formed at that time.
The third was in the Song Dynasty when the invasion of northern
minority. More Han people migrated the delta area as the Court
moved southward. They lived there and exchanged with some
aboriginal habitants of She and Yao nationalities in economics,
culture and blood relationship. The Hakka community was formed
The forth was during the early Qing Dynasty which saw massive
depopulation in Gannan due to the ravage of pestilence and war.
However, while western Fujian and eastern Guangdong suffered
population explosion at that time. Some edicts were issued to block
the coastal areas, ordering coastal residents to move to the
inland. The population pressure and the sharp contradiction of the
land redistribution drove a few residents to leave. Some of them
moved back to Gannan, mixing with the Hakka lived here for
generations. Thus, the modern style of Gannan residents was laid.
From the data of surname sources in counties and cities of Gannan,
more generation-surnames since Song Dynasty appeared in the eastern
river area, with the representatives of in Ningdu and Shicheng;
while more returned-migrant surnames existed in the western river
area, up to 60% -- 70% in some counties. After moving to Gannan,
some of them north warded to Ji'an in central Jiangxi, Anfu,
Yichun, Pingxiang and Wanzai in Western Jiangxi, Liling, Liuyang,
Pingjiang in Hunan, and some counties like Tonggu, Xiushui in
eastern Jiangxi. All these greatly extended the distribution of
Hakkas. So Gannan played an important role in the development of
The fifth was in the modern times of years' war. Quite a few
Hakkas migrated from western Fujian and eastern Guangdong to
coastal areas, and some even to overseas to make a living. Some of
them became wealthy subsequently.
From the analysis above, we can see that Gannan is among the
most important originations for Hakka community. There is a saying:
Hakka community was formed in Gannan, grown in western Fujian,
matured in Meizhou and developed abroad.